MIM Alumni Interview: Gigi Rong

By Gayathri Selvaraj

Gigi Rong was a full-time student in the MIM program. She graduated in the year 2010 and started her internship with Xerox. After working with Xerox for four years, she recently got a new and exciting opportunity to work as a supply chain consultant for LLamasoft. In this interview, Gigi talks about her experience in MIM program and her current job at LLamasoft.


Gayathri Selvaraj: Can you tell us about your experience in the MIM program at Portland State University?

Gigi Rong: I attended the program between 2009-2010 as a full-time student. Till date, choosing the MIM program is one of the best decisions I have made in my life.

Like most international students, I had to improve my English language skills, learn to make meaningful contributions in class, and function as a good team player, while adjusting to an entirely new and different culture. In addition to the business curriculum, such experiences definitely broadened my vision and made me more flexible.

GS: What specialization did you choose? What motivated you to choose this specialization?

GR: I started my internship at Xerox as a procurement specialist (buyer) during the fourth quarter of the MIM program. As a result, Supply Chain Management was my specialization in order to better equip myself with the needed skills for the job.  Also, I have to mention that it was Dr. Lee Buddress who spoke about the internship opportunity at Xerox during his class. And in my case, this internship opportunity later materialized into a full-time position.

GS: Can you tell us about your new job? What kind of responsibilities does it involve?

GR: I’ve started my new job as a supply chain consultant at LLamasoft. LLamasoft develops software and provides expertise to help clients design new or improve their existing supply chain operations. This leads to major improvements in cost, service, sustainability, and risk mitigation. As a consultant, I will work with our clients, utilizing our supply chain model to improve and optimize their supply chain operations.

GS: How has the MIM program benefited you in your new job?

GR: Through the MIM program, I greatly benefited through networking and meeting new people. Ryan Wilcoxen, a 2011 MIM graduate, helped me identify this opportunity with LLamasoft. He mentioned the company was expanding their operations to Japan, which I thought was very interesting. I also got referred to the company’s management team through him and was later contacted through LinkedIn. After few conversations, I thought what LLamasoft does is amazing, and I decided to proceed with this great opportunity to further specialize myself in Supply Chain Management and do meaningful work.

GS: Can you share some tips for fellow MIM students looking for jobs?

GR: 1. Be prepared always. Always work hard and deliver good work both inside and outside of the classroom. 2. Evaluate yourself (talk to your peers, mentor and/or professors) and identify your skill sets. This will help you identify job opportunities that are a good fit for you. 3. Go to networking events. Let people know that you are actively seeking employment opportunities, so people will think of you when they have an opening available.


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