For me, having my own restaurant is my goal since I was in a high school. Now, I feel like I am going closer to achieve it, I plan to become an owner within 5 years. I am a person who really loves cooking because of my grandmother. Whenever I visit her, she usually provides me totally tasty food. Therefore, it is my inspiration that I would like to be good at cooking as same as her. After that, I have learned how to cook a lot of Thai foods from her. Then, I also attempt to cook many international foods by myself as well. During cooking time in a kitchen, I feel absolutely happy. In addition, I can stand and stay in there for 2 or 3 hours without exhaustion. Even though, sometimes the new recipe that I cook may not be tasty, I will not give up. However, I will attempt to improve it until I succeed. Anyway, during the high school period, I had only the skill of cooking, I do not have any business background so, it is quite a far distance between my goal and my skill. As a result, I made a decision to study business administration for my bachelor’s degree, majoring in management and minoring in marketing. In undergraduate, I learned general courses for doing a business but I think I do not have experiences a lot. As a consequence, I have decided to study in the UK.
At first, I am not a MACE student, I have applied for Marketing Communication and Advertising course. However, during induction week, I have known that there are around 3 courses in which they are similar to my undergraduate courses. Therefore, I moved to Advertising and the Creative Economy. In my opinion, it is really good decision because I have learned new knowledge and skills. In particular, designing a business class in which it is one of MACE courses, this program can considerably reinforce many skills for achieving my goal. This course emphasises many perspectives for running a business in terms of management, marketing including finance as examples. In my undergraduate, I have gained many points of view of business background. However, I have never applied it in the real practice. In the designing a business program, not only concept that we have learned in class but also real practice for designing a small business that the program provides for students. We have to deal with the real situation for research, production, communication, including selling our product. It is a huge opportunity for learning and gaining experience.
During the beginning of the first semester, a lecturer gave an opportunity for the students to know among each other before deciding to become a group. Due to many international students, the cultures can be totally different (Internations, 2014). We should spend time for a while in order to learn, understand and build relationship for dealing with new culture of our classmates because the different issue of cultures can lead to conflict between people. For example, some cultures people may speak loudly and directly. However, other nations may speak softly and indirectly with patience. In addition, although, we speak English as medium language but sometimes the conversation among people may misunderstand. As a result, we have learned that many people may be different preference, culture, behaviour or personality. After dealing with this circumstance, I should learn and understand with my colleagues when having my own restaurant that all my colleagues may totally different. Additionally, I should understand and deal with each nature of them.
In October, we created a group of four or five people for running a small business in this course. Then, we have learned how to brainstorm with members. As working in a group, we cannot force other people to follow only a person but we have to brainstorm with member in order to engage peers for coming up with ideas (Mind Tools, 2014). After that, we discussed and found a conclusion. Nevertheless, working as a team, it is necessary to select one person to become a leader. As a consequence, we can also gain experience about leadership. In the past, leadership can be described as a commander and followers. However, at this movement, leadership can be defined as setting and controlling the direction for a group of people in order to improve to achieve goal and the leader should express how expertise for building confidence and trust from subordinates (Business News Daily, 2012). In addition, in class we also mentioned about empathy, ability or skill of people who can treat other individuals in which concern emotional feedback and respect their motive and goals (Goleman, 1998). As a result, subordinate satisfaction can be a significant factor for leadership nowadays (Iaffaldano and Muchinsky, 1985; Ross and Offerman, 1997). Then, we have learned how to act as leader and subordinates. For my restaurant, I will allow and provide opportunity for my colleagues in order to share and express their idea because it is better to receive other opinions, sometimes just our own idea may be narrow due to only one person point of view.
After brainstorming, we can specify the idea for our business. Then, another important part is observation. We researched from both online in the Internet and interview people as well. In class and in practical term of small business, we have learned that STP (segmentation, targeting and positioning) is a significant factor for conducting research about our consumers. Segmentation can be defined as dividing the consumers into groups in terms of demographic, psychographic, life style, or belief and value (Hanlon, 2013). Targeting can be described as target groups of people in the segmentation who are our consumers, it may be small or large and each group may have different needs (Hanlon, 2013). Positioning can be a strategy in which it aims to build a distinct and different position of product from competitors in consumers’ mind (Business Dictionary, 2014). As learning from these concepts, before opening my own restaurant, I must know about where the location of the restaurant. Then, I have to research about the consumers around there that what nature of people surrounding that place. As a result, I can specify the target group and conduct research of recipe preference. Moreover, I will attempt to generate the unique point for building position in consumers mind that my restaurant is different from others.
