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Indonesian Consultant Bets On MBA For Shift Into Life Sciences

David Christian Angdi left a senior consultancy position at EY to pursue an MBA – a degree he hopes will help him to transition into the innovative life sciences sector.

Sat Feb 28 2015

David Christian Angdi is a management consultant studying a full-time MBA at Melbourne Business School in Australia.

The strategist has had long and successful career at firms across Indonesia – an emerging market tipped for fast growth but which suffers from a lack of managerial talent.

He joined EY’s (Ernst & Young) Jakarta outfit as a transaction advisory intern in 2011, before moving onto a partner of Booz & Company (now called Strategy&) as an associate.

In 2012 he moved to EY Indonesia and spent more than two years as a senior consultant, responsible for pre-IPO advisory, mergers and acquisitions, as well as market entry strategy.

Despite a successful career in the developing market, he feels an MBA will allow him to move out of consultancy firms and into management positions in the healthcare industry.

The former English language teacher has his eyes set on the innovative life sciences sector.

Why did you decide to begin an MBA degree?

Primarily because I aspired to transition from being a consultant in a leading professional services firm to being a middle-level manager in the life sciences sector.

With that in mind, it is essential for me to develop my general management skills and business acumen to ensure that I can contribute to the performance of the company which I will join after completing the degree.

What made your business school stand out from the rest? 

I wanted to do my MBA somewhere in the Asia Pacific region, and there are several schools that met my criteria.

As I went through each of them, I figured out that Melbourne Business School’s one-year, full time MBA program was really attractive. The size of the class is relatively small, making it ideal for creating a rewarding learning experience.

Last but not least, the school itself is located in Melbourne, a city consistently rated as the world’s most liveable. The culture and modern lifestyle is really captivating – it makes my whole MBA journey simply amazing.

How would you describe the culture at your business school?

The culture in Melbourne Business School is very accommodating. The faculty members, student services, as well as the fellow classmates are open-minded and we learn from each other.

It was not as tense or as competitive as I anticipated it would be in the beginning. It is more of a culture which helps to create conducive learning environments for the students.

Which aspect of the MBA has been the most valuable? 

The diversity in the classroom and the opportunity to work together with people from different backgrounds have been the most valuable aspects throughout my MBA journey.

Every term, students are assigned to different syndicate groups. We learn from each other as we are provided with case studies or problems that we need to solve as a group.

What was it like living and working for EY in Indonesia? 

Indonesia is an emerging country and it is currently undergoing a lot of compelling changes.

It is such a dynamic place to live in, and life is exciting as there are many different things happening in the country.

Working in a leading professional services firm such as EY provides huge learning opportunity, as multinational firms start eyeing the potential of the country and would love to establish a presence there.

Helping them enter into the market enhances the opportunity to build a network and exposes you to the country’s business environment.

What advice would you give to people who are about to apply to business school?

The key advice that I would give to people who are applying to a business school is to understand the post-MBA goals and align those to the business school.

Each business school has its own strengths and comparative advantages to one another.

For someone who desires to work in a certain region after graduation, choosing a leading business school in that respective region will be suitable, as the knowledge and the network provided by the school are going to aid in achieving career goals in the future.

What are your future career plans? 

I aspire to be part of a leading multinational firm in the life sciences sector in Indonesia.

This aspiration came out after years of working in consulting, where I had the opportunity to provide advice to decision makers in various companies. I realized that I really want to take part in the decision-making processes in firms whose decisions will greatly impact people’s lives, and that’s why the life science sector comes to my mind.