Tag Archives: Indonesia

MIM Student Profile: Ricky Hermanto

Ricky at UIC - Copy (2)Ricky is a MIM student from Indonesia. Here he tells us a little about what brought him to the MIM program, what he likes about the program so far, and also offers some survival phrases for those interested in visiting Indonesia.

Hi Ricky. Can you tell us a little about your background, and what drew you to the MIM program?

I come from near the city of Medan, on the island of Sumatra. It’s the 3rd largest city in Indonesia, with a population about 2.5 million people. I majored in Business Administration at my university in Indonesia, and then worked for a food processing and packaging machinery company called Tioniaga as a sales representative after graduating. I was in charge of communicating between suppliers and customers. After  working there for a year and a half though, I decided that studying business abroad would give me extra experience that I could use to further my career. Before starting the MIM program, I went to Oregon State University in Corvallis first, to study English and business.

I chose the MIM program for its international focus; business nowadays is so closely related to global markets, you have to learn about a lot of overseas cultures, and how customers will behave in other countries. We also have to deal with some overseas competitors, in terms of pricing and marketing, and we have to know what our overseas customers will prefer.

I also chose the MIM program because of the Asia trip. It seemed like a good opportunity to learn about business in China, Japan, and Vietnam. Another reason I chose the MIM program was its Chinese language program. Even though it may not be possible to learn a language perfectly, at least having the ability to speak and understand the basics will be good for business.

What are some of your favorite things about the MIM program?

The Age of the Pacific lectures are good. We get to learn about international business  through professionals who come and share their knowledge and insights on global issues. I also think it’s great that we can network with the guest speakers too. Last term, for example, we had a speaker from the US State Department, and afterward we had time interact with each other, and build connections that way. The career advising and resources at the PSU School of Business are also helpful resources for getting a job later. I definitely think it’s best to start the job search process early though, by working on your resume, for example.

Are there any interesting cultural differences between the U.S. and Indonesia? Are there any business customs in Indonesia that people should be aware of?

The first thing, unfortunately, is that people in Indonesia are not always that honest. For example, if you go to a grocery store, people in my country will keep checking the receipt after they pay, because they don’t think the cashier counted things right. But I notice that people in the United States don’t pay much attention to the price on the receipt. Also, most people in my country want to find the lowest price possible, even if they have to travel to a store farther away.

If you want to do business in Indonesia, you have to really stick to the regulations. If you have employees there, and you give someone the responsibility to do a job, you have to monitor them to make sure they do things correctly. Official corruption is an issue to be aware of. Things are getting better, but it is still something to be careful about.

The good thing about people in Indonesia though is that they will be very friendly if you talk to them. If you want to greet someone in Indonesia, the formal way is “Bagaimana kabar anda?”, which is a formal way of saying, “How are you?”. The more casual expression though is “Apa kabar?”. “Terima kasih” means “Thank you”, and is another useful expression. If you decide to travel to Indonesia, I recommend visiting Bali or Lombok island. These are good places for surfing or scuba diving.

In the future, what would you like to do?

After finishing the MIM program, I would like to get some work experience here in the U.S., probably through OPT (Optional Practical IMG_7934Training), which allows international students to work in the US for one year after graduating. I don’t want to work for such a large company, and I don’t necessarily feel I have to work for a well-known company. I just want to work for a company that can give me some good work experience. I will choose between Marketing and Supply Chain for my MIM specialization. Eventually, let’s say 5 or 10 years from now, I might like to open up a restaurant in Indonesia.

Any final thoughts you’d like to share?

Oregon is very nice. It’s very green here, PSU is conveniently located close to downtown Portland, and best of all, Oregon has no sales tax, so things are a bit less expensive than in other parts of the US!

Joshua Thorpe

mail.google.comJosh is a full-time student in the Master of International Management program.  After graduating from the University of Oregon with a degree in Japanese, he taught English in Tokyo for 3 years, before moving to China and teaching at a university in the city of Zhengzhou.  Inspired by his experiences in Japan and China, he was drawn to the MIM program because of its regional focus on Asia, as well as for Portland State University’s reputation as a leader in the field of sustainable business. He is studying Chinese in the MIM program, but tries to keep up his Japanese whenever he can. Josh can be contacted at jthorpe@pdx.edu.


