Summary: Grace describes how the skills and knowledge gained from her degree has helped with her career in the media, travel, international relations and communications industries!
I graduated with a BA in Thai and South East Asian Studies in 2010, after four fulfilling student years in Leeds and Chiang Mai. After a brief post final exams holiday I went straight to London and did an internship at the Office of Educational Affairs, part of the Thai Embassy in London which is responsible for Thai students in the UK.
The close relationship between the Thai department at the University of Leeds and the Royal Thai Embassy in London provided me the opportunity to apply for a scholarship, offered by the Thai Embassy, to study a Masters by Research with fieldwork in Thailand. Fortunately, I was successful in my application and the next year was spent in the UK and Thailand researching Thai domestic tourism patterns. During this time in Thailand I worked as a TV presenter for a travel show called Farang Pok Pok on Travel Channel Thailand.
I graduated with the MAR and returned to Thailand after being offered the position of Deputy Editor for Citylife magazine, the most renowned English language publication in northern Thailand. Working at the magazine was an amazing first career job, I met and interviewed many interesting people, gained a host of skills, wrote for other publications including Tatler Thailand and got lots of freebies! At this time, I also worked freelance as a TV judge on mainstream channel Thai PBS for a childrens spelling completion called YES, NO, OK! (clips can be found on You Tube). Filming the show was lots of fun and got quite tense in the final round when 200,000 baht was up for grabs.
At the beginning of 2013, I decided to move to Bangkok and pursue my career in a more international and dynamic environment. I am currently working for a bespoke travel company called Remote Lands, based in New York and Bangkok. I am employed as a Luxury Travel Designer, creating, researching and writing up exclusive travel itineraries for destinations across Asia. This job is providing me with lots of experience and connections in the high-end travel industry as well as honing my research, communication and editing skills. My Thai has vastly improved from using it everyday in a working environment.
In addition to my full-time job, I work part-time as an International Affairs and Special Projects Assistant for the Thailand Boxing Association (TBA). In this role I travel often and have recently returned from a trip to Taiwan for a meeting with the president of the International Boxing Association (AIBA). I am also paid to do secretarial tasks for the TBA president, who is a chairman for PTT Petroleum Company and the ex-chairman of Thai Airways. Furthermore, throughout my time in Thailand I continuously do various freelance jobs, such as voice recordings for a media and events company, editing and proof reading.
Studying Thai at the University of Leeds has given me many unique work experiences, as well as preparing me with specialist skills and knowledge that has allowed me to thrive in the media, travel, international relations and communications industries in Thailand. Studying an Asian language and living in such a vibrant place as Thailand has definitely made my life richer, more exciting and unpredictable, and its not over yet!
Grace is now a regular host on Thai TV show 'Talking Thailand'