AMCHAM Thailand Foundation Scholarship Alumna: Atira "Ayu" Maoti

AMCHAM Thailand Foundation Scholarship Alumni: Atira "Ayu" Maoti

Meet Atira "Ayu" Maoti, an alumna of the AMCHAM Thailand Foundation Scholarship Program 2021-23, which provides scholarships for exceptional underserved students.

"Moreover, receiving the AMCHAM scholarship significantly boosted my confidence in pursuing a career as an architect. Exploring various aspects of architecture, including its historical and theoretical dimensions, has ignited my passion for this field." — Atira Maoti

"My name is Atira Maoti or Ayu. I am currently studying for a bachelor’s degree in school of Architecture and Design majoring in architecture at Walailak University, Nakhon Sri Thammarat Thailand. I feel honored and grateful to have been selected as a recipient of the American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand (AMCHAM Thailand) in 2021-2023. I want to thank you for the generosity in funding this scholarship. It has been a great help to me financially during my studies in the university and an internship, especially the current pandemic. The scholarship literally gives me passion for achieving my ambitions. AMCHAM is such a gift for me.

I remembered the day I heard about this scholarship from the Student Affairs department of my university. I was very excited but the conditions and qualifications for the applicant were quite challenging, as the application required good academic and co-curricular performance. That made me realize that I needed to improve myself in a better way and try my best to apply for this scholarship because it was my one and only opportunity to help me for this time in university. It can’t be denied that I would have to compete with many students to get this scholarship; therefore, I had to put more effort into this scholarship.

I am an ordinary girl who comes from a rural area on the border of Thailand and Malaysia, specifically Sungaikolok District in Narathiwat Province, which is known as one of the three southern provinces of Thailand. Living in this area is totally challenging the consistent violence that has persisted for decades. Moreover, the lack of utilities and facilities causes us to struggle to live. I was born and raised in a family that is not particularly wealthy; but we are merely in the middle to lower class. My parents worked as laborers and farmers with uncertain incomes and schedules. Also, I have a younger sister who is disabled, which adds to our family’s financial challenges. We have to save our budget to support her.

When I entered university, I had to take out a student loan because my family has no money to support my bachelor’s degree. I had to be active and join lots of activities in the university to earn points and qualify for a university dormitory, which offered a cheaper price than renting a house outside the university. Moreover, I always remind myself to focus on my studies. Pursuing architecture is not easy at all; I have to put in lots of effort to get through this and make a work- life balance by joining the lots of associations till I got the role of being a president of the Muslim Student Association, Architecture Faculty, Walailak University Brand Ambassador, as well as an emcee in various events. Throughout my university years, I never asked for money from my parents. I saved a little bit of money through the loan and also worked part-time as an English tutor at the university. The architecture course requires me to spend five years in the university, including an eight-month internship. That starts to make me worried about the cost that I have to sacrifice to follow my dream. When I was in third year, I considered taking a gap year because I did not have enough money to live in Bangkok for the eight-month internship. Fortunately, the university announced for AMCHAM scholarship. When I applied, it felt like a wish had been granted, which enabled me to continue my studies and complete my internship without any financial worries.

As part of the AMCHAM Scholarship commitment to community service, I always put myself in charity work by helping my hometown. I participate in club activities such as teaching a religion class for underprivileged children near the university and much more. Moreover, I continuously work on improving my English skills to become one of the committee members of the Thai Muslim Students Association (TMSA). In this role, I assist all Muslim students around the word by providing donations, addressing issues that need resolution as a panel speaker on webinar, and organizing camps for the younger generation in the three southern provinces to learn more about multicultural and peace.

Last but not least, AMCHAM scholarship really inspired me to practicing my English, leading to my selection by the Association of Siamese Architects (ASA) to join in the workshop program of Live Design Discourse 2023 in Singapore. Consequently, I had numerous opportunities to work as a translator and interpreter for an Architects event, which fulfilled my dream. Once again, I would like to express my gratitude to the AMCHAM scholarship for this meaningful opportunity and thank you for helping me gain more beneficial knowledge in career camp which will make me be more ready to be such a powerful fresh graduate."

Career Camp

"My first impression of the event was incredibly positive. I had the opportunity to meet many partners of AMCHAM who well-known and exceptional individuals. During the event, we were able to share personal experiences, points of view, and valuable opinions. However, the highlight of the program that left a lasting impression on me was the interviewing technique session.

I believe this session was particularly important for me and my friends, as we are soon-to-be fresh graduates and aspiring professionals entering the job market. The techniques taught during the session are not typically found in a classroom setting. Learning these techniques is absolutely beneficial as they enable us to present ourselves effectively during interviews, reduce nervous responses, and leave a positive impression on interviewers.

Additionally, attending this camp equipped me with numerous skills that will be beneficial in my future career as an architect. One significant skill I acquired was the ability to socialize and communicate effectively within a diverse team, comprising individuals of different ages. As a younger generation we might have a gap year with seniors at the firm; therefore, for creating quality work we have to respect each other and be tolerant in a better way.

Moreover, receiving the AMCHAM scholarship significantly boosted my confidence in pursuing a career as an architect. Exploring various aspects of architecture, including its historical and theoretical dimensions, has ignited my passion for this field.

I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all the sponsors and AMCHAM staff. It is a great honor for us to participate in this camp, which is very beneficial for us in being more open minded and understanding the world about career paths. It can’t be denied that in this globalized era there is so much competition but to make yourself more successful, we have to know well about the adaptations, be flexible and return good things to communities."


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