An M-Powered Future: Helping Youth Realize Their Dreams


This article is part of a series on M-Powered, an initiative undertaken by Microsoft Asia and local nonprofits in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam to train youth and people with disabilities in IT, and improve their employability, connecting them to opportunities in the growing tech sector.

 The dynamic, fast-paced world of journalism has always fascinated Naowarat Sodsamang. The 23-year-old college graduate has since channeled her passion for the news media into exploring a future career path in marketing and public relations—following internship stints that further enriched her interest and knowledge in digital marketing.

“The marketing communications industry is an exciting field that offers me plenty of opportunities to hone the professional skills I acquired at school,” said the Bangkok-based Naowarat. “My internship experience showed me that academic qualifications are only a start. There are many other skill areas I need to build up, to fulfill today’s job requirements and secure my dream job.”

Naowarat learned that computer literacy is now essential for any youth in Thailand to develop a more well-rounded skill set for employment. Participating in Microsoft’s Hour of Code last year, the self-professed digital native gained a unique perspective on how technology advances are shaping the way we live and work.

“The Hour of Code was a wonderful experience for me, being my first exposure to the power of coding and modern computing concepts. Not only did I learn to write my first lines of code, I was given the opportunity to share and exchange ideas with my peers about how technology can be used to support our future career aspirations,” Naowarat said.

The M-Powered Thailand portal has provided young people like Naowarat a conducive platform to easily access the latest job positions available and an extensive range of e-learning resources in computer science and other soft skills for employment. A collaboration between Microsoft and various nonprofit and government agencies in Thailand, the portal is also designed for youth to seek career advice from experienced professionals in different fields of expertise.

Besides the breadth of training programs, Naowarat is impressed with how the M-Powered portal enables young job seekers to connect and learn from industry or HR professionals. “By being able to network directly with them, we have a better understanding of the professional skills and work capabilities that are most valued by employers, or get advice on job interview techniques,” she explained.

 

Naowarat wants to encourage more of her peers to explore the technical and soft skills learning opportunities available via the M-Powered portal

 

Currently, Naowarat is taking online courses via M-Powered to enrich her English communications skills for today’s business environment. Through the guided learning modules, she aims to achieve a level of fluency in English that will enable her to be more confident both during job interviews and in workplace settings.

Looking ahead, the 23-year-old would like to see a wider variety of industry-related professional skills training and resources to empower the next generation of entrepreneurs. Naowarat sees the potential for the digital marketing and e-commerce resources available on M-Powered to inspire more Thai youth to get a head start on the path to entrepreneurship and employability.

“Whether it’s to start a business venture or to find their desired job, the M-Powered portal opens up so many exciting possibilities for young people to follow their dreams,” said Naowarat. “It also encourages us to explore the development of new skills to empower ourselves, and continue succeeding in today’s digital economy.”

Read the other stories in this series here.

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