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Growing Within you

The Untold Story - MUIC Alumni Idol #8 - 1
AlumniAlumni Stories

Growing Within you

  • Please introduce yourself. What do you do?
    It’s impossible to pronounce my first name correctly for the first time, so just call me Chompoo. My background is in International Relations and Psychology since I’m quite passionate about studying humans. As of now, I work to help people to have better communication and well-being.

Officially, I work as a Learning Experience Designer and Positive Psychology Specialist at BASE Playhouse and also as Creative Psychologist at Glow Story. Before that, I used to work as Business Analyst and Personal Assistant to Corporate Vice President at Thai Samsung Electronics. Also, I used to work as Team Partnership Lead and Coach for speakers at TEDxBangkok when I was still studying at MUIC.

Mostly, my specialty is in psychology and communication, helping people and leaders communicate better, from rocking on stage to convincing their team or conveying the message of their brand value to customers. My works are quite varied because I’m focusing more on applying knowledge to help people using my skills and experiences. I’m still open to more opportunities while enjoying my current work with my clients and my team.

  • What is a Learning Experience Designer?
    In a nutshell, we design the learning experience, making it more engaging and maximizing learning outcomes. We found that learning is a process not just only in the academic context, but also in life learning, self-learning, social learning, and others. I find humans very unique and we have so much potential to bring out to the world. That’s why I’m always curious to understand how different we are, why so, and how to find ways to grow as an individual, and become a better version of ourselves.

I think being human is challenging and unpredictable. We have lots of things to do: Career success, responsibilities, dreams to achieve, challenges to tackle, growth as a person, etc. It’s tiring sometimes since we are full of emotions. We feel lonely and burned out but still, we have to live. However, life doesn’t come with a complete guidebook. We have to learn to grow with it. But the barrier that is set between us ‘now’ and the ‘better’ is our mindset or perspective that is sometimes fixed and relies on past experiences that didn’t allow us to grow or learn through the process constructively.

No sugarcoating here, but based on thousands of people I have worked with, growing isn’t easy. Surely, I have some level of achievement, but I also couldn’t count all the failures I have made. Surviving is good enough but thriving is even more challenging. Though it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. I still believe we can shine in our own way. When facing other challenges or the unknown, you need to learn, unlearn, and relearn everything again. It’s the process of you going on an adventure, exploring your life, and growing through your journey.

So wouldn’t it be better if all those learning processes are fun and engaging, and you can still grow from whatever you are doing or learning? That’s why it has to be designed by stretching our brain muscles, enhancing emotion, and making it more memorable through the process of learning that works within you in a synchronized manner. That’s what I do.

  • What are the essential skills needed for being a Learning Experience Designer?
    4c+Psychology, applied to other careers too, with different contexts and priorities.

Communication: To communicate your design to the team, to clients, ask the right questions and sometimes deliver the content yourself.

Creativity: Creating big ideas and meaningful learning processes, curriculum, and content with all the tools you have in the most engaging way.

Collaboration: Working across the team, working with clients, bouncing the idea with the team, and trying to resolve the conflict most constructively.

Critical Thinking: Analyzing the data, case studies, curated interviews, and all insight that you have. Assessing what works and what doesn’t.

Knowledge of Learning Process and Psychology: Everything is human-centric. You need to understand human motivation, and their learning process, and empathize with the learners to find the best fitting solution.

  • Why are you interested in the field of psychology?
    Weird to say but since this is the “Untold Story,” I’m going tell you the untold part. Initially, I have zero interest in the field of psychology. I do like humans, but I’m not too fond of the field of psychology, which for me at the time seemed to deal with mental illness. I love positive vibes and didn’t want any more stress. Then I got a chance in my first year to sit in the “Intro to Psychology” class of Dr. Douglas Rhein. It was the first of my unlearning moments, making me say to myself, “Wow, there is a lot to psychology more than curing mental illness! We can help people to flourish too.” And back then—10 years ago—no one’s ever heard of Positive Psychology but I know I want to pursue it. That’s when I decided to seek more advice and relearn what this field actually is and what I can do afterward.

I’m always curious about humans and I’d love to find out why they do what they do so that I could understand them and perhaps I could help them in some way. I’ve learned from them through working experiences. From collecting garbage with the garbage man, assisting people with disabilities, interviewing people in slums, reviewing national policies in the government secretariat, learning the art of storytelling as a production assistant, handling furious clients and super VIPs, organizing seminars for thousands of people, pitching dreams and vision for funding from big corporations, and learning from top management varying views of the corporate world itself when I entered the business field. Humans couldn’t be more interesting.

