Come with an open mind and high expectations, be prepared to invest your time and energy to learn in and outside of campus, and most importantly spend time and get to know your cohort - you will learn a lot from each other.
Karolina Astaman

Karolina Astaman

karolina
Nationality/Passport: Indonesian Year of graduation: 2024 Current Role: President Director, Surbana Jurong Indonesia (Surbana Jurong Group)

Fun fact about yourself - what is something unexpected about you?

Having spent a large part of my career driving businesses and managing teams in client-facing roles, people would think I am an extrovert. On the contrary, I think I’m an introvert - I am very comfortable being and working alone, I’m very much reflective and self-aware, and I like having an inner circle of very good friends.

People may think introverts can’t be leaders, but I have put my introvert traits to good use. I focus on my ideas to solve problems rather than relying on external factors, I turn into my own mind to re-charge (think yoga, meditation and running), I plan for the long term, and I listen (to people) a lot. 

So, what made you decide to pursue the TIEMBA, and why did you choose INSEAD?

In my current role, I consider myself as having a strong technical background and experience in operations. However, I am eager to expand my management knowledge and skills to drive significant growth of the company and to enable me to undertake a regional/international role in future.

Asia Pacific will continue to be the key growth market in real estate and urbanisation efforts and China remains a key player as we can see in our strong projects pipeline. I am also planning to pivot into a role in private equity/real estate investment in the future, capitalising on my experience and network in the ASEAN market. 

INSEAD with its Asia (Singapore) campus appeals as our headquarter is based in Singapore and it is the home/Asia Pacific HQ to many other multi-national organisations with interests in urban (especially real estate) and infrastructure development.

Joining the TIEMBA could open so many more opportunities for career growth in this sector, with a renewed focus on environmental, social and governance concerns.

In a post-COVID, disruptive world, businesses need to invest time and energy into considering upcoming risks and turn them into strategic opportunities. In a similar take, I feel the need to take stock and invest in re-inventing my personal and professional objectives.

Throughout my study at Tsinghua University and INSEAD, I am hoping to address my ‘shortcomings’ and capitalise on my strengths in acquiring new, future-ready knowledge and skills. I am also a true believer of continuous learning - joining an executive programme is an opportunity to learn from a very experienced cohort.

Throughout my studies I also hope to significantly enlarge my network in China, ASEAN and globally through the INSEAD network and acquire the relevant skills for the businesses of the future. 

Could you tell us more about your learning experience?

I enjoyed the direct interaction with my classmates and the faculty on campus and felt it is much more effective to have face-to-face interaction. I also enjoyed the team work setting as it allows us to learn from each other and contribute to the process based on our respective strengths. 

Has the TIEMBA helped you in your career so far?  

Eight weeks in and I have made many new connections and learned so much from my peers on a broad range of topics! I look forward to experiencing the rest of the journey.

If you were to describe your experience so far in one sentence, what would it be?

Rewarding - I felt privileged to learn with and from my peers and the faculty. After every module I came back inspired, re-charged and ready to take on new challenges.

What advice would you give to someone who might be interested in pursuing an INSEAD Masters programme?

Come with an open mind and high expectations, be prepared to invest your time and energy to learn in and outside of campus, and most importantly spend time and get to know your cohort - you will learn a lot from each other.