The Discovery Issue

Republished from DU Review – Summer 2017

Porntida (Mai) Yansomboon ’14, brings a wealth of personal knowledge and experience to her job at the Royal Thai Embassy in Washington D.C.

“I grew up in a business savvy family,” says Yansomboon, a Thai citizen who lived in Grand Rapids before attending Davenport. “My family imported tractors and equipment from Thailand.

Yansomboon moved to the United States as an exchange student when she was 18 years old. She decided to stay in Grand Rapids for college and chose Davenport because of its reputation and close proximity to her host family’s house. When I got the opportunity to work at the Royal Thai Embassy and help people discover business opportunities, just like my family, I jumped on it!”

After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in International Business in 2014, Yansomboon worked at a material handling company in project management. She saw a position posted on the Royal Thai Embassy website in Washington D.C. and applied.

She says, “Thanks to my unique experience, I got the job!”

Today, Yansomboon works as a project staff member at the Thai Business Information Center. She works with Thai businesses looking to invest and settle in the U.S. and provides them with the connections and information needed to be successful.

Conducting business outside of a company’s home country has many challenges, and Yansomboon is there to help. On a typical day, she might reach out to Thai business owners who have questions about regulations on doing business in the U.S., help hopeful business owners discover opportunities or act as a business coach and liaison to governmental departments.

Yansomboon acknowledges her success is due to many people. “I credit my success to my families – both my family in Thailand and my host family. They are both so encouraging.”

Moving to the U.S. also gave her the opportunity to study and discover what she is capable of. Yansomboon looks forward to opening the doors for more Thai business owners and toward what her future holds. She hopes to return to school to earn a Master’s in Business Administration soon and continue to grow and expand her skills to serve others.