10 years, Kellogg's joint effort with McCormick still building
on success, innovation
MMM program lets Kellogg students go on-site to assess
facilities, as here in the Evanston Research Park.
a decade ago, Kellogg partnered with the Robert R. McCormick
School of Engineering and Applied Science to establish the
world's premier manufacturing management program at Northwestern
both management and engineering into a single program, the
Master of Management andManufacturing (MMM) has created a
curriculum that its faculty and students have called challenging,
diverse and dynamic. The goal from the start has involved
teaching students to develop a command of business strategy,
while fostering a deep appreciation of technical fundamentals.
It's the powerful versatility of these blended skills that
has made MMM graduates leaders within product-driven companies,
such as Intel, Dell Computer and Cisco Systems.
dean, Donald Jacobs, recalled the impetus to develop MMM.
"There was a large critical voice in the United States at
that time complaining about the country's declining capability
in manufacturing," he said. "The implied statement behind
that critique was that business schools were not doing as
much as they should to help solve the problem."
huddled with McCormick's then-dean Jerry Cohen to lay the
groundwork for a program that would pool the school's respective
strengths. "We knew we could do something dramatic, even unique,
if we brought together our overlapping but distinct faculties,"
said Jacobs. "So we did just that."
"just that," however, required hard work and the concerted
efforts of each school. According to Kellogg professor Sunil
Chopra, director of MMM, "the main challenge involved getting
two schools with diverse environments to come together in
designing a joint program where the students enjoy a truly
integrated experience -- and benefit from the strengths of
agreed that developing a joint curriculum "is never the easiest
thing in the world," but he credited the faculties of both
schools with having the vision to build MMM. "Right from the
beginning there was a large amount of cooperation," noted
Jacobs."Everyone involved appreciated the value that each
party brought to the table."
its inception, MMM has graduated nearly 500 students who have
developed their skills through aspects of the program such
as the "Integration Project." This important practical course
affords students the hands-on opportunity to assess the economic
viability of a company's new technology by working closely,
in teams, outside the classroom with real manufacturers.
also have the option to develop a business plan for an entrepreneurial
venture as part of the Integration Project. According to Chopra,
MMM is continuously evolving in terms of the courses offered.
"The program has absorbed the Kellogg culture that rewards
continuous improvement and experimentation -- and the students
are actively involved in improving the program," he said.
Chopra pointed out, MMM has put a revised curriculum in place
that offers more flexibility of course offerings, and more
courses designed to prepare students to meet the demands of
the technology sector. In addition, feedback from alumni and
students resulted in the program extending a dual degree to
graduates, who now receive an MBA from Kellogg and the MEM
degree from McCormick.
back, Chopra admitted that everyone involved in developing
MMM placed high expectations on the fledgling major. "While
we were optimistic when we started," he said, "the reception
our students have received in the job market has exceeded