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10 Reasons to Choose SMEMBA SBM ITB for The MBA Program

The MBA program ( Master of Business Administration ) has become a favorite lately, especially for young workers and entrepreneurs. This is mainly driven by the need to increase knowledge in business management, managerial skills, career development, and increased networks.

For those of you who are looking for a suitable MBA program, the ” Strategic Marketing Executive MBA ” (SMEMBA) program as a result of the collaboration between the School of Business and Management at the Bandung Institute of Technology (SBM-ITB) and the MarkPlus Institute can be one of the best options worth considering.   

As an Alumni of this program (SMEMBA Batch 3, period 2019-2020), I summarize 10 Reasons why the SMEMBA SBM-ITB Program is the right choice to get an MBA

This article is a kind of testimony that I dedicate to my beloved college SBM-ITB and a memory to remember the good times I was studying for my master’s degree.

Note: My period of study was before the covid-19 pandemic (2019 to early 2020). Of course, some of the lecture methods described here will change according to the pandemic situation. Hopefully, the situation will improve so that face-to-face lectures can gradually be held again. 

1. ITB’s Reputation


Who doesn’t know ITB? one of the best public universities in Indonesia, in the Q.S. World University Rankings (WUR) 2021 ranking, The university, founded in 1920, occupies the third position of the best university in Indonesia and the 67th position at the Asian level.

Q.S. World University Rankings is a well-known site that annually releases the best universities in every country and world)

Meanwhile, ITB’s ranking rose 18 levels at the world level, from 331 in the previous year to 313 this year.

As part of ITB, of course, the standard and quality of lectures at SBM-ITB is guaranteed, and there is no need to doubt it.

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SBM-ITB was established in 2003, consisting of undergraduate, master (Master of Business Administration and Master of Science Management), and doctoral programs ( Doctor of Science in Management ).

For the Jakarta Campus MBA Program, besides SMEMBA, SBM-ITB also has several other programs, including Business Leadership Executive MBA (BLEMBA), Sustainability Executive MBA, Energy Management Executive MBA, General Management MBA, and Entrepreneurship MBA.


2. Great Collaboration between SBM-ITB and MarkPlus Inc

Kolaborasi SBM-ITB dan MarkPlus Inc

The Strategic Marketing Executive MBA (SMEMBA) program is a collaboration between SBM-ITB and MarkPlus Institute. This is the first and only MBA program in strategic marketing in Indonesia.   

Starting in 2015, when this article was written, the SMEMBA program has reached its 5th batch (Batch 5).

The collaboration between SBM-ITB, which in 2017 was named the best business school in Indonesia by Global Brands Magazine, and Markplus Inc as a leading marketing consultant in Indonesia resulted in an excellent MBA program.

It combines the latest business concepts and theories from SBM ITB academics and its real-world application by experienced practitioners from MarkPlus.  

In 2018, SBM-ITB obtained international accreditation of ABEST21 ( The Alliance on Business Education and Scholarship for Tomorrow, a 21 st Century Organization ). Accreditation is valid for 5 years.

ABEST21 is an international accreditation agency that was established in 2005 and is domiciled in Tokyo-Japan. Its members consist of 54 business schools from around the world.

SBM ITB Obtains AACSB Accreditation

Source :

Quoted from the official website of ITB (, in November 2021, SBM ITB, successfully obtained accreditation from The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

AACSB is an international accreditation agency specialized in business schools. The acquisition of accreditation was announced through an official release in Tampa, Florida, United States, Tuesday (11/16/2021).

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SBM ITB became one of the few schools, less than six percent, business schools that managed to obtain accreditation from AACSB.

Another added value is that as students, we also can participate in various marketing events organized by SBM-ITB and  MarkPlus, such as the Asia Marketing Summit, Marketing Discussion Forum, Strategic Marketing Forum, Leaders Forum and Alumni Talks, etc.     

The opportunity to participate in various marketing events and establish relationships with many parties can also continue to be felt until I become an alumnus; I still regularly receive invitations both as participants and speakers at various events held by SBM-ITB and MarkPlus. 


3. The Lecture Method is not Dull. It Encourages Students to be Active in Learning.

Group Presentation
Group Presentation

As the name implies, lectures in the executive class are held every Saturday-Sunday weekend, from 8 am to 6 pm. Usually made alternating between the week of courses and the exam week (mid-term exam or final exam).

In this SMEMBA, the lecture method is made so that students play an active role. Instead of only hearing one-way explanations from the lecturer ( which sometimes makes us sleepy 🙂 ), we are encouraged to actively ask and answer questions from lecturers and analyze real cases in the business world.

We analyze case studies relevant to the subject, have group discussions, and present the result in class. 

This activity gets its own weight in the assessment component (usually 20-30%). Besides the lecturer, an admin is assigned to record which students are actively asking, answering questions, and/or discussing in each class session.

