February 24th, 1996 was a "Dream Day" for Thai Link and the Thai Bostonian community. It is my pleasure and privilege to be the leader of the group who organized the successful Reverse Brain Drain activity, Thai Link Boston Job Fair. The event was highly successful. This event was for our Thai community and for our beloved country. With very strong support from theThai community, government agencies and private sectors, we have met our goal in supporting the Reverse Brain Drain project of Thailand. Please refer to the statistical summary and activities for details..
What is Thai Link?
Thai Link was established to promote and support the Reverse Brain Drain project of Thailand. Our objectives are to promote Thailand and to serve the needs of Thai professionals, students and organizations in both Thailand and North America. We provide a vital link as well as creating unity among Thai Bostonians. Linkages can be established through our World-Wide-Web page, seminars, and job fair activities.
Why do I want to work on this project?
I strongly believe that the seminar and job fair truly support the Reverse Brain Drain project. While I was working on an ATPAC membership drive, I persuaded Thai Professionals and students to join ATPAC and to return home to work for Thailand. The question I was asked the most was, "What will I get?, what would Thailand have to offer me?" I had no answers for them. In October 1994, as an Executive Vice President and Acting President, and April 1995, as a Membership Drive Chairperson of ATPAC, I played a major role in organizing the successful job fair activities for Thailand in New York, Washington D.C. and Chicago respectively. I learned that the job fair could be a potential activity to support the intellectual Thais to return home to help develop Thailand.
Thais Train Thais Project
The Reverse Brain Drain Project is not only bringing Thais back home, but it also adds more Brain, more hands-on experiences to Thai students to prepare their professional career before they return home. Thai Link has established Thais Train Thais project by recruiting smart, hard working and highly commitment Thai students to work on the project. They were trained on computer technology, desktop publishing, database development, business planning and marketing. They all managed and initiated their own work. They had hands-on expereinces on the Boston Job Fair project. The products of Thais Train Thais were outstanding. They created a stand alone web page on the Windows to get around with our web server problem because we must display the company profiles through our web site. All publications came out from their work.
Our Success Stories
It was every challenging for me to hold this type of activity especially in Boston area. A week after we announced the Boston Job fair, we had been receiving so many calls telling us that we did a good thing for them and for our country. It was an incredible success for me to have the feeling of doing something meaningful and helpful to our Thai communities.
On February 24, 1996 at the Howard Johnson Hotel in Cambridge Massachusetts, it was raining so hard that morning, but the room was filled up so fast. The company presentations went on, and the job interviews followed. Our panel discussion began after lunch and the job interviews continued after the panel discussion till 6:00 pm.
It's time to come together ...The Reverse Brain Drain Project of Thailand
In April 1995, I joined the Science and Technology Exchange conference at Washington D.C., and met Preecha Musikul, MD, Deputy Minister of Science, Technoly and Environment. He spoke at the conference entitled "The Reverse Brain Drain Project of Thailand". I presented the ATPAC database statistics at that conference. He had a conversation with me after the meeting and asked if I could gather information for him about Thais abroad and he would include it in plan 8th which would be submitted to the cabinet. I started thinking about the way to present information to the Thai government. Then, "It's time to come together...The Reverse Brain Drain Project of Thailand" came to my mind and became our panel discussion theme on this event. This panel discussion allowed government representatives, professionals, students and American born Thai to express their thoughts and their concerns about returning home. It served as a middle ground where the companies and the attendees could met. The companies presented their needs and businesses in the morning. The attendees expressed their expectations and concerns in the afternoon, while providing time for the companies to scan through the resumes before the next interview session. Our panel discussion was highly successful. The survey results came out positively.
As I mentioned earlier, the Thai Link goal is to support the Reverse Brain Drain Project of Thailand. We are neither a head hunting firm nor a recruiter. Our job fair activity goal is to find a meeting place for Thais to explore the job opportunities, to create linkage and build the bond among Thais, and to assist Thailand with personnel needs. Therefore, the job fair activity is only a part of the overall task. We continue to provide business and career information in Thailand and to serve the companies and Thais abroad all year round.
What are our future tasks ?
The Analysis of statistical Information of Candidates has resulted in additional tasks for Thai link. The majority of the participating companies are in hi-tech business and industry, but more than 300 of the candidates were in the business field. This statistics repeated those of the last three job fairs that I was involved in. Thailand is moving toward a hi-tech industry especially the project under the Alphatec group. Thai Link can work with Thailand on the projects which will lead to the increasing number of qualified engineers to work in the hi-tech industry. Since I have experience in both academic and administrative environment in Thailand as well as in the US, I am very confident that I can be a part of the project in building engineers for Thailand. Thai Link would like to propose the following projects to support Thailand.
How could we meet our goals?
The number of resumes received in this job fair is more than three times that of last year. This is a result of our successful maketing campaign which employed from very traditional direct mail contact to state of the art WWW technology. Naturally, as the rate of success grows, so does the cost. They are both expected to grow very rapidly. We simply cannot continue our efforts without funding. We would appreciate any funding support for these projects. We would like to propose that the government agencies and private sectors continue supporting these projects. I believe that Thailand will benefit from our work.