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School of Business and Management

Pike Dechapunta (Marketing MSc, 2017)

Originally from Thailand, Pike Dechapunta moved to London to study MSc Marketing and now works for Facebook in Singapore as a Business Strategy Manager. Pike shares some of his favourite memories from his time at Queen Mary and talks about how he pursued and achieved his dream of working at Facebook.

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Why did you choose to study MSc Marketing at Queen Mary?

I chose to study MSc Marketing at Queen Mary primarily because of the prestigious position that the university commands as a part of University of London and the Russell Group, through their degree and its network of alumni. I also wanted to explore UK university life and Queen Mary was the perfect match as it is the only University of London institute that offers both a full campus experience and London lifestyle.

What did you enjoy learning about and was there anything that surprised you in your studies?

I enjoyed my time at Queen Mary very much. What surprised me the most was the level of independence and encouragement of free discussion in class, which is not considered common from my previous academic experience.

Were there any academics who had a strong influence on shaping your time and studies here? 

Most definitely, Professor Danae Manikar for Consumer Behaviour and Professor Stephan Henneberg - Relationship and Network Marketing. Because of their knowledge and strong experience, I have successfully leveraged the learnings from these academics into core development pillars of my career which related to Business-to-Business Relationship management and Deep Understanding of Consumer Behaviour.

You own your career and things do not happen by chance; the best way to gain your dream job is to strategize and figure out the key skills and experiences that you require and plan your move towards the desired direction.

As an international student from Thailand, what attracted you to London for your studies?

For me, London is a place of history and arts, and coming to study here broadened my experience; I was able to explore the best museums and galleries that contain the works of the old masters like The Arnolfini Portrait by Jan van Eyck, or Venus and Mars by Botticelli. Beyond that, the diversity in London also made me acquainted with cuisines from around the world, like Ethiopian and Polish. They are definitely not easy to find in Thailand.

What was it like studying and living in a different country and what advice would you give to prospective students thinking of studying in another country?

The idea of studying and living abroad for the first time might be daunting at first, but it provides one with an opportunity to live andPhoto of alumnus, Pike Dechapunta, at his graduation ceremony adapt to new surroundings. To anyone planning to study in another country, I would recommend getting to know as many of your classmates as possible and building a network of friends that will make your time abroad more delightful and full of memories.

Can you describe your career path up to date and touch on your current role?

I have always been fascinated by the evolving importance of technology and social media in our daily life, and passionately believe that the shift in consumer behaviour will compel how brands and business should engage with people. Hence, I aimed to join Facebook since the day that I graduated, but it was not easy for a fresh graduate to join one of the leading global organisations. I therefore planned my career journey and started as a Management Trainee for a local Telco Conglomerate to develop my understanding of corporate strategy and business development. My next move was to WPP- GroupM to gain first-hand experience in the media and ads ecosystem. With these experiences, I applied to Facebook, went through a rigorous selection process, and got the offer for my current role.

You own your career and things do not happen by chance; the best way to gain your dream job is to strategize and figure out the key skills and experiences that you require and plan your move towards the desired direction.

What are some of the best things about working at Facebook?

At Facebook, we consider ourselves a learning organisation that never stops learning. The best thing for me is that I have the opportunity to grow through experimenting and co-developing new ideas that have a positive impact on our communities, along with the brightest minds from around the world. There is never a dull day at Facebook!

How did your degree prepare you for your current job role?

Good question, I think my degree and its courses absolutely broadened my framework of evaluation on dynamic business challenges that I have been encountering within my role. This thought process allows me to structure my thoughts, and identify new opportunities through multidisciplinary approaches, and form the appropriate solution that will bring lasting trust with my clients.

What was special about your time at Queen Mary? Can you give one or two examples of your most memorable moments?

What made my time at Queen Mary special is the fellow students at the university. Despite differences in culture and ages, we were able to connect with each other and form a friendship over time, from pub crawling within orientation week, to intense group study for our exams. In fact, this friendliness reminded me of my favourite memory which was when I casually mentioned the idea of travelling to Malta in our study group with friends from different courses, and the next thing I knew, we had booked the tickets and took a trip to this island-nation together for the first time the following week, having barely known each other before.

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering the course you studied and Queen Mary?

Be open to challenge yourself beyond your comfort zone, and never give up when you face unfamiliar challenges. As Marketing is more dynamic than ever, it has transcended into the combination of science and arts that are not as straightforward as defined in textbooks. You must be creative in finding a solution to your challenge and be resilient enough to take pride in learning from your failure.

If you would like to share your story in an alumni profile, please contact Alumni Engagement Coordinator, Nathalie Grey at n.grey@qmul.ac.uk.