I haven’t been writing for awhile now. A lot has happened since the end of P3. I have just graduated from INSEAD andI  finally have some time to sit and write about my exciting experiences that have taken place, since my last blog post. Let me try to write a few before ending the year…

We did a trek to Indonesia, visited 12 amazing companies in 4 1/2 days. There were about 12 of us including marketing and career representative from campus and a Wharton exchanger. Let me pause here for a minute.

For those who are not familiar with treks, a trek, at least in its loose definition according to my understanding, is a student organized visit to businesses. Accompanied with some social networking events, It can be sector specific / country specific / or just a general visit. The purpose can vary between finding employment or purely educational.

In our case, it was an educational trek. Even though all eyes are on Indonesia at the moment due to its modest and steady growth relative to the developed countries, working for / doing business in Indonesia can be a challenge due to all sorts of factors: Geographical layout, bureaucracy, lack of infrastructure, culture, etc. At the same time there are real opportunities due to the number of population, rising income, demography, and increasing government transparency. The trek was aimed to help INSEADers to look deeper to the region to enable them in capturing opportunities in the right sectors with the right way in building the right relationships.

The companies we visited varied in sector, they represented strengths of the Indonesian economy. Some are established and some are rising stars: natural resources, agriculture, consumer goods, finance, private equity, e-commerce and consulting. Mostly represented by local leaders, we also visited several multinationals to get their perspectives.

It is surprising how easy it was to get in touch with them. Many companies agreed to host us since we know some INSEAD alumni within, and others have relationships with INSEAD which they value by letting us visit their offices and to give 1 hour of their busy schedules to meet and greet with us. Other companies were contacted from personal friends, who were eager to help us, a group of students, to know more about the region.

During the presentation, the companies gave their take on Indonesia based on their sector, with a bit of a brief on their companies. Previous treks also involved visits to a manufacturing facilities and other activities. We concluded our days with dinner and networking with alumni, exchanging contacts and keeping in touch.

Our trek was the third trek for the year, and surely not the last trek to Indonesia for INSEAD. A unique feature for our trek, since we had a Wharton exchanger with us, was to include an informal dinner as well with Wharton students and alumni, making new friends along the way.

Visit to Sinarmas Agribusiness and Food

Visit to Royal Golden Eagle / Tanoto

INSEAD-Wharton informal dinner

Special thanks to:

Steffi Hie and Stefano Bury for organizing the trek

Companies:

Bain and Company, McKinsey, Royal Golden Eagle (RGE Tanoto), Lazada Indonesia, Saratoga Capital, Living Social Indonesia, Ancora Capital, International Finance Corporation (IFC), Mitra Adi Perkasa (MAP), Golden Agri Resources (Sinarmas), Adaro Energy, Bhoruka Power Indonesia.