Guest Post by: Antonio Lozano, a Senior studying Business Administration, International Business, and Asian Languages & Cultures. Antonio is currently participating in the an international internship at Siemens, Thailand.
One hour, two transfers, the crowded morning train, and a boat ride was the adventure I took to work each morning. This past summer, I had the incredible opportunity to intern for Siemens, Limited in Bangkok, Thailand. I was a finance and controlling intern in the Gas & Power Division and tasked to create financial forecasts for the department. I never thought that my last internship before graduation would take me to one of the most bustling cities in Asia.
At the end of Spring Quarter, without realizing the geography of the city; I packed my bags, booked my Airbnb, bought my flight, and made the 18 hour trek to the city of my destination. Bangkok, home to over 8 million people, was where I also called home during my 10 week internship. I was significantly pushed outside of my comfort zone because I didn’t speak the language, didn’t know the business culture, and I had never taken a finance class. I had my summer set out for me.
While spending a lot of time in the office, I adjusted to hearing the language. I referred to my elders as older brother or sister and respected them calling me little brother. I was taught the business culture by my colleagues and friends, even learning that Thai food is meant to be eaten with a fork and a spoon. I also shadowed coworkers to learn Siemens’ forecasting methods and completed certification training to better understand the world of finance. I was busy to say the least. I learned to ride the train in the opposite direction first then get off at the last stop. From that last stop, I would ride the train in the direction I needed to go. If I didn’t use this method, I would of never squeezed my way on the train during rush hour traffic. I became an expert at Bangkok city transportation systems.
While I was mostly there to learn and practice business skills, during one of the long holiday weekends my friends took me to a beach town called Hua Hin. Located four hours south of Bangkok, Hua Hin is one of the locals favorite vacationing spots. It wasn’t Phuket, Koh Samui, or Krabi with the clear water and foreign tourists. It was a perfect place for seafood, cheap water sports, and relaxing at the beach. I was very fortunate to be able to visit Hua Hin because it’s a place in Thailand that I never would’ve figured I should go to. For any Thailand tourist, if you want to escape the foreigners, save money, and still enjoy a beach; Hua Hin is the place for you.
Overall, Bangkok will always have a place in my heart. Thank you to my connections in Thailand that made my trip possible, the UW friends that made my time there easy to bear and exciting, and the colleagues that taught me everything I needed to know during my internship at Siemens. I can’t wait to explore the streets for roti again and adventure out to see more of Bangkok. I will definitely be back soon.