Jon is a senior on the UGA Cross Country Team. He is currently majoring in Marketing and had the opportunity to participate in an internship with Nike during the summer of 2017.
Nike is an integral part of every student athlete’s experience here at UGA. From practice equipment, to training shoes, to our gameday uniforms, Nike provides the most premium products to set us up for success on the field. Nike’s unparalled success and commitment to bringing inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world (if you have a body, you’re an athlete) makes working for the Swoosh so exciting, and it was a dream come true when I found out I had been accepted to the Nike Internship Program. From May 31st to August 11th, I got to work for what in my eyes is the greatest company in the world!
My internship was with the Jordan Brand Digital Marketing team, who are absolute all-stars. I cannot brag on them enough! The team manages all of the brand’s digital platforms like the Jordan.com website, Air.Jordan blog, Jordan emoji app, @Jumpman23 social media channels, and Jordan email list just to name a few. Even with all of these responsibilities, they did a fantastic job taking me under their wing and allowing me to learn hands-on what digital marketing really looks like at Jordan, and made me feel right at home as part of their family. They were without a doubt the part I cherished most about my internship, and made the work even easier to love! Most of my time was broken up into three projects where I worked with teams assigned to NCAA Football, Jordan Email, and the Air Jordan app. All three projects had different obstacles and opportunities, which gave me a well-rounded experience working with every platform that Jordan utilizes.
This is the first year that the football team at Michael Jordan’s alma mater, the University of North Carolina, will wear Jordan gear on the field. This is a huge opportunity for the brand, especially when you consider how successful the University of Michigan was in its first year of being a Jordan football team. Even as the brand grows beyond the hardwood, the goals of Jordan’s teams and athletes stay the same. This was a great way to learn why the message that Jordan communicates through digital marketing is so important, because Jordan is not just a basketball brand, but represents excellence in everything that you do.
Working with the email team was a great way for me to learn effective communication in the corporate world. With so many things happening at Nike, there are many moving parts in making sure the emails are structured correctly and have the right content. Effective communication with the email team ensured that our meetings were efficient and successful so that emails could be launched on time and captivate the audience that received them!
My third project was probably the area which I learned the most, because I had limited knowledge coming in to the internship about the back-end of mobile applications. The Air Jordan app is a keyboard extension, allowing users to use Jordan-inspired emojis and stickers in their text conversations. My teammates in the project did a great job helping me understand the goals of the app, the performance metrics, and how ideas are turned into reality.
The intern combine was another highlight of my time with Nike. The combine broke up all of the undergraduate interns into 8 different teams that worked on 4 Global Community Impact initiatives. My team worked with a program called Marathon Kids, whose mission is to get kids active by running a total of 104.8 miles over the course of the program. Our goal was to determine a strategy for growing the program in the Portland area that could also be scaled nationally. Let me take a second and say that my combine team was a BLAST to work with. From the start, the team was excited about getting to work with Marathon Kids, and that passion only intensified as we saw our ideas form into an executable strategy. In true Nike fashion, the internship program ended with a little friendly competition between all the combine teams who pitched their strategies to a panel of judges that determined the top projects. Fortunately, I was not the only Dawg to have some success in Beaverton this summer. Kelly Skoglund, who is on the UGA Equestrian team and interned with the Women’s Training category, was on a different intern combine team that worked with the Nike Community Ambassador program. When final scores were announced, both Dawgs were in the top two!
Between working 40 hours a week and training for this upcoming Cross Country season, I cherished my weekends and had a blast exploring the Pacific Northwest with the other interns. The weekends were spent hiking various trails through the gorge (and once up Mount Saint Helens), exploring the Oregon coast, or checking out the different sections of downtown Portland. I was fortunate enough to score tickets to the Prefontaine Classic at Hayward Field, which was a HUGE “bucket list” item for me!
After the internship, I look at the digital world so differently and appreciate the planning and organization that goes into a website change, a new post on social media, or the launch of a new shoe. This summer opened my eyes to a whole new world of Digital Marketing, and gave me new skills I cannot wait to polish over the next year. As soon as I got back to campus, I changed around my class schedule to focus more on Digital Marketing, and am excited to use my final year at UGA to develop even further before graduating!
I cannot thank The Georgia Way and the Terry College of Business enough for preparing me to go through the interview process and equipping me with the knowledge necessary to get the most out of my time at Nike World Headquarters. I loved getting to work hands on with such an iconic brand that is so effortlessly cool and represents the true GOAT! I miss working with my team already, but cannot wait to see this summer’s hard work come to life in the next few weeks!