Alumni Talk - Mr.Thanakorn Hoontrakul

Mr. Thanakorn Hoontrakul is Thailand'judge for Alumni Awards 2017 -Social Impact Awards

“If it’s what you genuinely want to do then go for it” Story of Alumni – Thanakorn Hoontrakul

Interview with Mr. Thanakorn Hoontrakul, Vice President of Seub Nakasatien Foundation

By Napacha Siripanichkorn, Education Manager

Could you please share your experience while you study in the UK? And what you learned from that?

From my own experience, UK education is different because we were not taught to just believe everything you were told at school or written in text books. In the UK, you are taught not to believe everything you read or hear so easily. You ask questions and try to find answers. Right or wrong is irrelevant. In Thailand, the objective is to answer the correct answer only.

In England, teachers urge students to ask questions or they probe students with questions to see if they really understand the subjects or not. Here, we just memorise and speculate on exams.

Living abroad in itself teaches you so much. You learn to be responsible. You learn to prioritise and manage your own time. There’s no one to cook, clean, or drive you around. At university level, you look after yourself with minimum interference from parents and other adults. You do what English students do. Sleep in dorms, catch a bus, walk in the rain, go to pubs, share a house, queue for laundry etc. This all sounds very normal but for some Thai kids who have their own house with maids, who never got on a bus, never have to go to a laundrette, it’s important that you get to live like a normal person.

Could you tell us how UK education helped you explore and groomed your talents?

I don’t think I am talented. I think I have explained how the UK experience shaped me in the above question.  Studying in England made me aware of the differences with Thailand in all aspects of life. If I didn’t live abroad I wouldn’t have known that it could be different. I wouldn’t see and understand Thailand so clearly.

What you like to tell those Thai students who are seeking a UK education or those who has gained one?

If anything, I wish Thai students would study anything that is of interest to them and pursue their passion to the very end. I understand that parents and family will have a big say in what a student end up studying and they would have their good reasons but think for a minute if you go for the stereo type,  that Thailand is full of people with MBA, finance or International relation degrees and how narrow but competitive our professions would become. Thai society needs more scientists, researchers, environmentalists, ecologists, historians etc. but we have a lot of marketeers, business people, advertising and medias people already. But if it’s what you genuinely want to do then go for it.