2018 MBAs To Watch: Adhika Kartoleksono, Cambridge Judge

Adhika Kartoleksono

Cambridge Judge Business School

“A video gaming fanatic from Indonesia who is passionate about finance and technology.”

Age: 27

Hometown: Jakarta, Indonesia

Fun fact about yourself: I used to dislike cycling, now I can’t survive in Cambridge without a bike

Undergraduate School and Degree: University of Melbourne, Bachelor of Commerce

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? Corporate and Investment Banking Analyst at Citi

Where did you intern during the summer of 2017? N/A

Where will you be working after graduation? Traveloka, a unicorn start-up from Indonesia specializing in travel and mobility

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: Researcher at Cambridge Centre of Alternative Finance – Prepared an extensive report about wealth management technology in financial services

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? We are creating a sustainable breast milk bank to help 25 million malnourished children and 10 million stunted babies in Indonesia. We stumbled on this idea during a brainstorming session, and the more we refine it, the more feasible it got. We are now in the final stage of the McKinsey Venture Academy competition with this idea. I really want to expose this idea in an international setting to show that while the rest of the world is moving at a breakneck speed, people in some parts of the world are still struggling to live.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I prepared the presentation materials for the Indonesian President Joko Widodo, the Minister of Finance and Central Bank Governor for their state visit to the US. I was initially star struck, but then had to quickly learn to create a data-driven and balanced narrative for Indonesia’s bond and equity investors.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Jaideep Prabhu. His Marketing and Innovation in Emerging Economies class explained so many different businesses in emerging countries and how they thrive in challenging environments through innovative and out-of-the-box ways.

What was your favorite MBA Course? Design Thinking. We learned to go through the entire design thinking process (from empathizing with end users to iterating the solution) and in the end create an implementable solution for real business problems in Cambridge. We picked an issue about creating a solution for blind and partially sighted museum visitors and went back-and-forth to a museum in Cambridge to iterate our thinking before presenting our solution.

Why did you choose this business school? I wanted a 1-year MBA as I want to return to work as quickly as possible, while immersing myself about new technology trends to transition into the tech sector. Judge is the perfect choice. The Silicon Fen in Cambridge is a very exciting place, where you can find people working on all sorts of technology businesses – from biotech to deep AI.

What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Research the school, the environment and the cohort. Speaking with alumni is usually one of the best ways to get insights

What is the biggest myth about your school? Cambridge may seem like a student village outside of London, but this isn’t true in reality. There’s always something for everyone: picturesque historical buildings and sceneries, interesting speaker events, opportunities to socialize with the greater University of Cambridge community, and wide range of extracurricular experience.

What was your biggest regret in business school? Not joining more activities in the Judge and Cambridge community instead. There’s so many things to do here.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Everyone brings something special to the class – be it industry experience or academic rigor – while being humble about it. All you need to do is ask, and someone will be there to help you.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? Being raised by a banker and an entrepreneur really shaped my resolve to study business.

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be… working on my spreadsheet model in Jakarta.”

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the MBA experience? Maybe free coffee to fuel our assignment rush? Or fewer assignments so we drink less coffee?

What are the top two items on your bucket list? Travel US and Europe on an RV and drive an F1 car

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? A helpful classmate who you can laugh together with.

What is your favorite movie about business? Margin Call. Don’t underestimate the value of good risk management

What would your theme song be? Red Hot Chili Pepper, Zephyr Song

Favorite vacation spot: Takayama, Japan

Hobbies? Video gaming, visiting museums around the world, backpack traveling

What made Adhika such an invaluable addition to the class of 2018?

“Adhika exemplifies the values we hold dear and has shown excellent progress across academics, careers and helping the entire class learn and gel together.”

Conrad Chua

Executive Director, Cambridge MBA