Pong Trairatvorakul


It has only been two years since I graduated from Bangkok Patana and I am currently entering my third year of college, majoring in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. This past year I’ve been working at Yale’s Center for Engineering Innovation and Design, leading workshops open to the Yale community in addition to continuing my passion for music, playing in a pops orchestra and also in the Yale University Guild of Carillonneurs (we play the carillon in the bell tower. You should check us out).

Class: 2014

Nationality: Thai

Current Location: New Haven, Connecticut

Years at Bangkok Patana: 10

Favourite Memories of school:

Where do I begin? Naturally there’s the Noodle Bar which has a special place in every alumni’s heart. There’s also the interactions with teachers and friends, as well as conversations with bus monitors as we are stuck in traffic. However, one of the greatest highlights is definitely the Year 9 History trip to Vietnam where we got to experience the histories and cultures of places we learn about in the classroom. I still vividly remember having Phở at a former Việt Cộng headquarter. Looking back, not only was the trip, to put it in the words of Mr Wood, “one of the best times of our lives”, but it was also valuable to learn about the regional history.

What have you been doing since leaving school?

It has only been two years since I graduated from Bangkok Patana and I am currently entering my third year of college, majoring in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. This past year I’ve been working at Yale’s Center for Engineering Innovation and Design, leading workshops open to the Yale community in addition to continuing my passion for music, playing in a pops orchestra and also in the Yale University Guild of Carillonneurs (we play the carillon in the bell tower. You should check us out).

Is there anything that you learnt/experienced whilst at Bangkok Patana that has helped you at university?

An experience I found very valuable was the school’s treatment of multiculturalism. This allowed me to share my experiences and offer a unique perspective when these issues were discussed on the University campus. 

Do you have any advice for students who are trying to decide which university/course is right for them?

There are so many factors and different philosophies involved with this so I would just share advice I’ve received and found useful. I greatly benefited from availability of breadth. My major in college was in constant flux for most of my first two years in college since my exposure to different fields varied greatly between my time at Bangkok Patana and in college. This meant that while I thought I was passionate about something, there may be other things I have not been exposed to before. This translates to advice like having personal conversations with people in the field/university you may be interested in and going into university with a malleable mind-set. 

What would you like to be doing in 10 years’ time?

There is a possibility that I will still be in grad school. The field would most likely relate to technology, specifically tangible technology that relates to human interactions. Eventually I want to settle in Thailand and contribute to innovations in the region.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not studying?

Playing music has always been a large part of me and I still continue to do that. I also enjoy tinkering with new technologies and exploring how they can be used. Other things I enjoy also include watching Game of Thrones and eating Japanese food.

You recently came in to talk to current students about life after Bangkok Patana School, what advice would you give the Class of 2016?

One piece of advice I found very useful for myself is to occasionally take a step back and look at what you’re doing. Going into college, it is tempting to join simply everything you see. While exposure to many different things is great, there comes a certain point where doing everything may require 25 hours per day. At that point, take a step back. Ask yourself what you reallywant to do and why you’re doing it. It is perfectly fine to iterate your set of interests as you experience more things and learn more about yourself.