A sneak peek in the life of our Master in Management alumna Jirunya Bangprapa


Meet Master in Management alumna Jirunya Bangprapa from Thailand. Jirunya joined our management program in September 2017 and graduated together with her fellow students in 2018. Before joining the program Jirunya gained experienced at Unilever where she worked as a Food Technologist and at Swensen’s Thailand where she was a product and development executive. To take the next step in her career and learn to become a manager, Jirunya decided to join Maastricht School of Management.

Let me introduce myself
“Sawadee ka (hello in Thai), I’m Jirunya or you can call me Jina and I’m an Master in Management alumna at MSM. I like to describe myself as a city dweller who loves to experience new dessert dishes and find new adventures along the way of my travels. Next to travelling, I also enjoy learning about new cultures and languages and in this blog I like to share my career journey and my MSM experience with you.

I currently have six years of working experience in product and development in fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and foodservice and one-year marketing experience in the foodservice industry. My passion lays in capturing consumer insights, developing new products, solving problems and promoting the health and well-being of people.

Before I joined Maastricht School of Management, I worked at Unilever and Swensen’s Thailand. However, I wanted to become a manager and decided it was time to take the next step. I heard about the Orange Tulip Scholarship (OTS) from the Embassy of the Netherlands in Thailand. I took my chances, applied for the Master in Management program and as you can guess by now, I received the scholarship.

The MSM experience helped me develop myself in multiple ways
I felt lucky that I was selected to join to study in a multicultural environment during the 2017/2018 academic year at MSM. I was part of Master in Management batch 5 and we were with 14 different nationalities. A true international experience, I can say!

The program provided me with the opportunity to work together with my peers on company group projects, where we were assigned to solve real problems that companies are facing. Through these projects we could put theory into practice. It was a great way to learn from and work together with people from different backgrounds. I had to adapt myself to work together with other cultures to come up with the best possible solution as a team. It was also an opportunity to put my newly learned soft skills to the test.

I learned among others about improving my soft skills during the career and personal development track, an extracurricular course of the Master in Management program. This extra course gave me the opportunity to develop myself personally by for example receiving feedback from my peers and MSM staff about my blind spots.

Furthermore, several corporate visits were organized were we got an insight into how well-known organizations such as the European Union are managed. Through these corporate visits, my peers and I were able to learn from the experts. For example, the trip to the Digital Capability Center in Aachen. I was so excited to see how a company applies Artificial Intelligence (AI) in a real factory.

How the Master in Management helped me in my career
I’m really benefiting from the multicultural experience I had at MSM. In my current job I work with people from all kinds of nationalities such as French, Singaporean, Malaysian and Australian. The way of working with western and eastern cultures is significantly different than working with people from my own culture. Also the course on managing cultural diversity gave me great insights that I can now put into practice in my daily job.

Furthermore, the course changed my view on business. Before I started the course, my focus was on development, but after the course I understood the management part of product development and running a business. To sum it up, this course has really sharpened my business perspective.

Also, as it’s my career goal to be a director in a multi-cultural company, it’s important to have strong hard- as well as soft skills. The master in management program helped me improve both these skills. An example I like to share is that during the program, in every class, we had to give presentations. This practice to speak in front of a group of people prepared me to now speak confidently to bigger audiences. I can now give a strong presentation in English even though it’s not my first language. The presentations and assignments are all in English, so after one year of reading, writing and speaking a English, I can guarantee everyone’s English will improve. 

Where I’m currently at in my career
I’m still actively working in product and development. I work at The Commerical Company of Siam where among others I do research into consumers markets and the latest technologies to develop new product concepts, prepare product costings based on raw materials and manufacturing costs to ensure profitable products and work with suppliers to develop new materials and technical testing.

As I previously mentioned, I would like to grow to the job of being a director of a company. Of course this doesn’t happen overnight so I’m still working on myself to become a well-rounded person in the area I work in.

My advice to you
First of all, welcome to the club; I wish you enjoy your time at MSM as much as I did. Many events are going on during the year such as the MSM movie night. If you like pizza and movies, you will never miss one of those. I assure you, you will never get bored. However, on a more serious note, you started this journey to develop yourself. So, prepare well for your future after graduation. I would advice you to start 6 months in advance before graduating with looking around and applying for jobs in the Netherlands (if you would like to stay and pursue your career there). Also, try to save as much money before you start this experience and practice your English and even learn some basic Dutch if you can.

Here are some final tips from me. For your thesis, choose a topic that you are interested in and that is something that you would like to pursue in your career. And most importantly, enjoy your time abroad. Besides my study I managed to travel around as well. Maastricht is located near Germany and Belgium, so it’s very easy to travel to other countries as well. I highly recommend travelling around for a truly international experience.”

If you have any questions about student life in Maastricht, please feel free to reach out to me via my LinkedIn.

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