GLOBE Member Profile: Pete Manasantivongs

April_MemberProfile.jpgPete Manasantivongs
Globe Member Since 2014
Hometown: Los Angeles
Current Industry: Education
Current Occupation: Director, Global Engagement at Melbourne Business School, Melbourne University


What's your academic background?

Harvard University: Bachelor of Arts in Applied Mathematics

University of Cambridge: Doctor of Philosophy in Linguistics

Melbourne Business School, University of Melbourne: Master of Business Administration, Master of Marketing


Please share with us a short synopsis of your career history and industry experience, including where you got your start.

My first full-time job was at Lexicon Branding, a consultancy in the San Francisco area that creates brand names for new products.  I looked after “linguistic risk analysis” (basically, making sure that the brand names we created for our clients didn’t mean “slap your momma” in Swahili, especially if the new product was going to be sold in Kenya and Tanzania) and also did work in market research, moderating focus groups and conducting interviews with consumers.  Some of the projects I worked on included the BlackBerry Curve and that iPod killer, Microsoft’s Zune.     


After my time at Lexicon, I moved to Australia to study my MBA and Master of Marketing at Melbourne Business School, and have transitioned into the education sector.  My roles at MBS have included Market Insights Manager, Director of the Full-Time MBA Program, and now Director of Global Engagement, where I look after international exchange programs with our partner business schools around the world.  I also worked a stint at La Trobe University, and have consulted for QBE Insurance and VicRoads in data analytics and statistical modelling.      


Tell us how you first got involved with GLOBE.

Back during my student days at MBS, one of my classmates came across GLOBE, and he brought me along with him to Fruits in Suits once.  


What accomplishment are you most proud of in your career so far?

Helping students achieve their career, academic and personal development goals.  I am appreciative and constantly mindful of the support I have received throughout my life in those areas, from so many people, and am delighted to be in a position to have that impact on others. 


What are some of the biggest obstacles you’ve had to tackle to achieve your success?

I am grateful that I can’t think of anything major that has been a big barrier in achieving my goals so far.  Where I am now really has been a combination of hard work, good fortune (because I know people who have worked hard but haven’t had the same luck as I have), and knowing when to seize a chance that is too good to pass up.


What advice would you give yourself in reflecting back to when you first started your career path?

Find the intersection of (1) what you are good at and (2) what you enjoy doing, and you then start to put yourself in situations where opportunities present themselves.  Don’t sweat the money, prestige or fame – they will follow if you want them and if you do (1) + (2) with the right intentions.    


What has surprised you the most about being a member of GLOBE?

The membership base is more diverse than what you see in some comparable organisations elsewhere. 


What makes you smile?

Seeing a spontaneous act of kindness and compassion.


Is there anything you'd like to share with GLOBE members?

I’m a member of GLOBE because I am fully aware of how privileged we are to live in a society that facilitates the existence of such an organisation.  That’s not to say that life is easy for everyone in our community, or that there isn’t progress still to achieve to advance causes that are important to many of us, but I do not take for granted the liberties afforded to us in being able to assemble through GLOBE, and to attend the variety of events that are on offer.

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