PHUKET CAREERS: Happier in academia
PHUKET: Oraphan Leenithikul, lecturer in International Business at Prince of Songkla University, Phuket Campus, sits back, smiles and says she is happy at her work.
Friday 5 August 2011, 09:04AM
As Head of the International Business Department in the Faculty of International Studies, she says there is quite a bit of teaching to do but the work does not bring with it the pressures that her previous commercial marketing work demanded. So Ms Oraphan is glad that she took up this appointment some two years ago.
A former student of Satree Phuket High School, she went on to graduate with an English degree from Thammasart University before coming home to Phuket to work in marketing.
To further her studies, Ms Orapan undertook a year-long masters degree in marketing at Aston University in Birmingham in the UK. She loved the cold weather there and found the challenge of coming to grips a different culture and way of life stimulating.
Ms Oraphan then went to Beijing for a year to learn Chinese, which comes in very handy now in her work, as the university has strong exchange links with many universities in China.
She found that it took some adjusting to the abrupt and efficient ways of the Chinese. But after that hurdle was crossed, she says, she enjoyed her stay.
She returned home again but this time she found the deadlines and the pressures to perform and achieve results wearing. It also became boring.
Now she teaches, at a much gentler pace, some of the 400 students who are learning international studies, which are taught in English. The classes are small enough that she can form close relationships with her students.
The course lasts three and a half years and students have a chance every summer to go to spend some study time at universities in China. In the final degree year, the stay as long as six months.
There is an active Chinese Studies faculty and Chinese is taught at Prince of Songkhla by visiting Chinese teachers.
“One’s working life is freer as a lecturer. There are syllabus guidelines to follow but within those bounds, lecturers are free to work in their own way,” she explains.