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PRINCE OF PREMIUM JEANS

Mahidol University International College (MUIC) has a new magazine, MUIC 360°. It will serve as MUIC’s print and online media platform positioned to offer reading fare beyond reportage of events in the College.

MUIC 360° will discuss issues in Thailand and abroad that have a significant impact on the lives of MUIC’s community of students, faculty, staff, and alumni. More importantly, we will ask MUIC’s faculty and alumni to lend their expertise on issues that fall within their respective specializations. We will also hear more from our students as they share to us their thoughts not only about student life but matters that concern the MUIC community as well.

Make MUIC 360° part of your reading fare.

Founding Father

SHOWCASE

Nuggets of wisdom from the professor who has been there from the very beginning.
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Catalyst for Change

SHOWCASE

A student leader defines leadership.
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Duke of Custom

PANORAMA

For this enterprising alumnus, success is a good fit.
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Leading in Times of Gen Z

SCENES

How do you lead today’s youth?
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In the Workplace Girl Power!

SCENES

Women make their presence felt in today’s workplace.
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Ahead of the Pack

MUIC SOCIETY

Dean discusses how MUIC can stay on top.
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Founding Father

Dr. Smith’s Food for Thought
Act as if you have free will, and be responsible for everything that you do. If you have good opportunities (e.g. jobs, travel) when you are young then do take them: when you get older practical difficulties may interfere with your plans and hopes. Be idealistic and practical. Remember that we can only lead our own lives (for better or worse). We can’t live other people’s. Try to make your life meaningful and useful. Source: https://icpetermahidol.wordpress.com/2017/02/20/my-advice-to-my-younger-self/


You might mistake him for Gandalf, that old and wise wizard from the Lord of the Rings, with his graying beard and eyebrows and his eyes with those mischievous glint. But for his colleagues and students in Mahidol University International College (MUIC)—indeed its hundreds of alumni—he is one of the pillars of the college. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Peter Smith is not just the longest-serving faculty member in MUIC, he was also there in the very beginning, a member of the committee that planned the establishment of Mahidol University’s International Students’ Degree Program (ISDP) which later on grew up into MUIC.

Armed with a Ph.D. degree in Sociology of Religion from the University of Lancaster in the UK, he came to Mahidol University in 1985 to teach at the Department of Humanities of the Social Science Faculty. With his pioneering work in helping form ISDP, he was soon teaching there and developing its initial course catalogue. “We were like a big family,” he reminisced. Everyone knew everyone else.”

As a lecturer, is he strict or lenient? “I set high standards but, at the same time, I try to be very approachable and funny. My main job is to encourage students to work hard, to answer their questions, and maybe entertain them a bit,” he said.

And just because he comes from an earlier generation does not mean he is a Luddite. In fact, he has his own blog, has a Facebook account, even created several Facebook fan pages to reach out to his students. He even produced scores of YouTube videos to supplement his lectures.

Aside from delivering lectures, Dr. Smith also held several administrative positions over the years—as Division Chairman and Social Science Program Director and as Deputy Director of MUIC.
A good administrator brings out the best of the people he’s working with and treats them as colleagues, not as subordinates,” he said.

Dr. Smith retired from full-time status in 2013 but still teaches, albeit on a part-time capacity. As MUIC’s most senior academic, what would be his advice to lecturers who are just starting their own career? “Listen to your students. And have high standards. Don’t compromise your standards. Insist on high standards.”

Catalyst fo Change

Ms. Arthitaya or Prim
Being both a good follower and an effective leader, Ms. Arthitaya Rusmintratip has chalked up quite a long list of accomplishments in her three years of study at Mahidol University International College (MUIC). From exchanging well-crafted arguments against the best debaters in Thailand and Asia to winning in business case competitions, Ms. Arthitaya or Prim to her friends has also successfully led victorious science competition teams and organized successful national debate tournaments. MUIC 360° interviews the 20-year old Finance student about her thoughts on leadership.

How do you define a leader?
A catalyst.

