Djoko Kusumowidagdo, MBA '75, said he chose Portland State’s School of Business because it was one of the best business schools in the Pacific Northwest. He loved Oregon and the city of Portland, and even though he graduated from PSU with an undergraduate degree in chemistry, he had a lingering passion for business, so he returned to PSU to pursue his MBA degree and graduated in 1975.
Djoko knew that a developing country like Indonesia needed leaders with strong character like the leaders who inspired him in the biographies he read. Driven by this and his love for education, he launched Outward Bound Indonesia in 1990 to provide youth with learning that differed from the traditional curriculum—one that developed strong leaders with character, passion and creativity.
The challenges Djoko faced when starting Outward Bound Indonesia were funding for startup costs, operating costs, salaries and various aspects of training, as well as finding a location large enough for its activities. His MBA experience helped solve each challenge step by step, creating a sound business strategy by tapping into knowledge gained from his finance and marketing courses.
“When we started Outward Bound Indonesia in 1990, there was no such organization like it, meaning all executive trainings were created from scratch. It was a new business concept all together,” said Djoko. “Starting a business when nothing like it exists is not easy. My advice to recent graduates wishing to start initiatives in other countries is to understand and focus on their passion and not give up”.
Outward Bound Indonesia now employs more than 35 full-time trainers and assistant trainers and owns nearly 35 acres of land adjacent to a lake outside of Jakarta, Indonesia. The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes PSU’s School of Business alumni who have achieved extraordinary business success. In addition, Djoko is being recognized for his outstanding professional achievements as well as civic contributions and commitment to local, national and global communities. He will be honored at the 2013 Portland State School of Business MBA Hooding Ceremony, taking place Friday, June 14th at the Portland Art Museum.