Chutimon Kitviriya

  College: Trevelyan College
  Subject: MSc Marketing
  Class of: 2018
  Location: Thailand

Your Durham Inspiration

Do you remember why you first chose to study at Durham?

The Collegiate system, The University's Prestige, a breathtaking view of the countryside, and a small class. I liked the fact that there weren't too many people, and you always met the familiar faces as you walked around the campus. Even I lived off the campus, I still felt the warmth that my friends were all around me, I was always being taken care of, people there were very friendly, and all the staffs were very helpful. In my bachelor degree I was once attending a University where there were too many people, and it was really hard to make friends. There were hundred of classes, and once your class was done, you never meeting the same friends again, later on I moved to join my brother's Uni. It was much better since it was smaller and you always had friends around. Thus, when I chose a Uni, I think the size was one of the crucial factors. About the "Prestige" side, I would like to elaborate that there were many important people around the world who attended the Uni. When I was there Prince Charles (Prince of Wales) visited the Uni, If I was not mistaken, his cousin used to study there. A good friend who stayed next to my room was a "Real Life Princess" from a country in Asia, where I could actually google her up. In addition, I also happened to meet a Thai politician's daughter in a Thai gathering once (which I realized who she was much later).

Tell us about any sports, societies or clubs you were involved in at Durham.

I think I joined many activities available while I was in Durham, to gain more new experiences, I could tell you some of the things that I remember. I was part of the SCA (Student Community Action) where we did the outreach, visiting students in school and telling them about my culture experiences as a foreigner. It was a precious experience for me, because I got to visit a local school in England, interacting with pupils, it was not something you could easily do as a foreigner. I also joined a debate team with the business school, where the competition was held at Newcastle University Business School. The topic was about "Customer Personalization". In my free time, I went rowing with my then boyfriend, or walked through the woods/river around campus. It was very beautiful, peaceful, and safe, as the campuses were scattered all around Durham town.

What work or moment were you were most proud of at Durham?

I guess that would be when I finished my "Business Dissertation Project". I applied for the business project instead of the "regular dissertation", so I had a chance to work with real companies in England. They handed me a certain task, I visited the company, talked to the director. She was very helpful and suggested one of her college to assist me on my project, if I ever needed any more information. It was not easy at all, as a foreigner, I was a bit intimidated, but I was surprised the company chose me. I managed to complete my project dissertation, as well as the company's director sent me an appreciation email.

What are your fondest memories from your time here?

Every Bit Of It. I was very happy there, everything there was just perfect, the town, the friends, the people. I wish I could just relive the moments again.


How has Durham inspired you to get to where you are today?

I guess it taught me to think more critically, and that there were people who were more talented than you, because they tried harder. Perhaps we had a different education system, coming from Thailand, I did not get much freedom to think a lot before conducting assignments, there were always "patterns" and you were always told what to do, like either go left or right. But in Durham, you were taught to think "outside the box", that your opinion mattered. In the culture perspective, there were parties and young people, but they had this responsibility to manage their time, stay focused, and did well in their classes. Again in my culture, I felt there was only left or right, if you attended parties, people expected you to not do well in school.

What have you been up to since you left Durham?

I continued my second master in St. Andrews Uni (Scotland) since I did not want to return to Thailand yet. It was really difficult to find a job there with no work experiences. I had to return to Thailand, I secured a job with a multinational firm within 2 weeks of coming back, I really did not expect. So now I've been working with this company for about 2 years now as a Marketing Analyst. It is fun, everyday I get to interact with foreigners. Our Asia Pacific Headquarter is based in Singapore, thus most of the assignments are from there, and my team's leader is Canadian.

What are you doing that is most meaningful to you now? 

I am trying to find my life purpose. Working life is not like what I expected it to be while I was in school. In school, you had this beautiful dream and a picture of rosy life with success. In reality, working is just the start. You need to keep learning, and can never stop learning, honestly. You need to keep develop your skills, you can never stop. Because the world is never stop evolving. If you stop, you will just fall behind, either in business, innovation, or in yourself. I mean if you want a high salary, what do you have to offer to the people who hire you? Thus, it means you need to be well equipped and stand out from the crowd. I just spend most of my time working, so I feel my time is slipping away so fast, that's why I am trying to make the most of it like above, trying to develop myself. But I don't think they are my answers for what I find "Meaningful". I think what is really meaningful to me right now, is that I get to spend a lot of time with my parents and my brother. They mean the world to me. To me, family is everything, even they can cause you headache sometimes. They will never abandon you nor matter what. So I try to go out with them whenever I could. Sometimes we stayed up late with my parents's friends, I always got my books to read. I just try my best for my work, so that soon I could take care of my family. Additionally, whenever this is possible, my family and I like to visit rural areas in Thailand, seeing children, giving them food and money. I think these are what really meaningful, that you could help other human beings. I would like to do more of these, if possible in the future.

Is there anything from Durham that has stayed with you and still inspires you now?

I guess, it's the thing that I needed to be brave, and be confident in myself. I mean I was there on my own, in the new environment, doing so many new things, and I survived. Also, I still have all my friends from Durham, who stay connected whenever what comes up. My family and I are planning to visit Durham, whenever this global pandemic is over, I would like to show my father how beautiful my Uni is. You might find this funny, but I secretly want to move there if that is possible. I just missed and loved how beautiful and peaceful it was. One of my international friend from Durham, managed to find a job in the UK, and I just asked him tips about creating a resume (UK version).

Tell us about your latest news or developments.

I've just learned and created a "Digital Planner" for iPad by myself. It's something I've been obsessing about. It's an interactive planner, it's beautiful and you can actually sell it on a website, along with so many decorations you can create yourself.

Personal interests

I recently started the "Firearm Training" with my mum. You would be surprised on how many beautiful girls are enrolled in the course. It was organized in the military based training centre, so my trainers were real soldiers. It was fun, honestly. But also quite pricey, especially for the bullets. However, with my busy schedule, I did not continue after my course 1 had completed (I earned a 2nd class honor medal for 93/100), so my mum continued alone with the Shotgun course. I think it was funny, I mean who would have thought, my mother. Other than this, I like to watch Netflix, my favorite one I have just finished watching is "The Originals", the story was about vampires and werewolves. My favorite character was Klaus Mikaelson, he had a British Accent. I also like to read so many books, recently, I have just purchased a Kindle, and I have purchased so many E-Books there. It is something pretty new to me, and I think it is cool.

Pass It On

What would be your top piece of advice for current students and/or recent graduates?

I think the most important thing is you need to first understand yourself and know what you want. You should have a clear goal of what is it in life you wanna do, what career, and how to achieve those goals. You need to start planning now. Secondly, you think of how University will propel you to reach your goal. In the end, I do not think it matters which Uni you graduated from, especially if you are returning to your home country anyway. What matters will be the experience you earned while staying in that Uni, it will stay with you for a lifetime, so you should choose the Uni you are planning to go carefully, make sure that it fits what you want, it has the kind of society that you want, it holds the kind of value that you are after. For me it was the nature, the prestige, the small town, not a large size Uni, that mattered to me. What about yours? You need to figure yourself out.

Is there anything that you know now that you wish you’d known when graduating? 

I guess I wish I had known that the real working world would be like this..that you would actually lose all your time in a fast.. In school, you were so free, got lots of time, and you did not really realize how precious that was. Also there are so many extra software skills that are not teaching in the classrooms, but you need them when you start working. Additionally, I think you do not need to work in a corporate firm, if you are just confident enough, you can use the knowledge you learned in school to build something of your own, as long as it generated enough income and sustained.

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