Life begins at fourty, as people said. But for me, life began at college. Before entering college, I was an ordinary school students who have no academic brilliance, have no interest in reading books, and also do not have specific goals for short term or long term in my life. I just let those flow.
“The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader” by John C. Maxwell became the starting point that changed my thinking of life. This book caught my attention when I was in college and later became a booster which encouraged me to have an interest to read more books. My addiction of reading has increased dramatically since I read the provocative book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey. These two books were the milestone for me to be able to always think positive, have specific purposes in life, and became the initiator and leader in a community.
During my study in architecture department in Institut Teknologi Bandung, I applied the knowledge from the leadership, management and self-enrichment books I had read. As the result, I was elected as chief for architecture students and was actively involved in many campus organizations, such as students union of architecture department and student representative board. My experience in campus organization has taught me how to act as an individual human being, a team player and also a leader. A good leader must be able to set priorities and be able to lift confidence among the team member in order to do something right in proper way to make it more efficient and effective. A good leader is born from a good team player. Even though I was active in campus organizations, I still excel at my my academic requirement. Best Student Award which I received at the third year is the result, and it has increased my confidence in both academic and campus life.
Since I was in college, I already had intention to have my own business. I run my business of architecture-model making and architecture consultant with my friends in college. Unfortunately, this business did not run well because I did not have a good management. The lack of business strategy and commitment became the causes of dissolution of this business. It was not exactly a great experience, but it gave me even more motivation to learn more. Therefore, I intended to learn more about business techniques so that I will be able to have my own company in the future under a good management. Besides, in my native Indonesia, only 0.18 percent of the population are entrepreneurs and there is a very large open-unemployment reaching 11 million people, so the entrepreneurs’ population need to be increased to at least 2 percent from the total population in order to match developed countries’ economy. This has strengthened my spirit to create own company.
I am planning to work in the big and bonafide companies in a certain period of time before running my own company. By working in the big companies, I can minimize the risk and business mistakes by learning from the experiences of the company. In addition, working in those companies can expand my knowledge about business techniques and also can provide a wide business network, which will be useful for my company later.
Graduated from college, I worked in architecture firm for 6 months. The firm has more emphasis on the process design. As someone who aims to own a company, I need to understand deeply about management and business. Therefore, I joined OCBC NISP Bank, one of the Top Ten private bank in Indonesia, through Management Development Program (MDP), an accelerated program for prospective bankers which contains a comprehensive economic and banking training. Bank is an intermediary institution that have detail and complete business and management system due to the regulation and public trust. I am sure by working in a bank, I could achieve the knowledge about formal management and good business processes.
After successfully graduated the MDP program, I was placed as analyst in Franchise & Branch Channel Management, a division that is responsible for the achievement of branches’ financial goals in all over Indonesia. As a graduate from the school of architecture, at first I did not have solid basic in understanding the economy, such as macro-economic system, statistics analysis, and econometrics. But later on, thanks to the support of my team, combined with my eagerness to learn from the books, I quickly gained the basic foundation about economy.
During the two and a half years of working at the Bank, I learned about new knowledge which had never been taught in architecture. Numbers or statistics is an important element in a formal business. With a special business programming, data and information are collected, extracted, and then analyzed to give some conclusion as a consideration in business decission making. Through these data, we can also calculate the rate of growth of a business and do financial forecasting based on macro and micro indicators. I also learned about Risk Management that can be measured through allowance for provicy and about quality management techniques, such as the usage of Six Sigma for quality improvement and implementation of Balanced Scorecard. All business things can be measured through the statistic so that we consider those as a business intellegent to improve business efficiency, as seen from the ratio of ROA (Return on Assets), ROE (Return on Equity), or CIR (Cost-Income Ratio). While working at OCBC NISP Bank, i also run my own business which is called narasoma studio. narasoma studio is a small studio with a concentration on the design of private houses and corporate identity.
I strongly believe that things above still represent a small portion of the full stages to produce an effective and efficient business. Now, I am taking MBA in Brunel University, West London. Studying MBA will be very useful for me to understand the whole stages of doing business by systematic and complete lectures. MBA tries to bridge between theories and realities of business and management. Lectures in business outline what must be mastered in both theory and practical, such as management’s soft skills (leadership, teamwork and entrepreneurship) and business hard skills (financial knowledge, business economics, marketing & strategist management). Working as an analyst in the Bank has developed my business foundation, as in the teamwork, data and statistic analysis, problems seeking and solving, and decision making. Learning MBA at the right place will lead me in the right way to prepare for being an executive in a big company and later being an owner of a big company.
For me, school is not only a place to gain knowledge and a degree, but also as a vehicle to communicate with other people to develop myself and to expand my global network. In this MBA program, I wish to gain, share and enhance my knowledge on business strategy and entrepreneurship from the students all around the world. Living in an environment that is filled with people who have passion to move forward and have the attitude as a winner will encourage me to continue improving myself.
After graduating from MBA, I am going to apply the knowledge by working in a business strategy consultant for a particular period of time, to explore the correlation between theory and fact. I hope I can learn full stages of making business plan and deciding strategic management. After obtaining sufficient experience and wide network in strategy consultant, I am planning to have my own private business. With an undergraduate degree in a creative field (architecture), graduate in MBA and work experience in the finance and business, I am sure I can combine those to produce an excellent strategic management for my own creative industry company and have the vision to be the biggest creative industry company in Indonesia, which not only has great creative design achievement but also has high efficiency and effectiveness in business.