I think everyone knows this feeling: waking up in the morning and realizing that this won’t be a good day. Just wanting to go back to sleep because the day is finished before it even started. I was feeling like that once or twice a week…until February of 2017.
Since starting my internship at adidas I wake up every morning feeling brand-new and enthusiastic like never before. Is it because I started to take a cold shower in the morning or I’ve tried to avoid fast food? Maybe, but I think the main reason is the working culture I’m experiencing. My diary will help explain how I’ve found a spring in my step.
February: Welcome to the World of Sports
The overwhelming feeling on my first day? Dying with nerves! Walking through the HQ doors for an internship I so badly wanted was my dream. But what would the reality be like?
Onboarding was an exciting mix of info and videos to get us all pumped up but then the questions started to race around in my head: How will I be treated? How high is the pressure? Can I perform in the way I want to?
But during chats throughout the day I realized we were all feeling the typical “overwhelming-first-day experience”. The friendly attitude of everyone (intern or not) and the atmosphere made me realize how unique all this is. I went to my car after the first day thinking: Whether you’re James Harden, a VP or just an intern, we’re all a part of something big.
Finding my 3-Stripes voice
I expected the initial “wow” feeling to dissipate but as March approaches, I’m still getting goosebumps.
I’m here to learn about communication, in particular what this means in the corporate world and I’m on the front line handling media and journalists on a daily basis. I quickly learn the key to a positive relationship with the press is very simple: ongoing communication. This “communication is everything” attitude was not only visible in our work with media, but also among my team. From focused but also relaxed weekly meetings, to playing table tennis after lunch with people twice my age… I really started to learn that a good working atmosphere is crucial for good results. Even remembering names, which was always a struggle for me, seems easier when you talk to everyone every day.
Communication went beyond my direct team to the adidas intern community as a whole. Catch-ups over coffee, group lunches and nights out in the surrounding towns meant I was never lonely. A word of warning though; a What’s App group with 200+ people can get quite chaotic!
What’s this work-life balance people talk about?
During the next few months I started to feel more self-confident. I learned how things run, got my first projects to work on, started to grow my network outside my direct department and settled into a comfortable while challenging routine. I also started to realize what work-life balance really means. adidas and the campus itself gives you so many opportunities to stay fit. You can go to the gym early in the morning to start your day right. You can join the weekly team sport EXOS sessions during lunchtime. Or you can just meet some interns at the football pitch after work to clear your mind for the next day. If you want to be active, nothing holds you back. And the result of getting my work-life balance right? A fitter mindset for office tasks.
Time does fly when you are having fun
This communicative, open and fitness-orientated company culture quickly became the norm for me. I didn’t feel like just an intern when I proudly took visiting media on campus tours. These visitors regularly reminded me of myself on my first day at work; inquisitive eyes surprised by the tennis match taking place outside the employee restaurant or the beach volleyball training session underway between our two main buildings.
Feeling positively exhausted after work was something I rarely experienced before but now it’s the norm. There’s no more struggling to motivate myself to get out of bed in the morning. I’ve found a company culture that will keep me fit and it’s a life lesson I’ll take with me on whatever road I travel.