With this method, we are encouraged to be well prepared and active during the lecture. (of course, active means meaningful, not just nonsense question)

Well, before going to class, read the theory and case studies first so that the lecturer doesn’t get dumbfounded when asked.

Don’t expect to get an A if we just sit quietly and don’t talk, especially if it’s mixed with afternoon naps in class 🙂 


4. Updating and Relevant Material

Materi Update dan relevan

What do you study at SMEMBA? I’ll try to explain briefly, so you can get an idea,

In this program, among others, we will learn:

    • Marketing Management, studying the basic frameworks related to marketing, including segmenting, targeting and positioning, 4P, how to create and manage competitive advantage, to new concepts such as new wave marketing strategy, digital marketing, and marketing 4.0     
    • Operation Management, learn how to plan and manage the production process to produce high-quality products and/or services with efficient operating costs. The material covers: Operation Strategy, project management, product development, supply chain management, lean operation (among others Just in Time concept, Toyota Production System ), and process control (among others Six Sigma )            
    • Accounting, learn the basic concepts of accounting, applicable standardization (IFRS, GAAP, PSAK), company financial statements, the importance of understanding accounting in business decision making.
    • Finance Management: this is my favorite subject; I learned how to analyze company financial statements, understand the concept of the time value of money, risk & return, capital budgeting, cost of capital, bond valuation, stock valuation, and mergers & acquisitions.         
    • Business Economics, studying macroeconomics, national income analysis (GDP), fiscal & monetary policy, inflation, unemployment, trade and financial relations between countries, things that affect the overall business climate, as well as microeconomics, the law of supply and demand, cost structures etc.    
    • Consumer Behavior: Learn about the importance of understanding customer behavior to adjust the design of goods, services, and marketing strategies to align with market demand. This course discusses, among others, customer behavior patterns both offline and online in today’s digital world, qualitative and quantitative research tools related to customer behavior, ethnography, and the customer journey in interacting with products and services.  
    • Business Strategy & Enterprise Modeling is one of the most important courses that study, among others, internal and external factors in making business strategies, formulating company business strategies in dealing with a dynamic environment, international strategies, and foreign entry vehicles.   

In addition, there are also courses in Business, Law & Sustainability, Branding & Marketing Communication, International Marketing Management, People in Organization, and Decision Making and Negotiation.     

The relevant case studies from ” Havard Business School ” and other sources will also complement concepts, frameworks, and business theories from textbooks related to these materials.   

Throughout my experience, while studying at SMEMBA, the materials and cases are continuously updated to be relevant to the current situation,

For example, when looking at accounting standards in the accounting course, we discussed the issue of the financial statements of one of the SOEs, which at that time was in the news, 

or when studying business strategy, we discussed the marketing strategy behind the success of the Marvel films that were booming at that time.  

In my opinion, the most exciting thing is the finance management course. This is an essential and relevant science in the world of work.

Wherever we work, understanding finance-related matters (such as company financial reports, capital budgeting, stock valuation, and so on) will really help us assess the company’s financial health and make better business decisions to increase the profitability and maintain the sustainability of the company

Especially when my favorite finance lecturer excitedly explained the relationship between the theories of finance science and their use in assessing stock valuation. I remember that at that time, I was stunned and muttered to myself:

“That’s crazy; where have I been all this time? How come I only know this important knowledge now” 🙂

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Also read :

Understanding 4 Types of Company Financial Statements

5. Qualified Lecturers, The Right Combination Between Academics and Practitioners


As previously mentioned, the MBA Program, which is the result of the collaboration of SBM-ITB and MarkPlus Inc., has academic lecturers who are qualified in their fields and experienced practitioners in the marketing world.

Name some of them: Dr. Yudo Anggoro (Director of SBM ITB Jakarta); Dr. Ir Subiakto Soekarno, MBA, CFP; Dr (Cand). Erman Sumirat, SE, M. Buss. Ak; Dr. Agung Wicaksono; Priyantono Rudito, Ph.D. ; Dr. Jacky Musry (Deputy CEO of Markplus) and Iwan Setiawan, MBA (Chief Knowledge Officer of Markplus).  

In addition to permanent lecturers, there are also guest-lecturers from the business and government circles relevant to these subjects.

This guest-lecturer is one of the most exciting parts of lectures at SMEMBA. After studying business concepts and theories from the lecturers, we can gain additional insight into how relevant these concepts and ideas are to practice in the real world from the guest lecturers’ experiences.


6. Fun Friends, From Various Professional Backgrounds


Students in the SMEMBA program come from various backgrounds. Generally, they have worked for at least 3 years. (In addition to TOEFL and TPA scores, SBM-ITB also requires a minimum of this work experience. These requirements ensure that every student has sufficient knowledge and expertise to actively participate in the learning process).

My batch (SMEMBA Batch 3) consisted of 45 people, including Pertamina, Garuda, Bank Himbara, Kimia Farma, Toyota, Unilever, Holcim, Samsung, and the Ministry of BUMN, Ministry of PUPR, etc.

