Ben Kongpipattanakarn

Ben Kongpipattanakarn

Macquarie University
Associate Product Manager
Ben studied Bachelor of Commerce at Macquarie University

What's your job about?

I am a Graduate Associate Product Manager in the Global Marketing team for Aristocrat who are a global gaming technology company with market leading products. My daily role involves various aspects such as strategical planning for products, roadmapping for regions and stakeholder negotiation with various regions in order to effectively market and deliver our products.

Being 1 year into my role, I have not been learning only from Global Marketing, but also from Regional Marketing, Sales, D&D, Finance and Legal which have completely different methods to achieving similar goals within the business which has exposed me to the diverse nature of skills and techniques available outside of my current skill set. Learning and doing things that are completely out of my comfort zone has allowed me to further expand my knowledge of the industry and gain new skills that I would not have thought otherwise to be possible.

What's your background?

I grew up in Sydney, with nothing too special happening around during my high school – uni life. I worked part time as a cleaner during the time I was at uni, studying during the day time and working the night shifts.

During my time at uni I focused on figuring out what I wanted to do in the future to no avail. After uni, realised I had no proper business experience I set myself out to work in various entry level roles for a year, ranging from Cochlear to Metcash until Aristocrat caught my eye and I reached out to the recruiter at the company for advice and further knowledge of the company to supplement my intentions of getting into the graduate program.

Persevering through the pressure of being in my first graduate program with all the other applicants, I successfully got into the graduate program and have been in this role for a year now.

Could someone with a different background do your job?

Yes, I believe anyone could do this role as being a part of the graduate program is about learning. A majority of my current skills and knowledge comes from being in this role and not from the things that I learnt in class at uni.

The main requirement for this role, or being in a graduate program in general is having the passion and drive to learn and better yourself in preparation for the foundation of new skills that are learnt on the job.

What's the coolest thing about your job?

The coolest thing about the job is working at the very top of the chain from which products are created, and being involved in the high level strategical planning and for the products now, and the products in future.

Understanding how the leaders of our company think and work is highly valuable to my learning and career as it presents a different perspective on how the strategy comes together at the top in order to achieve the goals of the company.

What are the limitations of your job?

My limitation is that I am not a rotating graduate unlike the other graduates that are currently in the program with me as I was put directly into Global Marketing. This being the case, is a limitation however it allows me to step out of my comfort zone and take the initiative to engage with new stakeholders in the organisation to learn new things.

3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...

  • Opportunities do not appear, they must be sought out in order to further differentiate yourself, learn new skills and show that you have the drive and initiative to step out of your comfort zone for employers.
  • There are times when things may not go your way, however persevere through this and eventually something will appear that will work out in your favour and benefit you.
  • Networking is one of the most important aspects of graduating, it allows you to keep in touch with people from different industries and to help look for jobs regardless of what the role may be, even if it differs from what you desire to do.