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Walton College

The Sam M. Walton College of Business

Study Abroad: Indonesia

MBA Study Abroad in Indonesia

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By Jordan Rodgers, MBA Candidate 2024

As part of the Walton MBA Global Business course, my cohort and I had the privilege to embark on a two-week study abroad program to Indonesia, with a focus on exploring the business landscape in the bustling capital city of Jakarta and the idyllic island of Bali. This unique experience provided us with valuable insights into the country’s economic development, entrepreneurial spirit, and cultural influence on business practices.
Indonesia City LifeArriving in Jakarta, we were immediately immersed in the fast-paced environment of this thriving metropolis. The city's towering skyscrapers and bustling streets showcased its status as a major business hub in Southeast Asia. During our time in Jakarta, we had the privilege of visiting Plug and Play Indonesia, a leading startup accelerator, and Endeavor Indonesia, a high-impact entrepreneurship network. These visits allowed us to witness the innovative ideas and entrepreneurial energy driving Indonesia's business ecosystem.
We also had the opportunity to engage with the local entrepreneurial community during our visit to Impact Hub Jakarta. This vibrant co-working space provided a glimpse into the collaborative and creative environment where startups and social enterprises thrive and allowed us to connect with passionate individuals who are making a positive impact on society.
Indonesian FarmJavara Indonesia, a social enterprise promoting sustainable agriculture and local products, was another highlight of our visit to Jakarta. We had the chance to learn about their mission, try an assortment of their product range, and gain insights into their partnerships with local farmers. This experience shed light on the growing trend of conscious consumption and the importance of supporting local communities. Before departing Jakarta, our study abroad group had the privilege of visiting SukkaChitta, a social enterprise focused on handcrafted clothes #MadeRight. We learned of their efforts to pay living wages, protect the planet, and champion local culture.
In Bali, we visited the local Banjar, or community center, where we learned how to make offerings, play Balinese music, discover a Legong dance, and try our hand at woodcarving. Exploration also included a visit to The Royal Palace of Blahbatuh, which showcased the intricate craftsmanship and traditional architecture that are integral to Balinese culture. We also had the opportunity to participate in a hands-on herbal walk, where we learned about the traditional uses of medicinal plants and their importance in Balinese healing practices.
Danone-AQUADuring our time in Bali, we ventured to Kintamani, a picturesque area known for its breathtaking views of Mount Batur and Lake Batur. We explored the sustainable initiatives of Danone-AQUA, a leading bottled water company committed to environmental conservation and community development. This experience provided us with insights into the efforts of multinational corporations to integrate sustainability into their business models.
To further understand the local educational landscape, we visited Politeknik Negeri Bali, a reputable polytechnic institute. We learned about their focus on practical education, their collaborations with industry partners to nurture future leaders in various fields, and even made a brief stop in a few classrooms to mingle with students.

Our study abroad program also included visits to social innovation organizations such as Kopernik and eCollabo8, where we engaged with local social entrepreneurs and learned about their innovative solutions to address societal challenges. Additionally, we had the opportunity to connect with the Bali Investment Club, an angel network of investors supporting sustainable business initiatives in Bali.
To further immerse ourselves in Bali's cultural heritage, we visited Tenganan Village, a traditional Balinese village known for its unique customs and preserved way of life. We learned about their traditions, witnessed their intricate craftsmanship, and gained a deeper appreciation for the importance of cultural preservation.
Amidst the natural beauty of Bali, we engaged in a trekking excursion and explored the underwater world with Ocean Gardener, a coral reef restoration organization where I was lucky enough to be responsible for carrying and installing one their ‘spider’ contraptions used as a base for restoration. These experiences highlighted the significance of sustainable tourism, environmental conservation, and the delicate balance between economic development and ecological preservation.
Overall, the two-week study abroad experience in Indonesia provided us with a unique perspective on global business. From engaging with innovative startups and social enterprises to witnessing the cultural influences on business practices, we gained invaluable insights into the economic development, entrepreneurial spirit, and social impact initiatives that shape the business environment in this diverse and captivating country. This experience has broadened our horizons, deepened our understanding of global business practices, and left us with lasting memories of Indonesia's vibrant culture, warm hospitality, and commitment to sustainable development.

MBA 2023

Walton College

Walton College of Business

Since its founding at the University of Arkansas in 1926, the Sam M. Walton College of Business has grown to become the state's premier college of business – as well as a nationally competitive business school. Learn more...

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