2023 MBA To Watch: Steve Alexander Prawiromaruto, National University of Singapore

Steve Alexander Prawiromaruto

National University of Singapore – The NUS MBA

“Tech strategist and enthusiast. Passionate advocate of having a growth mindset and servant leadership qualities.”

Hometown: Jakarta, Indonesia

Fun fact about yourself: I ran my own podcast during the Covid-19 pandemic called “Project M” which focuses on the topic of healthy masculinity.

Undergraduate School and Degree: American University, Bachelor of Arts in International Studies

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? GoJek, Ad & Promotion Solutions, Senior Manager

Where did you intern during the summer of 2022? Google, Singapore

Where will you be working after graduation? TBD

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: President of the NUS MBA Technology Club

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I would consider my tenure as NUS MBA Technology Club president to be one of my proudest achievements during my MBA.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? It would be driving the adoption of GoJek’s self-serve merchant platform, GoBiz, by our enterprise partners (e.g. McDonald’s, KFC) by almost twenty-fold, coordinating key product developments to make our product more enterprise-ready and establishing precious relationships along the way.

Why did you choose this business school? I chose NUS mainly because of its Asia focus as I know for sure that I want to settle and do business here in Asia in the long-term. The few alumni I talked to also gave amazing stories on their experience which really resonated with me as well.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Professor Prem Shamdasani, whom I also helped as teaching assistant. I love his dynamic teaching style, vast network and expertise in the world of marketing, and genuine love and care for his students.

What was your favorite course as an MBA? Digital Marketing – to me it had the best balance of theoretical and practical knowledge, and it was super-hands on as we got to try out setting up our own advertising campaigns and analytics on Google’s platforms. Of course, it was amazing thanks to Professor Ang Eu Gene.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? I really enjoyed the Dean’s Challenge, specifically the talent show segment. It’s amazing to find out that my buttoned-up, professional classmates have these amazing secret talents to showcase, and supporting them in the competition I feel brings us closer as an NUS MBA community.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? My second semester was extremely hectic as I was doing six different things at one time – classes, a part-time internship, applying for a summer internship, leading the Technology Club, a part-time job as a teaching assistant and then also doing a case competition (“social life” is just squeezed in here and there whenever possible). While I would say all these things did add value, I also felt that I was also partly just being busy for the sake of it as if that is the mark of a successful MBA student. Busier does not always mean more productive, and I wished I had better prioritized my commitments instead of trying to just portray a certain image.

What is the biggest myth about your school? Many people would probably have the perception that NUS is all about academics. Personally, I find our faculty and Programmes Office have done a great job in making sure our lives are not just dominated by trying to get the best grades, abut also make sures we have time to explore opportunities outside the classroom for a holistic learning experience.

What did you love most about your business school’s town? Singapore is a very cosmopolitan city where East truly meets West. You are exposed to so many different cultures here and the fact that many global companies place their APAC headquarters here gives you such amazing exposure professionally.

What surprised you the most about business school? How we were still able to develop such close friendships. In general, establishing close friendships gets harder as you get older and I would have thought the relationships I would have with my classmates in an MBA, where everyone is older and more experienced, would be more professional in nature. To my surprise, I managed to start and nurture some very meaningful close friendships, and they are ones that I will keep for the rest of my life.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? I worked on a very challenging but high-visibility project in my job pre-MBA, which allowed me to establish a close relationship with one of my company’s directors, who ended up writing my letter of recommendation. Always be proactive in establishing close and meaningful relationships in the workplace and don’t be afraid to stand out – you never know where it might get you one day.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? One classmate I admire the most is Lina Ichiki. Lina is one of my best friends and I am always amazed at how she manages to really do it all – classes, student council work, internships, doing her own business as well as caring for her husband and daughter, while always having an extremely kind and positive attitude. I would consider Lina one of my best friends in the MBA and am thankful I got to meet her through the program.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  1. Getting a role as a Technical Product Manager
  2. Try to start my own business someday

What made Steve such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2023?

“Steve was one of the most enthusiastic participants of the cohort. In my class, he often made thoughtful comments. His varied activities are indicative of his eclectic interests as well his high energy. He is well-liked and respected by his peers. I am confident that he will shine in his professional life, enhancing the reputation of the program.”

Prof Nitin Pangarkar
Academic Director, The NUS MBA and NUS-HEC Paris MBA Programs
Associate Professor (Educator Track), Strategy & Policy Department
NUS Business School


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