Countless experiences brought me to the field I’m doing now with good support from people who believe in the same thing. Apart from LXD at Base Playhouse, I apply my knowledge as a Creative Psychologist at Glow Story. I help to find the core insight of the changes within humans that clients want to create, and match insightful psychological theories with various approaches for the campaigns, making them unique and resonate with the right target audiences. We try to make sure those changes are humanized. I also help in coaching executives in delivering impactful and emotional speeches on several occasions since people are more convinced to change when their leaders inspired them to do so.

  • What part of your jobs do you find most challenging?
    There are two parts: One deals with you, another is with other people. The first one is your thought. It’s before you get your hands on, the preparation phase. I’m quite anxious about this thinking process regardless of the job. When you ideate the strategies or find insights, bouncing the ideas around, it’s all in your head. You’ll never know whether it’s going to work, or whether you could do it. It’s nerve-wracking, full of uncertainty, but also the most exciting part. I couldn’t calm myself much before the “Big Day,” whether I’m getting on stage, pitching the clients, or teaching, even though I’ve done it for thousands of times. It’s the moment I have to push my inner power out, concentrate and whisper many times to myself “I’ve got this, I’ve got this.” LOL! I have to, otherwise, I might mess it up, which I can’t stand. I have to keep my professional ways of working.

The second part is people because my work is mostly dealing with people. It’s more of the outcome, the feedback and how you take it. Not all people learn to give constructive feedback or talk to you nicely. They just say whatever they want to say. So, the more you work with people, the more you need to learn to take it professionally. If you have done your best then, it’s fine. But we are human, and I’m not a perfectionist. So, if there is a mistake, I have to learn to accept, apologize and move on. Managing emotions is an art. Dwelling on negative consequences won’t help you much but can get you stuck. Just learn from it, let it go, and move on.

  • How was your current work related to your major in MUIC?
    For my major in International Relations, I think it’s related a lot when I work as part of a  conference secretariat. But I think it’s related to the real world I’m living in more. I see the world in a wider way and understand how society is constructed. There’s no absolute right or wrong once you understand how things or people are created. We are influenced by society in some ways. And it also helps me understand the diversity of people, their culture, their history, their economy, and their belief. It’s all related and helps me with insights.

My minor in Psychology is 100% related to my current work, officially and also personally. I actually even overuse it. For the benefit of mankind, of course. LOL!

  • How has your college experience prepared you for a career?

MUIC gave me the chance to practice my people skills and provided opportunities to work and explore my interest. You’ll bump into different types of people in college, from unbelievable extremes to the one that fits your style. It’s an eye-opening experience for me, as a freshman, being part of “Nong Group,” to be taken care of, as a student who can discuss crazy ideas with professors who’d never judge you, with supportive staff, and a good environment and learning system I’m grateful for having. I find lots of good connections from here too.

I learned as soon as I started working that the Mahidol University brand enjoys the trust of outside organizations. MUIC has numerous alumni and partners that provide enough working opportunities for students to explore. So, by the time I graduated, I already have had around 3-4 jobs. This experience made me more than prepared.

Another preparation is you can always find advice. I’ve learned from the consulting session for a career in psychology from my professor. I’m still grateful that the university has this safe space provided for students to explore their interests so they could have self-reflection and cultivate it to be their passion.

  • Advice for MUIC students / College tips /What should they do during their college years?

Go explore as much as you can. Try different things within the college, your major or across majors. Ride a bicycle, wander around the college and appreciate the beauty of nature.

Studying here is hard, I’m not going to lie. But don’t take it too seriously that all your focus is on the book and the next exam. Honors are good to have and it looks good on CV. I also got one but there’s more to life in the real world.

Join clubs and participate in activities. Enjoy the party but don’t go that wild. Make connections. You’ll meet lots of people, but not all of them can be your besties. You’ll find your place in the end, though.

If you are in doubt, go seek advice. Even if you eat alone in the cafeteria, you are not alone at all. There’s always support if you look for it.

  • Motto

Life is full of challenges and sometimes confusing, therefore, always remember your WHY.

Ms. Napatrostorn Tanathanyatoranun
MUIC Class of 2015, Major: Social Science
Position: Learning Experience Designer, Base Playhouse Co., Ltd./ Creative Psychologist, Glow Story and Communication Specialist

Below is a PDF file to view.


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