Senior Men's Soccer Player Ben Slingerland is interning at Nike this summer, he has agreed to keep GUHoyas.com updated throughout his internship...
I got an email from the Georgetown Athletic department about a summer internship opportunity with Nike, and I submitted my resume. I've always been a fan of Nike products and I've even been lucky enough to own some Nike stock (that I've seen rise rapidly over the last five or so years). I had two phone interviews and was able to land a two-month internship in the North America soccer marketing department.
Nike tries to reach out to the universities and colleges they sponsor which is a big reason why I think I got the internship. I had an internship as a sales and marketing associate at Aflac Insurance Company this past spring and I've had previous marketing experience with Vector Marketing. Between my marketing experience and my soccer background, this internship seemed to be a really good fit for me. I didn't realize how competitive an internship it was until I got out here to Beaverton where the intern coordinator said there were just under 10,000 applicants for the 90 summer intern positions.
For the internship I'm working with about a group of eight other people in the North America soccer marketing department. A great number of members of the department are in South Africa for the World Cup. Maybe the best part of this internship is the facility I'm working at. The Nike Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon is a world-class facility that has just about everything. All of the buildings on the Nike campus are named after professional athletes (Mia Hamm, Ken Griffey Jr., Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, etc. I'm working in the Nolan Ryan building).
The campus has two unbelievable fitness centers where I've been doing most of my summer soccer conditioning. On top of that, just about all the summer interns are collegiate athletes, so it's nice to have people to train with. At lunch and after work there are continual pick-up and intramural soccer games which help me stay in playing form. Manchester City, which happens to be my favorite European soccer team, is training at the Nike facility in early July, so that is something I'm looking forward to.
I've loved my first week in Portland. I'm staying at an extended stay hotel suite complex right next to the Nike campus, where the majority of the interns are staying. We've gone into Portland often which is only 15 minutes away. I've already joined an adult recreational kickball league out here, seen a minor league baseball game and made it out to the coast. One of my worries before coming out here was not knowing a ton of people (I literally could count the number of people I knew out here on one hand). But through meeting the other interns, becoming friends with some of the guys in my department, and talking to former teammate and Nike employee Sean Bellomy about places to go and people to meet, I've met a lot of new people over the past week.
In retrospect, I couldn't have asked for a better summer internship. Not only am I doing something I love (that is researching soccer) at the pinnacle time of the sport (the World Cup) while getting paid a good salary and receiving travel and housing stipends, but I'm seeing a really great and underrated part of the country that I probably wouldn't have seen otherwise. In terms of a career, I'm not sure I want to be in marketing or Oregon for that matter (I've been thinking about law school for a while and then getting into corporate law and possibly sports agency) but being able to start with a company like Nike at a time like this is a valuable experience and will undoubtedly help me down the road.