After hearing about how it feel to work and live far away from home and what you can learn from an experience like relocating, today we are meeting Lilian and Kathryn who did not hesitate to leave their home countries to settle in Germany at the adidas Group headquarters (click here to find out how work and life in Herzo is like).
Sometimes all it takes is to seize the moment
Next in line in my round of interviews is Senior Manager of Strategy, Lillian Bautista. Lillian has been with the adidas Group for just under a year and came to Herzogenaurach from San Francisco, California, by way of studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain.
How did you land your role with the adidas Group?
Lillian: I had heard about an adidas Group case competition that was going to take place at ESADE Business School, where I was in an MBA program. A good friend of mine asked me to partner with her and enter the competition – out of 19 teams, we won! I spent a summer working with a great team in HR, kept in touch with my awesome manager after the internship ended, and he recommended me for a full-time position, in which I’m working currently. Did you have any hesitation moving to our headquarters at the World of Sports in Germany? Lillian: Yes – it’s in the middle of nowhere and I was used to a city lifestyle, having lived in Barcelona and San Francisco prior to moving to Nuremberg. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the experience and I would actually think twice before moving to a major city again, now that I’ve experienced the lifestyle here. What were some of your biggest surprises about taking a leading role in Germany for a major brand? Lillian: How great the people are, how much brand loyalty there is in the company and that I actually really like living in Germany. I personally view Lillian as a trailblazer for folks like me, showing that we (people from the West Coast of the United States that studied anthropology during undergrad at a university) can step into Deutschland and make a difference, handle the pressures of unfamiliarity with poise and be part of shaping the future of sport internationally. Not only was she a Globetrotter but she is a doer of things, a seizer of moments and a winner of competitions. She had an opportunity and crushed it. I’m surely not alone in being glad that she is a part of our team.
An adventure half a world away
Head of Design Direction Kathryn O’Brien (aka Kat) has been working at the adidas Group for almost a decade. Her position is based in Herzogenaurach at the headquarters. Kat has worked within Design Sport Performance for the entirety of her career here. A native Australian, Kat details her experience coming to Germany:
What was it like in your first few weeks moving from Australia to Germany?
Kat: I felt incredibly comfortable in Germany in the first few weeks of moving here, not only due to the culture, but also due to the attention of adidas during relocation, considering I was entering a culture and country literally half a world away. Germany is a very safe, clean, comfortable place. Even though it was a different language, a lot of Germans were very willing to speak English with me. It was a good feeling to have, after making one of the biggest decisions of my career, if not in my life.
What has been the most memorable business travel experience you’ve had while working for the adidas Group?
Kathryn: I was invited to Busan, Korea, by suppliers on an innovation research trip. They were so proud to be hosting us from the adidas brand, they opened so many doors and showed us so many things that you could never see merely as a tourist. We were so welcomed and it was a great feeling to see how adidas is loved and respected around the world in so many countries. Not only did I learn an entirely new culture with unique and interesting traditions, I also learnt a lot about global cutting-edge technologies and innovations. Korea was never on my personal list of travel destinations, but it was such an incredibly beautiful country to discover. How international does the global HQ feel to you? Kathryn: Global headquarters is extremely international and multi-cultural; I often wonder what country I am in, at times, as I have been in meetings with several cultures around the table. I really do feel like a citizen of the world at adidas. I have learned so much in the differences and similarities between us.
Kat’s experience is my idea of an adventure. She was clearly inspired by her work and the opportunities that arise when working on such an international level. The truth is that the adidas Group does provide opportunities for people to work all over the world. It is a company that draws people in and helps mold them into global leaders. The experiences that Kathryn has been allotted within her career at adidas have been romantically adventurous, and exciting. But it has taken hard work on her part to continue to grow with the company.
all in for globetrotters
The adidas Group offers an avenue to be an individual, to succeed and to experience a truly international workplace. The reason this can continue is because of our predecessors here, the vision, ideology and leadership that designed an environment to draw in international talents who are willing to work for what they believe in.