Keeping Up With The Greeks: All Thai'd Up
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Keeping Up With The Greeks: All Thai'd Up

Keeping Up With The Greeks: All Thai'd Up

When one thinks of Bangkok, Thailand, it’s difficult to imagine beyond the absurd scenes from The Hangover Part II. However, did you ever consider spending a summer interning there?

Chances are the thought never crossed your mind. Yet, Lambda Chi Alpha’s, Brandon LoPresti, a rising junior studying marketing, endured 30-hours of traveling and adjusted to an 11-hour time difference from his hometown just outside of Pittsburgh in order to spend two months in Thailand as an intern. Undoubtedly, LoPresti had to make numerous transitions from the laid-back State College lifestyle to the bustling Thai culture. From Wings Over and Sperrys to upscale dinners and dress shoes, read on as LoPresti divulges the details of spending his summer on the other side of the world!

How're you spending your summer? 

This summer I am interning under Tim S. Bhanubandh, CEO and Managing Director of Maneeya Realty Co. Ltd in Bangkok, Thailand. But, I am directly working under Tim’s daughter, Pau S. Bhanubandh, who is the CEO of Kipling Thailand, a branch of Maneeya Concepts, the father company of both companies. I have an extensive array of jobs, here, and I would not compare this to your typical internship in the United States. 

When I first start my day at 9 a.m., I conduct a one-hour English lesson for the Kipling staff. Although they speak a little English, already, the Thai culture is very shy and my job is to communicate with them to allow them to be more comfortable with the language. Next, the rest of the day can be almost anything. Some projects that I have worked on are planning an event with Pau at her husband’s high-class club/restaurant, Fallabella, to promote the business before it changes location in six months. I am also helping Pau’s husband, Na-Chanok Ratanadoros, build a company profile for the current year of 2014, and help advise him on rebranding his company’s image. Another interesting job I do is that I am working as a business liason to expand Maneeya Concepts into the cosmetics industry by trying to bring an American brand of make-up to be distributed here in Thailand. I visit Kipling stores to review and analyze how they market, advertise and sell their products. 

I research different hotels, restaurants and bars to understand the competition of the Renaissance Hotel while developing ideas to improve it. The list of work goes on and on, but I enjoy doing it very much. I feel more like a consultant than an intern when we sit at board meetings and the Director of Sales/Marketing, The CEO and Accounting are asking me, from a Westerner’s point of view, to help increase revenue for their company. I live in the Royal Maneeya Residences, which are luxury apartments above the Renaissance Hotel in Ratchaprosong district.

How did you acquire this position? 

I met Tim S. Bhanubandh my freshman year while I was pledging the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. Tim, an alumni of PSU and a member of Lambda, was very generous, donating $50,000 to our house during our centennial. Afterward, I was able to talk to him with my “big brother,” Jordan Mott, who ended up interviewing with Tim soon after and was given an internship in Thailand. Listening to Jordan's experiences from southeast Asia caught my attention. I decided to contact Tim with email, and set up an interview back in February. I met with him in March at his home in State College and I was interviewed by Tim for four hours. Next thing I know, I’m booking a flight to Bangkok.

Is this position any different than you imagined it would be? 

I personally thought that I would be working in Hotel and Restaurant Management, just like Jordan did in the past. Instead, I have my foot in literally every single department that makes up the company. I thought the work would also be boring and regimented, but I was completely mistaken."

What is your most memorable experience so far? 

A ping pong show. 

What would be your advice to anyone who aspires to obtain a position similar to this next summer?

Learn to adapt to any situation.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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