In addition to industry, I`m considering careers in finance or consulting and Europe`s top recruiters in both fields come to campus.
Frank Panuwatana

Frank Panuwatana

Frank Panuwatana
Nationality/Passport: Thai Year of graduation: 2012 Current Role: Head of Sales, Syngenta

Why did you decide to do your MBA at INSEAD?

I wanted to experience and work in Europe. So there was really only one MBA choice: INSEAD. Fontainebleau is Europe at its most charming. I bike to school pass the château where Napoleon and many of the kings of France lived. And Paris is only 40 minutes away, so I go there a few times a month.

Was INSEAD different from what you expected in any way?

I only discovered how collaborative the environment is when I arrived. Your classmates won’t necessarily give you the answers, but they try to help you understand, based on their own expertise and experience. I’ve talked to people in many other schools where the atmosphere seems to be a lot more competitive.

How would you describe the INSEAD study group experience?

My own group experience was very positive, but it’s still challenging to reconcile so many diverse viewpoints. It also helps you to recognise your own limitations what you can or can’t bring to the table. And it offers surprising lessons in leadership, which is ultimately all about relying on others.

What is your favourite class so far?

It’s a course called Strategy, Structures and Incentives.  It’s all about how to incentivise employees. Coming from an emerging market, I’d always assumed that the only incentive was salary, but it’s much more complex than that in reality. Even in the developing world, there’s a shift in mentality and a growing focus on human capital as a competitive advantage.

What are your career plans and how has INSEAD supported them?

Well, I’m certainly looking to have a global career, starting in Europe. INSEAD has opened my eyes to entrepreneurship and maybe I’ll start my own company in five to ten years’ time. At the moment, in addition to industry, I’m considering careers in finance or consulting Europe’s top recruiters in both fields come to campus. The alumni network is a big benefit too: it’s both deep and wide. And many alumni stay involved with the school after graduating. They’re very quick to respond to emails.

How has your scholarship helped?

Having a scholarship (thanks to the MBA class of July 1987) has enabled me to get the most out of being in Europe. It’s a partial scholarship, but it’s gone a long way to make the INSEAD experience possible. And the application process was very straightforward.

How do you spend your free time?

I go running behind campus in the idyllic forest, which is also a world centre for rock climbing. I’ve even joined the rugby club, which was something I never thought I’d do but seemed like the right way to challenge myself! INSEAD is super-energetic, especially the National Weeks. One of my favourite memories is of learning how to do Indian dancing. It made me feel really embraced into the culture.