Under the Knife: APICS shows business majors the road to success

According to the organization's national Web site, APICS is, "the global leader and premier source of the body of knowledge in operations management." Behind this somewhat intimidating definition is an opportunity-filled organization that includes students and business professionals across the country.

Whereas at its conception in 1957, APICS was the American Production and Industry Control Society, an organization focused on business management in only the field of industrial production, today it is a more comprehensive group of business leaders. As "the association of operations management," it now includes the leaders of any organizations that create and deliver services or products.

Professor Jack Cooke of the business department formed Geneseo's student APICS chapter about a decade ago. Today, professor Kathleen Wall, adjunct lecturer of the Jones School of Business, leads it.

Geneseo's chapter of APICS has one regular meeting each month, which besides fulfilling the national organization's requirements, hosts discussions about the field of operations management. Additionally, meetings focus on ideas for events, trips and guest speakers, along with fundraising.

"[We work] to promote and educate the disciplines necessary for operations management," Wall said in reference to the group's purpose.

She added that because Geneseo only offers one class in production and operations management, she works to supplement the basis this class provides.

While this means that most of the club's 25 current members are business majors, APICS is open to all majors. In order to join, full-time students may submit an application, found on Geneseo's APICS Web site, to the national organization. Although there is a $35 membership fee, the opportunities the organization provides seem to be worth the money.

Each semester, APICS hosts several events, including dinners, guest speakers, trips to conferences and conventions, and tours of different businesses and plants. Most recently, the club toured the Barilla pasta plant in Avon and the Hickey-Freeman suit plant in Rochester. Next month, APICS will tour the Kraft Foods plant in Avon.

Besides educating members on the many facets of operational management, APICS is a great networking opportunity for Geneseo students. Each trip the group makes allows members to meet potential employers, both for internships or careers after graduation. Furthermore, upon acceptance into APICS, a student's resume is added to the APICS Student Chapter resume book.

"We have a lot of fun," said Wall, noting that the club promotes camaraderie between business majors. "It's a great opportunity for students in the general management track of business to meet one another."

APICS members are also able to complete a Certified in Production and Inventory Management program at a discounted price. When asked if many Geneseo students complete this program, however, Wall said no, saying CPIM is, "something you would get out in the world of management."