How do you balance your studies and your extra-curricular activities?
It’s hard. Sometimes, I take more than I can handle, and I think it involves a bit of trial and error. I consistently have to monitor my own academic performance, extra-curricular performance, and – arguably, the most important – my mental health. Dips in performance or strains in your mental health can be indicators that can tell you whether or not you’ve got too much in your hands. I think everyone needs to find their own way, and it requires introspection.

Biggest challenge you had as a student leader? How did you cope with it?
I was the team leader of Polar Prim & Winions at a business case competition (KPMG). I took a term off to do my internship at a consultancy firm, so I had to juggle working from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm and the business case.

I had great teammates that were both supportive and understanding of my circumstance. Through effective communication, the team was able to be on the same page. I remember sitting down with my team to discuss our approach to the competition only to discover that when you break down the issues into smaller, more manageable chunks, the problem will be less daunting.

Most memorable experience as a student leader?
I was team leader for ICtheFuture in the Invent for the Planet competition. It was memorable because I just had so much fun from throwing around ideas with my friends to coming up with solutions for issues that we genuinely cared about.

Three “must-have” qualities of a student leader?
Ability to empower others and work in a team, kindness, decision-making capabilities.

Your advice to students who also want to become a leader?
Be the kind of leader you want to work under.

Team Leader, Polar Prim & Winions
2nd Runner Up, KPMG U-Real III
December 23, 2018

Team Leader, ICtheFuture
Winner of Thailand, Invent for the Planet 2018
February 16, 2018

Best Delegate, Thammasat Model United Nations 2019
January 11-13, 2019

6th Best National Speaker, 13th EU in TH
July 31 – August 4, 2018

Outstanding Academic Achievement (Highest GPA in Major) 2018
Vice President, Model United Nations Club (2019 – )

Committee Member, Case Club (2018-2019)
President, Debate Club (2018-2019)

DUKE OF CUSTOM DENIMS

Mr. Vitchapong “Boom” Hutasuwan
It all started with skinny jeans. While studying at Mahidol University International College (MUIC), Mr. Vitchapong “Boom” Hutasuwan was fond of wearing them. However, he didn’t like the fit of the foreign brand jeans he was buying at the time. “The Thai physique is quite different from Westerners’, so the skinny jeans I buy actually fit more like straight cut,” he explained. “At the time, I also started wearing bespoke shoes and related stuff.
I Thought, ‘Why Not Create My Own? Afterwards, I Developed A Business Model, And Then One Day, I Just Told My Friends, “Hey, Guess What, I Have My Own Brand Of Jeans!” He Would Show His Catalogue To His Friends, Who Can Choose For Themselves The Kind Of Cut, Type And Color Of Jeans, Materials, And Others. Boom Would Then Bring Their Orders To Tailors He Had Contracted. And That Was How Selvedgework Was Born.

At First, There Was Only Boom And His Friend Who Helped Out In Sales. Now, Six Years Later, Selvedgework Has Three Branches, 17 Staff, And A Brand That Has Quickly Established A Loyal Following. Such Swift Success Can Only Come With The Leadership Qualities That Boom Possesses. For Starters, He Has The Vision. “I’ve Always Dreamed Of Creating My Own Brand, Of Creating Something Out Of Nothing. I Wanted To Be The ‘Best Player In The Game.’” And To Learn More About This Young Business Leader, MUIC 360° Sat Down With Him In His Posh Outlet At Artisans’ Royal Club In Gaysorn Village On Ploenchit Road.

Are you the intuitive or scientific type?
I’m a combination of both. You need intuition and inspiration to get fresh ideas for your business but being scientific about it, like doing research, is also important.

But if you ask me to choose only one, then I’d choose intuition and inspiration. They will keep you going in the long run.

Why did you decide to establish a high-end jeans company rather than a mass-market brand?
For me, there is bigger money in mass-market jeans but I prefer developing a niche brand because it affords me to use my creativity. It gives me more space to develop my own brand (“I want my brand to be the best jeans”), have more control over the production process, have more focus, and more freedom.

