ATCF’S Student Scholarship Program Fulfills Dreams
My name is Natthaporn Paula Atthawutthisin. I got the AMCHAM scholarship in my last year of university. After I graduated university, I applied for an internship program with the International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience Thailand ( IAESTE) while waiting for a job. I got a three month internship as research assistant at the Department of Forest Production Technology in Helsinki University of Technology, Finland.
Thanks to my AMCHAM scholarship I could afford the plane ticket and living costs at the beginning before I got the salary from the internship program. After the internship, I got an offer to work as a chemical engineer with PTT Company ( main office) so I came back and started my first job with PTT.
Then, I realized that I like to work in the upstream oil and gas business as I had an internship with Chevron in my third year at university but I thought it would be good if I could get a Master’s degree in Petroleum Engineering first. So, I decided to apply for Master’s degree programs in the Scandinavian countries because Norway is an oil producing country and I knew from my internship that there are no tuition fees at their universities. I got an offer from Norway, so I quit my job at PTT and went to study for a Master’s degree of Petroleum Engineering for two years. I actually didn’t have much money but it was just enough to support myself – airplane ticket, first couple of months of living costs. So while studying I had to work part- time in a Thai restaurant in Norway so I could support myself for two years. After I graduated from the program I got a job in Norway, but I felt it was time to go back to my family in Thailand. So I moved back to Thailand and have been working with Chevron Thailand Exploration and Production ever since.
At Chevron, I started as a petroleum engineer in an office for one and a half years, then moved to work offshore in the Gulf of Thailand as a field engineer for another year before I was called back to the office. Then I requested to be transferred to work offshore long term. I have been working as a Drill Site Manager trainee for the past three months.
I am very grateful to ATCF and AMCHAM for giving me an opportunity to advance in life. Another good thing about the scholarship was that I got to know AMCHAM as an organization and make connections with AMCHAM members and my scholarship friends. I believe connections are very important. Now we are just friends but you never know how your connections can help you someday.
I believe men ( and women!) can do everything we want to do even though sometimes we think it is impossible. I believe I can make the impossible possible and that is why I standing at this point in this moment. I would tell other scholarship recipients to just be proactive and keep looking for ANY opportunities, no matter if someone gives it to you or you have to seek it yourselves and then DO YOUR BEST!
Over the past 30- plus years, ATCF’S Student Scholarship Program has provided support to more than 2,000 students. AMCHAM’S scholarships are made possible through fundraising activities organized by the Community Engagement Committee and direct membership donations. Activities include the Governors Ball Silent Auction, Charity Golf Tournaments, and the American Independence Day Picnic. In addition to financial support, ATCF sponsors a four- day career planning seminar in Bangkok to introduce students to AMCHAM member companies through a variety of activities including facility visits, career planning sessions, resume writing and mock interviews. ATCF also invites students entering the scholarship program to attend a three day orientation camp with an emphasis on community service.
This year ATCF is supporting 200 students from over 30 university institutions throughout Thailand. Below is a story from one of our scholarship students from 2009 who is currently working for Chevron Thailand.