Mark McDowell


After completing my IB, I left to the second most amazing place in the world – New Zealand. Yes, there is a lotof sheep.

Nationality:Thai / Kiwi (New Zealand)

Current Location:Bangkok, Thailand


Years at BPS:14 Years


Favourite memories at Bangkok Patana School

My favourite memories are always going to be the times in school I had with the friends I made at Bangkok Patana School. They say that your best friends are the ones you make at University, quite the contrary. For me it was always the mates made at Bangkok Patana. I’ve spoken with other alumni and they all say the same. It’s the friends that make a place and it is why I love Bangkok so much and my time at school.

The Residential Visits were also always a killer time as it provided an opportunity to be with friends outside the school environment doing something different while still learning something new. Who would’ve thought going to the beach was part of school? 

Also how could I not forget the Christmas assemblies as a kid? Seeing how Santa would arrive was always a highlight. I loved when he came in a helicopter!

Where did you go after leaving Bangkok Patana School?

After completing my IB, I left to the second most amazing place in the world – New Zealand. Yes, there is a lotof sheep.

I enrolled in Otago University in the South Island to do my bachelor’s degree in Commerce. Afterwards I came back to Bangkok for a brief stint and then to Melbourne, Australia for close to three years of work in the digital marketing industry.

I was always looking for opportunities to come back to Bangkok, to be closer to family, friends and to be back in Asia. I was fortunate enough to work at one of the largest digital marketing agencies in Australia. Getting close to three years I proposed to the company that we take the amazing work we do (and the work that I love) to Thailand for expansion.

So here I am back again in Bangkok heading up Primal, a premier digital marketing agency. Simply put, we grow businesses through online marketing using social media, display, email and helping businesses get found on Google via Search-Engine-Optimisation.

Are there any experiences/lessons at Bangkok Patana that have helped you through university and your career so far?

Yes, definitely, the most important I would say would be the exposure to many cultures, different languages and variety of nationalities. I’ve always believed that if you don’t understand people, you don’t understand business and it’s helped me to understand cross-cultural differences when it comes to my work. Side note – as a result of having spent time with all kinds of people at Bangkok Patana I developed two different accents, American and more of an Aussie/Kiwi accent – strange stuff.

I would also add that having done IB, large amounts of work became easy to handle when it came to university or in my career. Everything just seemed so much easier after high school, it’s not supposed to work that way. 

What is the thing you enjoy most about your current job?

I love technology, people and the behavioural psychology behind marketing. In fact, I wouldn’t call it a job, it’s a passion. My passion enables me to combine all of these elements in the form of digital. So I’d say I enjoy everything about it but if I was to pick, it would be our client successes, nothing puts a massive grin on my face than seeing positive results.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?

I do a lot of reading, something I didn’t do when I was younger, I guess I’m making up for lost time. So much to learn still.

I have a number of friends in the Food and Beverage industry so seeing them out for food and drink is always a good time as they know how to choose the best places to eat. There are great restaurants and bars springing up in Bangkok all the time. 

I’m also a big fan of the gym, I go as often as I can.

If you were to give a piece of advice to students still at Bangkok Patana School what would it be?

Appreciate everything, the plants, the noodles, the buildings, the teachers. Life is too short and high school flies by in no time, you will miss it and make the most of it, because the school sets you up for the future, you will be awesome.

If you were to share a piece of career advice what would it be?


Never be afraid of long hours of work. It’s never “work” if you’re doing something you love right? If you worked 80 hour weeks compared to someone who works 40 hour weeks, what they accomplish in one year, you will do in six months. Simple.

Favourite quote

“If everything seems under controlyoure not going fast enough.” ― Mario Andretti.