This diversity of backgrounds allows us to share information, enrich our knowledge, discuss various points of view and expand our network of friends.

Fortunately, people in my class are fun and friendly, have fun chatting between lectures and hang out together at the mall next door (Kokas) after college is over 🙂

We even had time to make uniform jackets for the generation. We held a kind of family gathering (before the pandemic). Even now, the SMEMBA-3 alumni group is still active. 


7. Exciting Discussion

diskusi yang seru

This is the part that I like the most about this master’s degree at SMEMBA. The three factors I mentioned before (challenging case studies, lecturers’ expertise in facilitating, and diverse student backgrounds) are the perfect mix to create a warm and cheerful discussion atmosphere.

In these moments of discussion, we used to have heated debates. For example, why Nokia and Blackberry, which once led the mobile phone market, could fall and be eliminated from the harsh market competition.

Or regarding ZARA’s procurement strategy. For example, is it better to reduce production costs by outsourcing their production to lower-wage countries?. Or maintain the “Zara Model” which prioritizes local (Spain) production, In-season, and vertically integrated production?

One of the most exciting when we discussed the course People In Organization, in the case of “Adithya’s Birla Group,” one of the largest business groups in India, which has around 75,000 workers.

Kumar Mangalam Birla is the new CEO of Birla Group, who inherited the company from his father, A.V. Birla.

We discussed whether Kumar’s steps in restructuring the company’s human resources as appropriate.

Kumar introduces a new retirement policy, recruiting professionals from other companies directly in top management positions and redesigning the performance management system. Kumar also changed company hierarchy from before more on seniority to being based on performance.

Watch the snippet of the discussion in the video above 🙂

duh, I really miss the atmosphere of exciting debates like that again


8. Lectures are Delivered in English


One more advantage of the ITB MBA Program (including SMEMBA) is that Lectures are delivered in English. Including assignments, mid-term exams, final exams per course, group discussions, and also the thesis.

So while studying, we have the opportunity to expedite our English again.

In addition, lectures in English also ensure that MBA-ITB graduates are ready to compete, not only domestically but also internationally.

With this introduction in English, ITB MBA program enthusiasts usually also include foreign nationals currently in Indonesia. For example, in my class, there are two foreign students, one from Italy and the other from China.


9. Cool Classroom

Phillip Kotler Theater
Phillip Kotler Theater Class

An excellent and comfortable lecture room, especially during face-to-face lectures, is, of course, a supporting factor that makes students feel at home for prolonged sitting listening to lectures.

For this one matter, the SMEMBA program lecture room in collaboration with SBM-ITB and MarkPlus can be the best, carrying the theater concept. This classroom, named Phillip Kotler, is specially designed to provide comfort for pre-students.

Located on the 8th Floor, EightyEight@Kasablanca Building, Jl Casablanca Raya Kav 88 Jakarta, this spacious room has around 60 people.

Each row is made different in height so that wherever we sit, we don’t have to bother sticking our heads out to look at the whiteboard or screen in front.

Multimedia and audio facilities are also complete with supporting the learning process.


10. Strong Alumni Network

Ikatan Alumni ITB

ITB alumni have always been known for their cohesiveness. The ITB Alumni Association (IA-ITB), both at the university level and at each Faculty/Department level, is active in acting as a unifying forum and facilitating alumni contributions to their alma mater.

As an alumnus of the SMEMBA SBM ITB program, I have also joined the ITB Alumni organization, including participating in the election of the IA-ITB chairman in April 2021. In the election, Mr. Gembong Primadjaja, alumni of Mechanical Engineering ITB class of 1986, was elected as Chair of the 2021-2025 Period.

Especially for the MBA-ITB Program, recently (July 2021) the Election of the Chair of the Alumni Association (IA MBA-ITB), with Rangga Muslim MBA was elected as chairman for the 2021-2025 period.

As a well-established organization, IA-ITB has complete facilities, including an official website and applications that can be downloaded on the IOS/Android store to make it easier for alumni to communicate.

This strong ITB Alumni network is undoubtedly an added value for us to expand networking and socialization.


How? Interested in joining the SMEMBA SBM-ITB Program? 

The following is other relevant reference information if needed:

This article is also available in “Bahasa Indonesia”, please click the language switcher in the Menu, or click here

If you have questions about lectures at SMEMBA SBM ITB and or feedback/suggestions regarding this article, please write it in the comments column below.

Also Read :

17 Tips to be an Effective and Reliable Employee

That’s all, I hope it’s useful

This post is also available in: Indonesian

Lahir di Palembang pada bulan November 1981, saya menyelesaikan S1 di Jurusan Teknik Kimia Universitas Sriwijaya, dan S2 Master of Business Administration (MBA) di Sekolah Bisnis Management Institut Teknologi Bandung (SBM-ITB). Bekerja di salah satu BUMN dan tinggal di daerah Jakarta Selatan.


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