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Filed under Business and Asia, Josh's Entries, MIM GENERAL, Student Profiles

Tips for doing business in Indonesia

Republic of Indonesia is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 17,000 islands. There is 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world’s fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an elected legislature and president. The nation’s capital city is Jakarta. The Indonesian economy is the world’s sixteenth largest by nominal GDP and fifteenth largest by purchasing power parity, therefore, many investors are interested to invest in Indonesia. Today, we have tips for doing business in Indonesia for everyone. 

Tip 1
Indonesian business characteristics are based firmly on the classic, Asian values of respect for hierarchy and people wishing to introduce a more matrix-oriented approach may find themselves struggling against the weight of history and culture
Tip 2
Always try to show respect for the hierarchy of the organization you are dealing with, as well as the senior managers of that organization. Try not to have middle-ranking employees from your company interfacing with the top-level managers from the Indonesian organization. Continue reading

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The MBA Business Tour in Southeast Asia

The MBA Tour is an independent and high quality information source regarding MBA admissions. Portland State University leads by Kelly Doherty, Director of Marketing and Recruiting, Graduate Business Programs will be setting up the Portland State University booth around the Southeast Asia from September 10 to September 18, 2012 in the following locations:

  • Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Monday September 10, 2012            16:00 – 21:30  at Legend Hotel Saigon

  • Bangkok, Thailand

Thursday September 13, 2012         16:15 – 21:30 at the Westin Grande Sukhumvit

  • Jakarta, Indonesia

Saturday September 15, 2012           11:30 – 17:00 at Sari Pan Pacific Jakarta

  • Singapore, Singapore

Tuesday September 18, 2012            16:00 – 21:30 at Marina Mandarin Singapore

The registration is free of charge. Kelly Doherty will be there to introduce the graduate programs: MBA, MSFA, and MIM offering by Portland State University. We are welcome the alumni to go visit our booth and helping us answering any question to our perspective students who are interested in enrolling at Portland State University.

Thunyarak “Goy” Katikavongkhachorn

Thunyarak Katikavongkhachorn or Goy is a full-time student in Master of International Management Program. She received a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Portland State University. She was interested in studying MIM program because she would like to broaden her career in supply chain and logistics at the global level that focusing on Pacific Asia while studying Chinese as a third language. She currently specialize in supply chain and finance in the MIM program.

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Repeating History

I’m no global finance expert.  I couldn’t hope to adequately explain what’s happening in Greece right now in this short blog entry.  But I do want to share some thoughts about this crisis, and suggest there are a few parallels to what happened in 1997 in East Asia.

In an earlier post I wrote about the MIM history class and how it has taught us analyze the past to help explain modern behavior.  But if you believe that history is doomed to repeat itself, there is another lesson to be learned.

I’m sure you are aware of the Greek debt crisis.  It certainly has captured the world’s attention, especially as the global economy begins to crawl out of recession.  For anyone interested in Asia, the current situation should call up memories of the East Asian crisis in 1997.  If you aren’t old enough to remember, or never studied it in school, I recommend starting with this Wikipedia article.  But briefly here’s what happened.

  • East Asian economies are growing at an average of 9% annually encouraging rabid investment
  • Western investors get skittish about a possible bubble
  • The Thai baht starts loosing value after massive sell-offs
  • The Thai government (followed by several other local governments) un-peg their currencies
  • The values of all these currencies crash against the dollar  (contagion!)
  • This makes loans in Asia that had been taken out in dollars much more expensive
  • Creditors fear default
  • The IMF steps in and offers bailouts to the affected countries in return for austerity agreements

Of course, this is an overly simplified version of the story.  What strikes me is how similar the problems in Greece are.  While the crisis in Asia was precipitated by fear of an asset bubble, and Greece’s problems are more related to over borrowing, the lesson is more in how interconnected the global economies are.  The fall in the baht sent shockwaves through the region leading to fall out in Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan, Korea, and even the US.  Greece seems poised to start a chain reaction that goes through Spain, Portugal, Italy and Ireland. What remains unclear is how the euro will affect the outcome.  The Asian crisis involved several different currencies.  That insulation probably helped to stem the tide somewhat.  Traditionally, a country experiencing economic emergency has a few currency tools it can use to react.  But in the case of Greece, it shares the euro with so many of it’s creditors and trading partners, the same tools aren’t available.  It will be fascinating to watch what unfolds in the coming months.

Stay tuned


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