I’m Patchrapon “Pat” Kanjanasiripakdhi. Currently, I’m a Growth Manager at DKSH Smollan Field Marketing (Thailand) Ltd. My previous work experience involved working in a few companies, from local SME to local publicly listed companies and multinationals spanning across different industries such as human capital, consumer electronics, innovation and B2B services. Professionally, I’m a commercial person, but with a passion in human/capabilities development.
What do you do after graduation? Is your career path on the right track?
While my initial goal before graduation was to become a business consultant to hone my commercial knowledge and skills, I eventually got involved in other aspects of actual businesses. Looking back, I was fortunate to have been working with different companies with unique cultures. This has helped me to better understand the uniqueness in each organization—the good, the not-so-good, and sometimes, the ugly side of running businesses. These experiences influenced my career goal. Instead of being tied down to any one industry, some of which might be things I really like, I now aim to become well-versed in many different industries, but focus on my commercial and human skills. This is a work in progress in terms of reaching my goal.
What has been your biggest challenge and how did you deal with it?
Over the years, having worked in multiple roles and responsibilities, both with physical or central teams, I’ve come to realize that people are the fundamentals to any business and, most of the time, it can be a real challenge dealing with them. People from different backgrounds have different needs and wants that we as leaders need to understand; we also have to help them grow. Different generational gaps can also contribute to this challenge.
In order to overcome these challenges in dealing with people, it’s important to be clear on our objectives, have empathy and candor. While we are encouraged to be able to work with ambiguity, sometimes too much of it can do more harm than good. Moreover, the ability to connect with the people you are working with, having that empathy to truly understand their concerns and being honest when giving feedback, can really help with managing those results. While as an organization, we need everyone to achieve their goals, we also need to understand the importance of cultivating a positive environment, and the most important element to making that happen is the people.
How was your student experience?
The opportunities to work with many talented people at the MUIC Student Association, many of whom have really grown and established themselves simulated what would be a real-world working situation. I’m thankful for the opportunities given by the then-director to manage the MUICSA, being involved in the All Asian Inter-Varsity Debate that MUIC hosted. Having been involved in those association works has given me the opportunity to apply my management and leadership skills. At the same time, I also learned much from those working with me in the different projects. I do believe that involvement in those activities gave me invaluable real-world experience.
What are your guiding principles in life?
Stay hungry, stay foolish. There are so many things that we don’t know in the world, and it’s not about knowing everything and leading every project. I always remind myself to be a glass half-full. This gives me the opportunities to learn so much more by getting out of my comfort zone. It is not a sign of weakness to ask for help or say we don’t know. On the contrary, it shows strength, confidence and maturity.
What are the keys to success that you would advise to MUIC graduates?
Put yourself into everything that you do. While we may have seen many successful people having a good life, traveling all the time, spending money on things that we may only dream of, many times, those successes that we see are only the tip of the iceberg. That is because we might not have known how much effort they had put in earlier in their career before they became successful. They go all in and never give up. This is the same in many situations that you may encounter in real life.
Patchrapon “Pat” Kanjanasiripakdhi
BBA International Business, MUIC Class of 2003
Marketing Manager, DKSH Smollan Field Marketing (Thailand) Ltd.