How would you describe your management style? Are you the hands-on type? Or do you give your employees a wider room to operate? Why?
A combination of the two. I appreciate the importance of giving my staff more freedom in performing their work but I have to give them guidelines. Too much freedom, too much chill, might cause the quality of our products to suffer. I give more leeway to staff who have been working longer in my company and who are more responsible.

LEADING IN TIMES OF GEN Z

Asst. Prof. Dr. Malinvisa Sakdiyakorn
As Gen Y, in their 30s, transition into managerial roles, another cycle of change that occurs every 15 to 20 years is about to happen with the entry of early Gen Z in the workplace. Born during 1995-2010, Gen Z constitutes the latest generational workforce that might amplify the generation before them. Having grown up in an era of volatile changes, constant social pressure, and drone parenting, members of Gen Z are believed to be highly adaptable, open-minded, and independent. Competition may strike in naturally as they attempt to prove themselves and their ideas to their family, peers and society. Having received the freedom to do as they like and learn through mistakes since adolescence will likely lead them to having high expectation for autonomy and empowerment within the workplace.
The truth is that ‘very little is yet known about them in the workplace context’ since most Gen Z are still studying – and they include current MUIC students. It is only wise that organizations prepare their leaders in managing a multi-generational workforce, especially the new and upcoming cohort.
In the years to come, an interesting scene will evolve around Gen Y and their roles in managing Gen Z. Hopefully, Gen X, who will then move into the C-suite level, can serve as effective mentors to Gen Y whose ‘disruptive’ behavior they once experienced.

About the Author
Asst. Prof. Dr. Malinvisa Sakdiyakorn is a faculty member of the Business Administration Division. Her research interests include Strategic Human Resource Management, Organizational Behavior, Leadership, and Diversity Management.

Pointers in Leading and Managing Gen Z
First, be willing to use your emotional intelligence. Since each generation grew up with different values and upbringing, learning how and why they think the way they do can be fun, surprising and eye-opening. For example, Gen Z may feel less aware of how technology influences their lives simply because they were naturally born into technology. Hence, designing how technology should be used in each organization can be a good starting point to practice learning-unlearning-relearning about different generations.

Second, leaders will need to influence more and direct less. Long gone are the days of the ‘yes sir boss’ workplace. Call it ‘transformative leadership’ or ‘charismatic leadership.’ It all comes down to simply convincing someone to do something with good reasoning, effective listening and mutual respect. Selling rather than telling will be the new way to go.

Third, leaders must master their gardening skills – nurture their Gen Z newbies and help them grow. Being the first boss will be the most challenging and valuable role for he or she is laying down the imprints for the young and inexperienced.

Generational Cohorts by Names and Birth Years

Generational Cohorts
Also Known As
Beginning and Ending Birth Years
Traditionalists
Matures, The Silent Generation, Builders Generation
1925-1945
Baby Boomers
Boomers, Driven Generation, Idealist Generation, Post World War Generation
1946-1964
Generation X
Gen X, Gen Xers, Baby Busters, Cynical Generation, Lost Generation, Nomadic Generation
1965-1979
Generation Y
Millennials, Gen Y, Gen Yers, Echo Boomers, Nexters, Internet Generation, Me Generation, Next Generation, Dot.com Generation, Einstein Generation, Generation I, Generation Why, Google Generation, Myspace Generation, Net Generation, The “Great Generation”
1980-1994
Generation Z
Digital Natives, Post-Millennial, Plurals, Founders, Homeland Generations, .com Generation, Children of Internet, Digital Generation, iGeneration, Instant Online, Gen Wii, Media Generation, Net Gen, Generation Text, Gen Tech, the Uber Generation
1995-2010

Gen Z: Digital Natives

Most Used Device: Smart Phone (average use: 15.4 hours / week)
Preferred social media platforms: Snapchat and Instagram
70% of Gen Z watches two hours of YouTube per day.
Source: https://www.visioncritical.com/generation-z-infographics/

IN THE WORKPLACE: GIRL POWER!

