People have told me: “Enjoy your passions while you can. Once you start working and having responsibilities, you can no longer stick to your hobbies and training plans.”
I guess that’s what they call being a grown-up.
In the middle of this anxiety, I stumbled upon the Digital Talent Program at adidas – a two-year training program covering areas from digital marketing to experience design, from digital analytics to mobile or e-commerce. But could I work for a sports company? I love volleyball and gymnastics, but my sports knowledge was shaky at best. And with only two internships, my experience barely exceeded one year.
Still, I took my camera and recorded the video that was expected from all applicants at the time (not a requirement this year). Fighting the awkward feeling of looking like a vlogger, I told about my daily use of digital tools, showed my artwork, and talked about my band. No mind-blowing sports tricks, no Hollywood production values. Just me, a few jokes, and my dreams captured on camera.
How hobbies help you shine in spotlight
Imagine the bombshell when I got selected for the assessment center at the German headquarters! It would be all about presenting in front of people, collaborating on creative ideas, and trusting yourself and the other candidates.
After being used to screaming on stage in metal concerts, the pressure of the assessment center was easier to handle. When asked to use visual elements in an assignment, I was happy to oblige – drawing is a natural way to express myself. But honestly, I didn’t feel over-confident. I simply wanted to show the best of me and let the recruiters decide whether my skills and personality were fitting for the role.
Surrounded by talented digital natives guided by strong beliefs and ambitious dreams, all candidates shared the same fire to shape the digital future of the company. All unique and exceptional, I could see why they had been selected, and I felt honored to be part of this group.
Reflections from the first six months as trainee
Today, towards the end of my first rotation, I realize how much I’ve experienced – and how much I still need to learn to develop deep digital know-how. I’ve been part of a wonderful team (Planning and Activation), surrounded by people who go out of their way to integrate and coach me. Colleagues with magnificent work ethics who also take the time to chase their goals and have regular sports sessions.
My first rotation has been anything but predictable. I’ve collaborated with colleagues abroad on a project we started from scratch and managed to turn into something tangible that will soon go live on the adidas website. It took a long time to take off, but I’m proud and satisfied to see our results. After all, this is what you learn in the program: patience, resilience, and adaptation. Things rarely unfold the way you’d like, but that’s where the challenges, learnings, and fun lie.
With three more rotations to come, one of them abroad, I can’t wait to see what the Digital Talent Program has in store for me. But what happens away from the desk also matters; I get to hang out with an international group of trainees over dinners and brunches. They are not only my colleagues, but also (hopefully) friends for life. We just happened to meet in a fresh and unique work environment. We help each other in daily life situations, celebrate work and personal successes together, and get closer every day.
Every trait of my personality I’ve been building little by little, day by day, has led me here – and for a reason. Starting my career has not meant compromising. It’s enriching and rewarding to work on projects I believe in, with people who acknowledge my passions and encourage me every day.
Interested in joining Lina’s digital journey?
We are now accepting applications for our Digital Talent Program.Learn more