Products of Thais Train Thais

Left: The resume books in alphabetical order of Firstname
Right: The resume books in alphabetical order of Area of Study and Firstname

Work from the practical trainees

Input from our Thais Train Thais members

Date: Sat, 9 Mar 1996 06:02:25 -0500 (EST)
From: Patiwat Kamonpet
Subject: Thais Train Thais

"From hand-grinder to war-ship," What I've learned from the Thais Train Thais project targeting the first Thai Link's Boston Job Fair.

I was first recruited as an artist to paint the signs of the companies which would participate in the job fair and other posters under supervision of P'Mana, the general manager. "I've heard you're good at art stuffs", the GM talked to me on the phone. "I was just so so krab", I told him frankly. "Never mind, we'll improvise.", he concluded confidently. And boy!, did we ever improvise? That was when the barrage of new learning experiences began.

Firstly, we went out shopping for the tools we would need for our task, paint, foamboard, cutter, template, etc. Right away, we started our mission. After the first week, we almost got addicted to the thinner-based paint we used. For our lungs'sake, we then switched to brushes and black-ink instead. As the job grew lighter, I was asked to participate in the logo contest. So despite the popular belief, I didn't enter the competition as a committee! There was still a long way for me to reach the position of honor. With my limited skill in computer, I managed to apply it to the job at hand and the contest as well. My potential was then recognized by the president, P'Tui. As the dead line was approaching, the president became overwhelmed by the workload so she had to delegate her responsibility out. I was right then promoted to Web-site manager. My job was first to learn what the heck World-Wide-Web is! With the manual in one hand, I walked my way confidently through the net. I managed to learn the trick by reverse-engineering, pretty much the same as what the president did in her younger days, I was told as she lectured me on the HTML crash course. We were being frustrated by the lousy service of the previous Internet provider. I foresaw the problem we were going to have with the live demo so I proposed to put the whole Web-site on a floppy disk. The president bought the idea. The only problem was I didn't know how to do it. So again from the ground up, I used the task at hand as a case study. Not too bad, I finished the lesson and the job in one day. I didn't leave the art job completely. The badges, the posters, the overhead slides were still needed to be done. By then more and more work was being done using computer. I learned more and more about some of a ton of software tools available in our office PC and downloaded another ton of sharewares from the net to try out. It was just a matter of finding the right tools for the right jobs. My skill as an artist did pay off finally. I won the logo contest. WoW! Not that bad for me who'd never ever won anything artistic. With the official logo in hand, Ace, our marketing director hurriedly rushed the T-shirt and bag designs, which were codesigned by Yui, one of our hard working coed trainees, and Ace herself, to the shop. The old Web-site's condition was so bad that we made a last minute decision to relocate the whole Web-site to the new place. Then I became an all-in-one assembly line to produce a 100 copies of "Exploring Thai Link Web Site" diskettes, which I authored and designed the label to put on.

Up to the midnight of the eve of the "D-Day", the resume kept pouring in. I knew it well because I used the fax modem sound as a lullaby for many nights on the office bed. The phone rang off the hook all day all night, all month long. Yet it was no match for our charming MD who rather enjoy talking to people than fax machine. Many friends of Yui came to help out in entering the data and other resume work. I met them only on the last two nights but I guessed they must have been there more often than that. (I have to apologize here if I left out the job well done by the workers from other shifts that I simply didn't have a pleasure to meet) They were quite laborious trainees which helped create more fun working atmosphere. As soon as their feet touch the airport ground, the two junior visitors (victims) from Chicago were readily recruited to work. No training was necessary. Two days before the "D-Day", despite the submission deadline, the president still wanted to incorporate as many resumes in to the book as possible. "We cannot disappoint those kids who put their fate in our hand", she said. She also wanted to reorganize it by discipline and attach comprehensive statistics to it as well. "It will be easier for the companies to look up the candidates they want.", that was her vision. That created a minor problem as the deadline was approaching. Finally, about 1am of the eve of the "D-Day", the GM took charge and rushed the draft of the resume book out to the copy shops.

Early the next morning, we learned briefly how to operate the binding machine. I and the GM shook hand to congratulate each other as we managed to produce the first half of the first copy. That was about 10am already! The clambake party was supposed to start at 6pm! Minutes were ticking away. We had to finish at least 15 books, two volumes each, each is almost two inches thick before the guests left the party at worst. The food had to be picked up. The guests had to be picked up from the airport. The dinner tables, chairs and sheets were delivered but the house had not been arranged and cleaned. Some signs were yet to be painted. The color printer, the award, had not been packed ... ugggghh!!! As the guests arrived, I was still cranking away the binder while the other trainees were working on badges for students. Party specialists from Lowell, Lunenburg, and Vermont helped catering the perfect clambake party for everyone to enjoy. A special team, leaded by the GM, was sent out to set the stage at the HoJo hotel for the "D-Day". After a brief rest during the dinner, we scattered for our lives as we had to be at the job fair about 7am the next day. I still can't believe how could we survive that day. I rated that as one of the most productive days of my life.

At the job fair, more of the volunteers showed up to help conducting the event. Junior volunteers from Babson College took on the tedious registration job while not so junior any longer volunteers took care of the rest. I was not designated to any particular post, since I had to go out marketing myself. Sorry kids, it was an equal opportunity for all! Anyhow I managed to get a job as a camcorder man and other miscellaneous tasks. The companies were happy with the huge pile of resumes and the turn-out. The attendees were also pretty happy although quite a few would like to have more of non-engineering companies. The job fair turned out to be a wonderful success beyond any expectation of the organizer.

It was quite an experience. I had the opportunity to learn from ground up how to run a small home-grown business. I learned the art of organizing a public event. I learned the importance of personal and business ties. I learned from the experts. I learned from hands-on experience. The president always kept us up-to-date with current information and events which I really appreciate. It was exciting going through those ups and downs with Thai Link. We didn't always do the right things the first time but that was what made it fun. We learned from our mistakes. And all these pros and cons we learned from this job fair will surely prepare us better for the next job fair (Oh, gosh! Another one?), and other endeavors we will pursue in the future. I would like to offer my sincere gratitude to Thai Link for this opportunity of a life time.


Patiwat Kamonpet (Captain)

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