Northampton graduate goes viral in Thailand

Date 29.01.2024

After graduating from the University of Northampton last year, Thai national Norapat Samanchotanan posted videos of the ceremony and her celebrations in London on Tiktok which have gathered a total of 8.5 million views.

After going viral on social media, news outlets throughout Thailand were keen to speak to Norapat and she featured in dozens of newspaper articles and was interviewed on TV news, which themselves have attracted millions of views on social media.

Last May Norapat picked up her first class MSC in International Business Management but before her studies in the UK, she had already established her own businesses and played a leading role in developing policies to stimulate the economy in response to Covid while working in marketing and public relations within the Community Development Department under the Ministry of Interior of Thailand.

With a humble background where she was brought up by her grandparents and supported by Buddhist Monks at the nearby temple, she has captured the imagination of people in Thailand as someone who has overcome adversity to build a successful career.

With limited finances and while struggling to learn English, there was little chance she would be able to fulfil her dream of becoming an international entrepreneur.

Norapat said: “I was often ridiculed by teachers and peers for my accent. That was a turning point for me, I became even more determined to study in England, the birthplace of the English language.

“So, with some hard work, I received a scholarship to study for a master’s degree at the University of Northampton and was able to take a master’s degree in international business management with first class honours back to Thailand.

“I think it’s that effort which captured the interest of so many people in my home country.”

She added: “It doesn’t matter where you come from, if you believe your future is in your hands, your efforts will not betray you.”

Norapat returned to the Waterside Campus this month as a Student Ambassador to speak to the current cohort of Thai undergraduates and to thank Senior Business Lecturer Girija Logendran.

She said: “Girija was more than just a teacher to me. She cared deeply for every student, showing a motherly warmth to us all.

“I am incredibly grateful to have met her, a remarkable finance teacher. My gratitude also goes to all the teachers who tirelessly imparted knowledge, contributing significantly to who I am, and where I am now.”

Girija said: “My job as an educator is to transform the lives of every student who walks through my door, prepare them for the world of work and nurture them for success.

“I hope my students leave with the very best understanding of finance and the confidence, wisdom, and resilience to achieve their goals.

“It has been incredibly satisfying to see Norapat graduate and go on to find success and just goes to show how much is possible if you work hard and are passionate about what you want to do.”