British Council tips for success from Ake Pattaratanakun From Cambridge alumnus to Thai marketing genius

Education is a human basic. It is building a firm foundation leading to the development of new skills in various fields which can be used for one’s occupation, to improve quality of life and achieve secure success. Developing skills of analysis through the educational system is absolutely necessary for systematic and efficient learning, which is an important part of self-development.


Today, the British Council had the opportunity to talk with Asst. Prof. Ake Pattaratanakun, Ph.D. (Cantab), an alumnus from the UK, graduated with a masters and doctorate from the University of Cambridge, and is currently Head of Marketing Department and Chairperson of the MBM program in Branding and Marketing in the Marketing Department of the Faculty of Commerce and Accountancy at Chulalongkorn University. Determination to develop his own skills led to opportunities for him to achieve success in becoming number one in his class at a leading international university, and becoming well known as a marketing genius.


Finding yourself and never stopping to develop skills with education

Asst. Prof. Ake Pattaratanakun spoke about his educational experience: “I was a person who had studied in the Thai educational system throughout, and then I had the opportunity to study for a masters in the United States. After studying in both Thailand and America, the educational systems of the two countries view studying as a block of analytical and theoretical study. As I had the desire to increase my skills in in developing critical thinking, this made me see the pathway for further study. Adding skills by the systematic development of thinking is absolutely necessary for working people in the present day, whatever occupation they do. This is because the world is constantly changing in the context of consumers. To find an educational system which can respond to this, it is necessary to study the structure of education in that country before the study begins, to see how they teach, solve problems or confer professional benefits.


          An educational system which meets needs

Study in the United Kingdom is quite a lot in the form of Critical Thinking. I therefore decided on further study in the UK as I had found information about the teaching, where the UK has a new format and perspective on education. They use critical thinking and feasibility analysis from theory, about how what I had studied could have a better pathway, or whether there could be other methods. Teaching in this format uses a lot of ideas. And to arrive at an answer requires going through thought processes and learning by yourself completely. Education in the UK requires a great effort to find information to connect various matters, to solve each problem for yourself.


          Not so secret tips about competition for the top people worldwide

Dr. Ake went on to say that the entrance exam for Cambridge University, in the matter of standards for a top international university, Cambridge was among the highest in the world. It was therefore very difficult because the test brought together top brains from around the world to compete to get into this top university. The effort starts from the beginning, no matter that it is a test to get the highest marks. There were two things which I did. 1. When I knew that the British education system was deep, in writing a Statement of Purpose I wanted everybody to study how deep the teachers went in that course, and whether it matched my interests. Writing deeply on just that side, I was able to impress them and make them interested in me. 2. Creating prominence and differentiating myself from different perspectives. I was a teacher before I went for further study. I therefore chose this point, and explained that if you want to choose somebody for further study, if you choose somebody who is a business person, you can develop only one organization to an international level. But if you choose a teacher who can pass on that knowledge to many other business people, you can develop many thousands of international-level organizations, which will be of great benefit to the entire world.


          Getting to number one in the class

          Studying at Cambridge University, when it is time for the teachers to make assessments, the paper is taken home to write an essay over a period of three days. The analysis uses all the theory that has been learned to find a pathway or something else which is better. During a test like this requires a huge thinking process, which is self-learning. The British education system requires a lot of effort because in the teaching system they want us to make the effort to discover the information for ourselves. It took me 4 1/2 years to study to the masters level and then the doctorate level. It made me discover that learning does not have the word “easy”. Therefore, I would like everybody not to see it merely as “learning”, but rather as investment. If today we invest in learning and developing ourselves to our full potential, in the future the returns will be abundant for the rest of our lives. Some people ask whether I have any shortcuts or secret tips. The easy answer is that I don’t have any secrets. Everything comes from effort, determination and a clear view of the goals. Besides learning from the educational system, the network of UK alumni is very strong. It must be accepted that having a body to look after this, such as the British Council, helps a lot with strong support for alumni or anybody wanting to study in the British system. As a body established in Thailand it can give good advice and I feel that in the long term, this is important, but networks and relationships are equally important.


          “Education is an important investment in life, and today I am satisfied that this investment was just right. Achieving success in the path I have chosen and dedicated myself to, is the result of concentrated studying for many years. And not only this, the thing I brought back with me which is of no lesser importance, is a systematic way of critical thinking, including a network of alumni and new networks arising all the time which have enhanced secure business growth,” concluded Dr. Ake.


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