Originally Vibeke Eidsaae Corneliussen had intended to spend her time with her five-year-old twin sons, when the family decided to move to Bangkok, where her husband Snorre’s dream-job at Telenor Asia was located.
“I knew it wouldn’t be easy for me to find of a challenging job out here, so I was prepared to spend a year or so as a full time mother. But even though I love being around my boys I must admit that I was a bit worried about the prospect of staying at home for the entire period,” she says adding that she especially feared the time would be dreary at some point.
“We had signed up for two years, and that seemed like a terribly long time if I didn’t find professional challenges, I’m used to putting a lot of effort in my job, so that was doubtless my biggest concern on settling in Bangkok” Vibeke Eidsaae Corneliussen says.
Ready for the challange
Luckily it didn’t have to come to that. Shortly after the Norwegian family’s arrival to Thailand, Vibekes new acquaintance Ingeborg Steinholt – the previous Executive Director of the Thai-Norwegian Chamber of Commence – encouraged her to apply for her own job, as she was about to move to the Philippines.
“The position as Executive Director is very motivating for me. Ingeborg has done an incredible job especially in the process of establishing a close cooperation among the other Nordic Chambers here in Bangkok. My challenge is to take it further,” the new Executive Director of Thai-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce explains stating that she is ready to face the new challenges.
“Being a woman in charge in a city like Bangkok will without a doubt be a cultural experience, but luckily other women, like my predecessor, has succeeded the task before me. A bigger problem is the current financial situation. It probably wouldn’t be the easiest job to successfully promote the interest of our members in today’s economic situation either, but I’m ready to take the challenge,” she says.
Even though Vibeke Eidsaae Corneliussen is thrilled about her new job she underlines, that her other important occupation, as a mother to five year old twin boys, Christopher and Henrik, still is an important priority to the new executive director.
“I probably wouldn’t have applied for the job if the boys had problems adjusting to Thailand. But besides the usual climate-adjustments my sons are doing great in the new environment, they a very curious on the new surroundings and have begun picking up a bit English,” she says, adding that it probably makes things a bit easier that they two boys have each other. According to the new execute director much of the credit for the smooth transition belongs to their fantastic and semi-Norwegian speaking Thai Nanny, the family ‘inherited’ from another Telenor-employee.
“I heard that some foreign children cry when they are sent to school, but our boys are just going ‘Bye mom, bye dad’ and then they’re out the door. It is a huge relief that they like their new home just as much as their parents,” she smiles.
The 38-year-old Vibeke Eidsaae Corneliussen has Master of Computer Science with additional master studies in marketing, strategy and leadership and she is a certified project manager. Before leaving for Thailand she worked as Senior Adviser in different consulting companies various such as Acando, daVinci and Accenture. Now she hopes that her experiences can benefit the members of the TNCC.
“Despite my technical education I have mostly worked with people, as a consultant my job also involved accounting, general planning and strategies. In contrast to what will be the case here, I used to work project-oriented with defined deadlines. Here is more continuous process, which I look forward to start with,” she tells. One of her new challenges would be to balance social activities, which TNCC currently is planning with more serious matters.
“As a Chamber of commence we live for our members and our most important job is to be worth the membership of the members. We are small compared with some of the bigger countries’ chamber of commences but that can be an advantage since it allows us to be a little more creative to make innovative solutions”, the new executive director for the Thai-Norwegian Chamber of Commence ads with conviction.