“An MBA can change your life,” says Chotima Kasemphaibulsuk, who worked as an auditor in Thailand before deciding to pursue an MBA at Lancaster University Management School—ranked among the top 50 MBA programs in the world by the Financial Times.
Now, she’s a strategy consultant, who specializes in helping Fortune 500 companies understand, enter, and expand into Asian markets.
Having previously only ever worked in Thailand, an MBA in the UK was the ideal opportunity for Chotima to get experience of Western culture and exposure to a diverse cohort—the Lancaster MBA class has students from over 20 nationalities.
Diving into MBA life, she completed an internship at Microsoft and even took part in the MBA Tournament (MBAT), an inter-school MBA sporting event held at France’s HEC Paris.
Having completed her degree, she moved back to Bangkok and now uses what she learned working with multinational companies in Southeast Asia. For Chotima, the Lancaster MBA helped create new, lifelong friendships as well as a new career path.
Why did you decide to pursue the Lancaster MBA?
Lancaster isn’t just well-ranked, the school also offers many challenging courses such as the Mindful Manager module, and the Career Advancement Program. These courses teach students how to cope with changes and innovation, while maintaining a clear strategic direction. I was motivated to learn other business skills apart from accounting and auditing to tackle the dynamic world of business and these courses were ideal.
What stands out from your MBA experience?
The MBA helped me gain practical business skills. My internship with Microsoft in the UK is a good example. Here, I worked as a corporate strategy and management consultant, with multinational MBA teams, to provide Microsoft with strategic recommendations including appropriate models. This was really challenging, and interesting, as I had to apply all my MBA lessons to a real business with professional clients.
Furthermore, Lancaster offered the opportunity to further my knowledge of European culture through an exchange with the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland. I’ve also really enjoyed the extra group activities at Lancaster which let me build close bonds with my classmates right from the start. The MBAT was a great way to make new friends and understand cultural differences through playing sports.
What have you gained?
The Lancaster MBA helped me understand Western management styles in the competitive business world of today. The Business Management Challenge was particularly important for me. It’s a strategic management competition for MBA students and helped me understand business processes and effective diversity management.
As a team, we had to build a company and make key decisions regarding sales, marketing, manufacturing, human resource, accounts and finance. The goal is to finish the challenge with the highest share-price on the virtual stock exchange and a balanced scorecard. My team was the best team in the class utilizing my previous experience of Asian markets. Here, I saw how I could aid Western companies in entering Asian markets.
What would you say to anyone considering an MBA?
An MBA helps you improve your leadership potential, gain management skills, confidence, and helps you grow your network.
For me, it helped me make friends from around the world. I had a great time eating Korean, Indian and Japanese foods while living in dorms. I recently had a reunion with Japanese and Thai friends. We are always happy when we talk about our MBA at Lancaster University Management School.
I’m really grateful for opportunities the MBA has given me. If you have a chance to pursue an MBA, why wouldn’t you do it?