The following was written by Hayley Freeman, who is on the UGA Equestrian team. She is studying Marketing through the Terry College of Business and had the opportunity to pursue an internship with Nike during the summer of 2023.
I remember reading about UGA student-athletes who completed internships with Nike back when I was in high school. At that point, I didn’t know much about what I wanted to do beyond my sport, but I already had my mind set on the Nike internship. Throughout my first three years of college, I used this lofty goal as motivation every day and tried to set myself up the best that I could to make it a reality. With the help and support of my mentors at UGA, I was able to achieve that dream this past summer as I worked at Nike World Headquarters as a Global Member Communications intern.
Throughout the 10 weeks, I worked on a competitive analysis and strategy recommendation. My project allowed me to collaborate with and present to numerous teams of key stakeholders at Nike who will be involved in the future of this initiative. I also participated in the Intern Combine, where I worked with a cross-functional team of interns to develop an innovative business idea for Converse. I got to learn about the business, participate in intern events, enjoy the campus, and explore the Pacific Northwest.
This experience truly affirmed to me the importance of the people you surround yourself with. There were so many exciting aspects of the internship, but the best part of the summer was without a doubt the people. I was fortunate to be on a team who I felt truly valued me and wanted to see me succeed. The impact left on me by my manager, peer coach, and various other mentors is something I will never forget. Because of these people, I was able to gain confidence in myself and leave the summer feeling inspired for the future.
The Georgia Way supported me throughout each step of this process from the very start of my time here at UGA. I cannot thank Leigh Futch and everyone involved enough for their mentorship, advice, support, and encouragement. This organization has enhanced my college experience more than I could have imagined.