Jim McNeil, CFPIM, CIRM, CSCP, has experienced firsthand how an APICS membership can lead to new career opportunities. “My first management job came as a result of an APICS contact from when I served on the San Diego Chapter’s board of directors,” he says.
In 1984, McNeil joined the San Diego State University Student Chapter thanks to advice from one of his professors. “He told me, if I was interested in a fulfilling career, then I should go into materials management, join APICS, and learn these new systems called [material requirements planning] (MRP) and [manufacturing resources planning II] (MRP II),” he says.
McNeil expanded his knowledge base and his professional network through his chapter involvement. “A number of my classmates and I were provided job offers in our field even before we graduated,” he recalls. “I was provided an opportunity to be a member of an MRP II implementation team because, in the words of my manager, ‘I knew [it] from APICS.’”
McNeil stayed in touch with APICS and joined the San Diego Chapter in 1985, willing and ready to continue advancing his career. Throughout his membership, McNeil saw the value of volunteering with APICS. He built more relationships and saw they led to job opportunities.
McNeil now is a senior materials manager at biomedical 3-D printing startup Organovo, also in San Diego. “I get to draw on my long experience in supply chain to create the department from the ground up, following APICS principles, hire the department” he says. “A key qualification I will look for in hiring people for my team is APICS membership, experience with the body of knowledge, and APICS certification.”
McNeil now celebrates 30 years as an APICS member. He is participating in the APICS Instructor Development Program and constantly looking for other ways he can give back. “As I enter this latter chapter in my career, I hope I can provide guidance and mentorship, much like the many people through my association with APICS have provided me.