Following in his Brothers' Footsteps - Steven Cheng MBA '96

NPU Northwestern Polytechnic University Spotlight September 2018 Steven Cheng

Steven was one of NPU’s first proud MBA graduates in 1996. He has been active in the NPU community, both as a student and as an alumnus. He keeps fond memories of Dr. George Hsieh, former NPU president, who encouraged him to stay after graduation to teach at NPU. He recalls, “I was so busy at that time, I could not dedicate myself to it. Instead, I contributed in other ways, such as hosting job fairs, preparing students for interviews, and recruiting them for jobs. I plan on continuing to work with NPU students.”


Steven came to the United States with his family when he was seven years old. They settled in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He shares, “I really enjoyed living in Oklahoma. I was honored to become the first minority Asian-American Freshman Class President at Daniel Webster High School back in 1987.”


Unexpectedly, his family decided to move to California, because his brother received a good job offer. “Relocating was the greatest challenge in my life. As a sophomore in high school, I had to leave behind all of my friends. I knew no one in California. Eventually, I adapted to the new environment.”

Our greatest glory is not in never failing but rising every time we fail - Confucius

Through the change, he never stopped pursuing his dreams. Steven wanted to become a pilot, and decided to complete a bachelor’s degree in Aviation at San Jose State University. After completing his degree, he realized that he wanted something else, so he set a new goal for himself.


His new goal was in the world of business: marketing and sales. He was encouraged by his brothers to choose NPU for his higher studies, and explains, “Both of my brothers graduated from NPU’s MSCS program. They told me a lot of good things about this small university in Fremont. I decided to follow in their footsteps!”


He started his career with Korean Airlines. Then, he held various senior-level positions in product management, sales, marketing, and customer service with companies such as Supercom, ASUS, Toshiba, and LeTV. He became interested in the health care industry, and secured a position as a Senior Quality Analyst at Kaiser Permanente. Currently, he is working as an Accreditation Manager at Valley Health Plan. His job is to make sure all of the departments are following standards, and to ensure compliance with state and federal laws.


“The true leader is someone who can guide you, and who is unselfish in leading others. Real leaders protect individuals.” says Steven. He sees success as something that comes in a variety of ways: “Everybody can be successful in their own way. Do not compare yourself with others. At this point in my life, I feel that I achieved quite a bit in both my personal and professional life. However, self-improvement is never-ending for me. I am always setting new and achievable goals. I want to become an entrepreneur one day and continue to enjoy life with my beautiful wife and two wonderful children.”