If Biggie Smalls’ opening lyric to “Juicy” — “It was all a dream… ” — was a person and path, it would be Olivia McNeil and her journey with Nike. During her senior year in college, McNeil was approached by a recruiter about an open internship with Nike. As an aspiring mechanical engineer, she was skeptical but decided to take the chance and apply for the role anyway.
The risk was well worth it. After applying, she was hired as an intern, which led to completing a summer rotation with Nike. The journey continued when she was offered a full-time role as a mechanical engineer in the Global Sourcing and Manufacturing department. Just after a year in this position, she’s on the Innovation Transition team.
“We bring the artistry into it and the technicality into it. We’re [basically] the middleman between those two teams — the engineers and the designers,” McNeil explains.
The possibilities are endless as McNeil’s team takes designs from the drawing board and translates them into a reality for consumers all over the globe. With a forward-thinking approach, McNeil can work on the logistics of how these technology designs will become new show models.
“We get to look down the pipeline and see how these shoes will be made three to four years into the future,” she points out.
McNeil completes most of her work in Nike’s Advanced Product Creation Center. Called “the Willy Wonka Factory of New Shoes,” by some; innovative people, materials, machines and concepts are in abundance.
This is a space McNeil thrives in because she can go beyond the technology and take part in how new ideas and innovative products will be brought to the market. The ability to use her voice and forge her path is a critical part of what attracted her to Nike. Growing in a culture that supports authenticity and inclusivity, McNeil is poised for continued advancement in her career.
Find out more about McNeil and her journey with Nike in the video here.