I have always been competing in martial arts since I was 13 years old. I competed semi-professionally in Jiu-Jitsu, Mixed Martial Arts, and Boxing. However, in the last five years, I focused more on my work, career, and a vision – mainly on solving the world’s largest threat to humanity: climate change. Before my MBA, I fought climate change through my non-profit organisation, Indonesia’s Society of Renewable Energy, and an energy-focused consulting career at Boston Consulting Group (BCG). Working 80+ hours per week was not an easy life; so martial arts was sidelined.

Coming to Cambridge, I wanted to challenge myself not only intellectually but also mentally and physically. I was committed to pushing myself to the limit. Intellectually, I can collaborate with prodigies from all over the university (i.e., engineering, business, and life sciences students) in addition to having access to top research studies and professors. But beyond this, I was aiming to leapfrog in terms of mentality and physicality. As such, I did a trial during the first term, Michaelmas Term, to be part of one of most brutal varsity squads in the university: Cambridge University Boxing Blues Varsity Squad.

Training six times a week with high intensity is part of the training. Balancing between the fully packed Cambridge MBA expectations with many classes until 5pm and then training in the evening. Without mental perseverance, this is especially tough since I also co-chair the Energy and Environmental Special Interest Group. Every week, I get up on a cold morning for sprints. But what was especially excruciating was the beginning of the Lent Term: “Boxing Training Camp.” We trained intensely 3 x a day, together with athletes from premier boxing clubs and even the England Army, to prepare us for a series of upcoming fight bouts. I thought of quitting the squad many times, fearing losing out on my MBA experience at Cambridge, but I persisted in a belief that this could still be balanced.

The boxing team’s motto inspired me: “Sine labore nihil” – “without work, there is nothing.” It taught me that hard work and grit must be a habit when handling tough situations. Ultimately, the Cambridge MBA rigorous programme, leading the Energy and Environmental SIG, and being an athlete-student, fighting for and boxing for Cambridge University, is the ultimate test of my intellectuality, physicality, and mental strength.

It has transformed me to the next level, and I am thrilled to continue my journey in the following months at Cambridge Judge Business School.