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Ron Nien ’07 found out about Kellogg’s MMM program after he was already accepted to the school’s Full-Time MBA program.
Shortly following delivery of his acceptance letter, Nien received a call about participating in MMM, which allows students to earn a multidisciplinary MBA from Kellogg and a master’s in design innovation from the McCormick School of Engineering.
“I liked the way Kellogg approached the program,” Nien says. “I ultimately received two admission letters!”
Today, Nien says he constantly applies his MMM education to his role as chief operating officer for his family business, Nien Made Enterprise Co. Ltd. – a manufacturer that produces window shutters, blinds and shades.
He recalls a memorable class in which he learned more about lean production, a process that his family business has been utilizing for more than 20 years. “The class taught me about the scientific foundation of why those methodologies work,” he says. “I feel this part of the educational experience gave me a deeper understanding of the things we are doing.”
Coming to Kellogg was Nien’s first time living outside of his native Taiwan, which he says was an “eye-opening experience,” allowing him to learn alongside classmates from all over the world. Particularly, Kellogg’s emphasis on teamwork proved beneficial to his career.
“The structural thinking, the approaches I learned from all the lessons, it truly helped my career,” he says. “There were numerous projects that we did. Every class you form a team. Sometimes you’re the team leader. Sometimes you’re just a team member. You learn to lead, and you learn to be led, which also is a very good experience.”
Nien has stayed involved with the Kellogg community by attending alumni events in Asia and calling on the network to discuss business problems. He is also a member of Kellogg Cornerstone, a community of the school’s most generous donors to the Annual Fund.
Nien says he was inspired to give back to Kellogg by his father, who was a middle school teacher before starting his own business and was passionate about supporting education, especially for disadvantaged students.
“I feel that it is natural for me to give back to Kellogg,” Nien says. “It’s a great school, and I feel that it was my honor to get in and to be educated and learn there.”