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Meet Satima

“The coach who recognised my unique potential”

Twenty years since beginning her corporate career, Satima Tanabe had amassed a wealth of business experience. Following stints in marketing and luxury retail management, she now presided over one of the world’s most prestigious auction houses as its general manager. It was at that time in her career that Natiya Saul of Robert Walters Thailand came calling with an unexpected opportunity.

On paper, the position – general manager at an up-and-coming international school – didn’t seem like an obvious fit. With no prior experience in education, Satima hesitated to venture into an unfamiliar industry. However, after some candid discussions and some soul-searching, her perspective shifted. 

After Natiya explained that the role centered on managing the school, Satima realised that her extensive leadership experience in other sectors rendered her well-equipped for the challenge. Moreover, looking further ahead, she planned to dedicate more time to her family and personal interests. So, she viewed this next career move as a capstone to her professional journey.

“Given my expertise and interest in initiating projects and establishing businesses from the ground up, this seemed like the perfect platform to challenge and apply myself,” she relates.

Confidence boosted, Satima advanced through the interviews alongside Natiya, who provided timely updates and support at every turn. She ultimately won the position, beating out the other applicants who were all already embedded in the education industry.

Securing the role was just the beginning. When she assumed the position, the school was in its pre-launch phase, so Satima dove right into planning for the school’s grand opening. There was also plenty to discover about a new industry. With the guidance of a mentor and continuous learning, Satima navigated the transition successfully within a year.

“Even after securing the role, I’ve still had a partner in the Robert Walters team. Natiya was consistently open and transparent about the role, which prepared me to take on the intricacies of a new industry,” reflects Satima.

Each day unfolds with fresh challenges: safeguarding the premises, cultivating the school’s reputation, or instilling a global mindset among its student body, which has grown from a mere few students to hundreds that walk through the halls daily.

As Satima relishes the opportunity to shape the futures of aspiring young minds, she credits the pivotal role that Robert Walters played in her own career trajectory.

“Robert Walters recognised my unique potential and believed in my ability to excel in the role,” she affirms. “It’s clear their approach goes beyond making placements – it’s about shaping the future of people’s careers for the better.”

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