In February, 2nd year student, Veena Bontu, shared with The Booth Experience how she fulfilled her application essay promise and realized her dream by co-chairing the marketing efforts for the Emerging Market Summit (EMS). This time, let’s take a look at how 1st year student Parn Chamwudhiprecha contributed to EMS, the largest student-run conference at Booth!
Andrew Wang: Thank you for accepting this interview. Why don’t we start with your background and your motivation to join EMS?
Parn Chamwudhiprecha: Prior to Booth, I had experience as an engineer in water treatment/processing and running a family business in construction and investments in Thailand. So, living in one of the major emerging economies, I am naturally interested in joining EMS, where a lot of organizers are international students from other developing economies.
AW: This makes sense. I heard you contributed to some changes in EMS this year?
PC: Yes. Previously, EMS conferences covered almost all emerging markets – Latin America, South Asia, China, etc. However, there was no panel dedicated to Southeast Asia. So I talked to Vikram, a co-chair of EMS, and decided to organize a separate panel on Southeast Asia this year. We chose “The Next Gold Rush: The Rise of Southeast Asia Digital Economy” as the panel’s topic because Southeast Asia is nearly the last fast-growing region with a unsaturated technology market, where a lot of tech start-ups are still in the growth phase and attract a lot of investors’ attention (such as the recent merge between Uber and Grab).
AW: This is a good example of how a 1st year MBA can make an impact early. So what did you do in bringing this panel to life?
PC: As a part of the speaker team, I am responsible to invite speakers and design questions for the panel. Since Nov 2017, I leveraged my personal network in my home country, asked for referrals from UChicago alumni network in Southeast Asia and successfully reached out to many high-profile potentials speakers, such as former finance minister of Thailand, governor of the Stock Exchange of Thailand and founders of start-ups.
AW: That’s an impressive list of people! I am curious. How did you persuade them to fly 20 hours to Chicago for this one-day summit?
PC: This is indeed one of the biggest challenges. For example, EMS will be hosted in a week that happens to be a long holiday season in Thailand, so a lot of interested speakers are unable to make it. Fortunately, the brand of Chicago Booth still attracted a lot of high-profile speakers who want to enhance their reputation at a prestigious university, share their ideas about unique opportunities in Southeast Asia and network with entrepreneurial-minded people, especially the MBA students.
AW: I am glad to hear about the strong brand of Chicago Booth in emerging markets. What are the most challenging and rewarding parts of this experience?
PC: Since we have speakers from diverse backgrounds, we spent a lot of hours coming up with a list of thoughtful questions that are broad enough for each speaker to offer their view/experience, as well as engaging for our US-based audiences. Personally, EMS also honed my time management skill. The most rewarding part is connecting with many accomplished speakers and learning about the different characteristics between US and Southeast Asian consumers.
AW: I am glad to hear you learnt a lot from organizing the emerging market summit. Thank you for your time! Wish you every success in the conference!
PC: My pleasure!
The Emerging Markets Summit will be held on Saturday, April 14, 2018 at the Harper Center and will feature over 50 speakers from Latin America, Middle East, Africa, South Asia, and Asia Pacific. Visit the conference website to learn more about the summit and to register.
Booth student Andrew Wang (’19) is on the marketing team for the Emerging Market Summit and is a co-chair of the Chicago Asia Pacific Group and the Greater China Club.
Booth student Parn Chamwudhiprecha (’19) is part of the speaker team for the Emerging Market Summit and a co-chair of the Chicago Asia Pacific Group.