Another essential element in marketing perspective is branding. We have gained experience during the class session and running our business that branding is really important because normally, it can explain what our business stands for. We have learned that the font of the brand must be appropriate with the industry and our business. In addition, the method in which can reinforce building brand may be design logo (Alcorn, 2014). In term of my restaurant, the name of the restaurant will be a brand and it will represent about the recipes and the atmosphere. In addition, the logo will be designed with appropriate font but it may also depend on how decoration and restaurant look like.
According to selling point of view of our practical small business, we have attended both trade fair in Kingston University Business School and Kingston Town Centre. In my opinion, it is a huge opportunity for learning in term of how to sell, communicate, and build relationship with consumers. Building relationship with consumers seems to be important because the consumers can feel satisfy and delight (Ciotti, 2013). Then, they will become loyalty. In addition, at this moment, social media platform plays important roles in many businesses like Facebook and Twitter because the consumers are connected with the organisation and they can directly interact as well (Blattberg and Deighton, 1991; Holtz, 1999). Moreover, it can also be a channel to generate WOM (word of mouth) from peer-to-peer (Golan and Zaidner 2008). However, during the selling point, how to pitch the product seems to be significant as well. Compared to my goal, having my own restaurant, I will offer not only tasty recipe but also the comfortable, delight and happy feeling during the time that consumers stay in my restaurant. Moreover, nowadays, many people usually share and tag with their friends, family and colleagues in social media. After sharing the photos, it can encourage other people to visit my restaurant because they can see how restaurant look like and some comments. Furthermore, I may create some campaigns in order to interact and build relationship with consumers through Facebook because this platform is one of the most prominent social media platform (Facebook, 2011).
Accounting and Financing are important for doing a business as well. As mentioned, I learned some background from my undergraduates and this course also provides me some perspective for calculating in order to concern profit and loss. As a result, I can apply them for my own business how transaction of income and expense, including cash flow as well.
Anyway, at this moment, we have done for 2 semesters. I think it is very fast, I feel like I have just finished my pre-sessional course. However, due to studying in Advertising field, I will find a job in advertising field first. It may be in-house or agency. After that, I will work around 6 months or a year in order to learn experience as employees. Then, I will go to stay in South Korea for a year. As studying aboard in the UK, I perceive that language is a very important for communication. In addition, learning many languages can offer more opportunity for applying a job (Wheatman, 2014). Additionally, it can be easy for travelling as well. Moreover, I would like to be able to speak at least 5 languages. Now, I can speak Thai, English, Korean and a little Chinese. Before coming to the UK, I studied Korean language. I think I am a person who loves learning language. I am very happy to study it. At this moment, I can speak fluently Korean but I think I would like to learn from natives. Therefore, I have planed to stay there around 1 year. Actually, 2 years ago I have been to stay there around 2 months. During that time, I met a lot of new friends especially, they are Japanese. Now, I still contact with them and they said after I go back, they will come to see me and travel with me in Thailand. Compared to studying a language in my own country and native country, I think going abroad can make me learn and speak faster because we have to speak that language all the time. Even though, sometimes I may feel lonely for separating from my family.
Studying in the UK, I have earned a lot of new experience. In particular, learning process is totally different from Thailand. In the UK, studying in class is interactive conversation, the students and lecturer usually discuss but in Thailand, the lecturer will teach in front of the class like one-way communication. As a result, sometimes the students may not have opportunity to explain about their idea and opinion. According to Sir Ken Robinson (2010), most education process of students is similar in which it is like a pattern. Many students learn the same contents without opportunity to express their ideas. However, in order to change the children to become more creative, the school should offer the opportunity for them to criticise and show their ideas which MACE course provides many opportunities for students to learn and become more creative and innovative. In my perspective, it can inspire me to think and learn to generate something that is creative. Refer to Thai cultures, some children may follow their parents requirement. They may graduate with the course that their family wants them to learn. In addition, sometimes they would like to study other courses but they do not allow. I think learning without preference or passion cannot make the children feel happy. Therefore, the parents should provide opportunity for their children to learn the course according to their preference because it can inspire them with passion. They will try to do it best in order to achieve their goal. For me, my goal is having my own restaurant, I think I will try to do my best in order to make it succeed and then, not only me that will be proud but also my family as well. In the future, if that time has come, that day will be the best day in my life. I will pay all of my effort to make it best and I will also attempt to apply all my knowledge that I have learned from both bachelor’s and master degree and all experience in order to lead my business to become successful.
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