Today is exactly a year since I arrived at the adidas Group´s headquarters “World of Sports” to start the Graduate Trainee program for product development – what a year it has been.
Participating in this graduate program in the adidas Group has allowed me to hone my mechanical engineering skills to specialise in Footwear Product Development through a number of various placements under the Global Operations header.
So far, I have carried out four, 3 month placements in Footwear (FTW) Testing, FTW Material Development/Athlete Services, FTW Basketball Development (Portland), FTW Costing and I am about to embark on my next assignment abroad at the CLU factory in Fuzhou, China as part of the Football Development Team. All of these placements have been carefully chosen between my mentor and myself in order to provide me with the best all round industrial experience, gearing me towards a full time position within the adidas Group.
Being a Footwear Developer, I am expected to have an understanding of many different departments who I am required to work with day-to-day. This rotational program enables me to work inside these departments to observe the daily running, standard operating procedures and to complete specialised projects. All of this helps to create a working relationship between myself and the cross functional teams.
As part of the trainee program I was able to set my sights abroad and was given the chance to work for three months at the US headquarters in Portland, Oregon. My placement in the Basketball Development Team was most certainly a memorable and invaluable experience that will not be forgotten any time soon. It is an exciting time to be part of the Basketball Development Department. as they continue to strive for weightlessness with their key product range “crazy light”, which has just launched its second generation shoe. I look forward to following the Rose signature shoe and the crazy light as they continue their assault on the US market.
The famous slogan of the city reads “keep Portland weird“ (although I also enjoyed the plight of the regular citizens “make Portland normal”) , I found it was hard not to take this to heart and embrace this slightly irregular and creative epicenter thriving in the north west of America. I never struggled to find somewhere excellent to eat and friends to enjoy one of the locally brewed beers with. On top of that I was able to make regular visits to the infamous Mt Hood meadows to do some snowboarding.
Coming from Scotland the time as an adidas Trainee has been great to mix and share cultures with like-minded colleagues from all over the world. We gather as often as our busy work schedule allow, often watching football, going out on the weekends or just relax by a lake. I try to make the most of living directly in the center of Europe as it provides the perfect launch pad for visiting places such as Prague, Berlin, Slovenia, Munich and the Austrian Alps.
The sporting facilities here at the adidas Headquarter are world class and having access to these every day has been key for me to socialise and practice the sports that led me to the adidas Group in the first place. I play touch rugby three times a week and football twice a week with the occasional fitness session thrown in for good measure, this ensures a friendly well balanced work environment.
I will come to the end of my program in December and with 3 months in China already scheduled for my next placement I can’t help but think what this year has in store for me and my map.