With the observation of International Women’s Day every March 8th, calls for women empowerment could not have come at a more opportune time as women worldwide continue to struggle not only for political but economic empowerment as well. According to the United Nations, only 50% of women of working age are in the labor force in 2015, as compared to 77% of men.
There are, however, bright spots. A study done in 2017 shows that Thai women comprise 45.67% of Thailand’s labor force. On the other hand, it is also notable that Thai women hold 39% of senior positions.
In ASEAN, there has been an increase in migration trends. Women comprise almost half of migrant workers in Southeast Asia, contributing much to the region’s labor markets, production output and remittances. This includes foreign teachers, particularly female Filipino teachers.
Gender equality is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Adopted by world leaders in September 2015, signatory countries pledge to reach these goals in the next 15 years, addressing gender equality and women empowerment among them.

Mahidol University International College (MUIC) also believes in the need to equip and empower women and also protect their rights particularly in the workplace. Aside from a policy that addresses sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and equality in the college, MUIC has also started offering a course on women and gender studies to educate students in this crucial field.

Filipino Teachers Who Received Teaching License from the Teachers’ Council of Thailand (Khurusapha) (2004, 2007-2010)
Females: 2,126
Males: 1,319

Source:
Asst. Prof. Dr. Analiza Amurao, “Race, Gender, and Politics of English Language Education in Thailand: The Filipino Educators in the Kingdom” (Unpublished Dissertation)

MUIC’s Gender Equality Policy
“MUIC Announcement: Guideline to Prevent and Correct the Issue on Sexual Harassment in the Workplace, and to Promote Gender Equality Through the Prevention of Gender Discrimination”

ICCU 301 Women and Gender Studies
“An interdisciplinary course that provides a learning platform for students to understand ‘gender’ and issues associated with it, including issues related to women that are otherwise overlooked.”
– Dr. Anjana Warren
HLD faculty member who developed ICCU 301 course

Ahead of the Pack

Assoc. Prof. Chulathida Chomchai, MD, College Dean
Mahidol University International College (MUIC) has enjoyed the distinction of offering quality international education for the past 33 years. As MUIC celebrates its anniversary on March 26, 2019 and with the changing of the times and the inevitable new challenges that it brings, Assoc. Prof. Chulathida Chomchai, MD, College Dean, gives MUIC 360° a glimpse of her executive team’s plans to ensure MUIC maintains its leading edge.

What are the main external challenges confronting MUIC?
The gradual reduction in the number of high school students who intend to enroll in higher education is a well-recognized phenomenon. Other challenges include the changes in education systems all over the world. As disruptions become a normal part of our daily lives, there is a definite move towards a more fluid and integrated education. This is in response to the need to provide well-rounded, global graduates who are flexible and have the knowledge and skills to transition between disciplines with ease.

How are you and the executive team currently addressing them?
The MUIC executive team is poised to meet these challenges by re-equipping our teachers with new tools for teaching and learning, as well as updating the way we manage curricula. We are also working towards streamlining the way we provide knowledge, to appeal to both the typical young learners as well as the mature learners who are looking to un-learn and re-learn in order to stay in the workforce. By being the first to move, we can ensure that we stay competitive locally and internationally.

In your view, what are the inherent strengths of MUIC?
MUIC derives its strength from the academic and social diversity of its faculty members, as well as the multitude of students from many nations resulting in a rich cultural variety. Together, these factors blend to create a vibrant international community that allows individuals to work, study, and live together harmoniously.

Suppose you’re addressing a group of senior high school students, what would you say to convince them to study at MUIC?
Here at MUIC, we believe in creating an international environment where people from various academic, social and cultural backgrounds can interact, innovate and create for the betterment of our society and for the benefit of mankind. We do that through what and how we teach, research, and service to the local and global community. If you believe in an education that can transform people into extraordinary citizens who would seamlessly transition into the international arena of business, professional careers or higher education, MUIC is the place for you.

MUIC Keeps on Growing!

1986

2019

Students

45

3,000 +

Full-time faculty members

2
119

Classrooms

2
97

Buildings

1
5