Luis works at Nike and he shares his experience with us
During his last year of the Bachelor in Psychology, student and sports lover Luis García de la Cruz was selected for a Human Resources internship at Nike’s Headquarters in The Netherlands, thanks to a job listing he saw on the IE Career Portal. Just a few months into his internship, he decided to apply to a permanent job opportunity in the same department, and was chosen. Now, he is an HR Advisor at Nike.
How did you find out about the internship opportunity at Nike? What about it appealed to you?
Through the IE Career Portal and the Talent & Careers weekly newsletters! I was doing a semester abroad in the US and needed to find an internship to do when I got back to Spain. The whole process seemed daunting, so I started browsing through the different opportunities and came across the Nike internship. I’m a sports lover, and after looking into the international environment that Nike provides in their offices and the quality of their internship program, I was extremely motivated to apply. I guess you could say the rest is history.
The opportunity was extremely interesting to me for a couple of reasons:
- It would allow me to work in a challenging corporate environment where I would develop skills complementary to the ones gained at university.
- It was an international environment. Just like at IE, most of the people working at the European HQ are international expats.
- The company. I loved the idea of working for a company that is doing something that I am passionate about—sports—so it was a no-brainer.
IE’s values are very similar to the values Nike looks for in their employees: proactivity, innovation, creativity, and most importantly, passion. Having those ideals and values that aligned with the values of the recruiters was extremely important.
I also asked the Talent & Careers department for lots of feedback on my CVs and cover letters. They always came up with new suggestions or ways to improve my profile as an applicant.
What can you tell us about interning at Nike?
Initially, I was selected for a 6-month internship, lasting from February to August. Nike offers internships in many different departments, and mine was in HR. There were about 75 different interns divided amongst all departments, and generally, there are very few teams that get more than one intern. The company has more than enough capacity to absorb this number of interns (there are over 2,600 employees on site).
The internship organization itself varies a lot from team to team, but there are some common elements:
- You will ease into the work. For the first few weeks, you will be onboarded in terms of the duties and responsibilities of your role, with an increasing amount of work. The process of “learning by doing” is very popular here.
- You will have a lot of responsibilities. During the first month, all interns were shocked about how much they could actually do. The company trusts us, and after just a short period, there wasn’t much difference between an intern and a permanent employee.
- The life as a Nike employee is extremely flexible! The company has extensive benefits to increase the quality of life of their employees. You can arrive and leave work within a certain time range; this allows you to take a break in the middle of the day to go to the gym or for a run, for example.
What would you highlight about your time at Nike?
- If you have the desire, you will learn a lot. Nike will give you as much as you can handle, and then a little bit more to push your boundaries. There will not be a day in which you do not learn something new. There will be stressful moments, but you will have experienced and capable people who will help you and coach you so you to tackle all kinds of situations.
- The many similarities to IE University. For me, being able to work in an international environment that houses many different cultures is extremely important. This was definitely influenced by my positive experiences at IE University, but being able to find that after college too was a huge perk.
- The opportunities after the internships are real. I accepted the internship without too many expectations in terms of permanent employment afterwards. However, at the 3-months mark I applied to an open position in my department and was accepted. At such a big company with several thousand employees on site, the opportunities are plentiful and they arise often, which is a huge plus when choosing an internship that can help kickstart your career.
What advice would you give to other students interested in interning or working at Nike?
I left my interviews with Nike feeling as if I had just had a good conversation, as opposed to an unpleasant interrogation.
Don’t try to change yourself for a position. It’s true that we have to show the best version of ourselves and make our profiles interesting to potential employers, but if there is a genuine connection, the experience will be better for everyone.