Special Interview with Mallika Boonmeetrakool Mahasook, Advisor to the Minister of Commerce

Nothing is impossible, nothing is too hard if you try hard enough

Enjoy your work and have fun while working

Beyond having great skills you need to have self-discipline

Background of #teamJURINAvengers

It started when Deputy Prime Minister, Jurin Laksanawisit became Democrat party leader. Since then the Avengers team was introduced to help draft policies. I am in charge of public sector communication, public relations and social media; Khunying Kalaya Sophonpanich is responsible for education; and Chitpas Kridakorn and Ratchada Thanadirek are working on women’s rights. Other teams are responsible for security and mission follow up. Vice Minister for Commerce, Sansern Samalapa and Buntee Parnichprapai, Secretary to the Minister of Commerce, are a dream team who work together.
We call it “teamJURINAvengers” because Laksanawisit has great political experience. He is a detail person who pays close attention and follows up work, which is why we can actually do things and get them done quickly. We work like superheroes, with diligence, patience and speed. Each person has the same abilities as superheroes in different aspects.

What is your work concept?

It is to enjoy work and have fun while working. Work can be fun if we have clear goals, deal with challenges and the team has the same goals, which makes communication much easier, and creates a fun working environment.
Laksanawisit possesses great experience, has a calming personality and is reliable, but at the same time he has clear goals, which must be achieved in a short time. Having an effective and skillful leader definitely helps build our confidence. Work pressure and challenges are unavoidable, but they are manageable. It all depends on solutions, management and communication.

What have you enjoyed the most in the past two years, and are you satisfied with the outcome?

What has impressed me most in these two years (2020-2021) of working at the Ministry of Commerce is the great potential, skills and work attitude of staff. The results have always been satisfactory, which can be measured by the polls, where Commerce Ministry has managed to come on top. The policies we announced to the parliament have all been implemented, including those to help farmers, and to facilitate exports by establishing a Joint Public and Private Sector Consultative Committee (JPPSCC). We have been able to increase the proportion of SME exporters, while providing training courses to educate and support the younger generation’s interest in becoming export entrepreneurs. To encourage all members of team Jurin and other officials at the Ministry of Commerce I would like to say that all the hard work has paid off as people see and appreciate what we have done.

The position of Advisor to the Minister of Commerce requires hard work. How do you balance life and work?

I am well-organised and my priority has always been on quality of life. I find time to relax, including meeting up with friends to share and exchange ideas. I maintain a positive attitude and work with a positive mindset. My day-to-day work is already stressful as it involves great responsibility since we work for the people and the nation, thus time allocation and proper planning are crucial. Constant stress can increase health risks and decrease your productivity.

How do you relax?

My way of relaxing is to go home to my husband. He is very supportive, a great listener and can give great advice. I am blessed to have a supportive and understanding family. Secondly, I talk to my friends and team members. If I see the team is overly stressed or dealing with too much pressure then I get them to take a break and return to work with a positive mindset. I also relax with sports activities, such as shooting. As for Laksanawisit, he really works hard. Other members of the Adventures team can be replaced but not him. Therefore, I always think that he is more tired than anyone else so I have to work to the best of my abilities, while the rest is all about management. Our team members support each other, acting as a one-stop service for every mission initiated by the Deputy Prime Minister.

What is your message to the new generation regarding maintaining a work life balance?

Saying you don’t have time is an excuse. For me, nothing is impossible if you really want to do it. Nothing is difficult if you have a positive mindset. You just have to try and make it possible. The new generation needs management skills but beyond having skills you need self-discipline. It’s not difficult to balance your professional and personal life.

Anyone can become a superstar these days. Youtubers can become news reporters or people can report news by using only mobile phones. Being an image maker for Laksanawisit and the Ministry of Commerce is no different. My responsibility is to make people know what we are doing. What encourages the Commerce Minister and staff is the fact that people understand and acknowledge our hard work and dedication.

Translated by Manisa Phromsirpranee.