Spotlight on MIM Alumni: Gigi Rong, Part II

In Spotlight on MIM Alumni: Gigi Rong, Part I, Gigi talked a lot about how she got her job at Xerox, what a typical day is like at work and skills she learned in the MIM program that help her in her current position as Supplier Manager. Gigi Rong, Part II is a continuation of the interview but Gigi talks about her thoughts on the MIM program, what parts of the program were her favorite things, as well as what MIM class helps her the most at work.

Gigi Rong, MIM 2010 alumni and Supplier Manager at Xerox Wilsonville, Oregon.

Gigi feels that MIM 577: International Business Negotiations, taught by Dr. Melanie Billings-Yun, offered extremely valuable practical skills that she can apply toward real life situations. A big part of Gigi’s current position requires negotiating with her suppliers. Her suppliers are mainly in the Asia region so most of those negotiations are done via email, which can be difficult – written communication must be “crystal clear.” Gigi feels that the MIM negotiations class taught her how to best communicate in a variety of situations and she feels like she knows how to move forward with confidence in business transactions. In addition, Gigi was also able to use her negotiations skills to negotiate a higher salary.

When asked what her most favorite memory of the MIM program was, Gigi says, “It is very hard to say only one thing…isn’t it?” (She is so cute!) In addition to the MIM camping trip and Asia Trip, which everyone enjoys, Gigi feels that her MIM Exit Project was “a precious experience.” Her Exit Project team worked together on a business proposal for a local start-up business, Deco Distilling, to enter the Japanese market. Her team worked very closely for a few months, resulting in strong and lasting friendships. In addition they built a professional network with the Japanese community. Even after completing the Exit Project their team maintained a very close relationship with their client, Deco Distilling, and they continue stay involved and receive invitations to company events. Gigi thinks working with Deco Distilling was a very fun and wonderful opportunity – and she really likes their rum. In particular, she thinks their coffee-flavored rum is very good. Gigi enthusiastically says, “I love it!”

For current and future MIM students, Gigi would like to stress that although excellent grades look good on your transcript, she feels that practical experience is even more important. “GPA is important. It kind of opens doors for you, however companies are going to really just look to see if you got your diploma. The skills that you possess will be your real advantage to get into the market – these are the unique things about you that will make you stand out when you are trying to get a job. They [employers] don’t care about the classes you took in school, they care about what you can do.”

MIM Alumni: If you are interested in in being interviewed for the MIM blog we would love to hear from you and hear about your new career! Please email us at


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Filed under Ali's Entries, Alumni, Business and Asia, Careers, Coursework, Internships, Japan

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