The Columns

Interns at Work: Haley Miller ’16 Adidas, Chadds Ford, PA

— by on September 5th, 2016

Haley Miller '16

“Know your competition just as well as you know your own company. Ask questions and challenge ideas, while remembering to keep an open mind. This is what creates innovation.”

How did you learn about this internship?

I wanted to work in an industry that I was genuinely interested in. Growing up, I have always loved sports, both watching and playing them. In the fall of 2013, I began exploring the sport and fitness companies that offered internships in my area. I sent my resume to the Adidas office, and soon after received a call to set up an interview and office tour.

What gave you the edge in landing this internship?

Anyone can look good on paper, but interviewing skills take time and practice to develop. Establishing connections in the office and being memorable are vital. When talking to the Vice President of Innovations during my office tour, I learned that his son was in my brother’s high school graduating class, and that his wife attended Washington and Lee University. These small connections might have helped give me an edge.

Describe your daily duties.

My responsibilities ranged from product testing to creating ad performance portfolios for sponsors including Verizon, YouTube, Microsoft and Apple. Research was a huge part of my job. I explored competitor products, specifically looking at what customers liked and what needed improvement. I often analyzed performance trends for new product advertisements based on demographic, location and target group. I created customer flow charts that help buyers determine which miCoach Adidas product is best suited to their needs. Anytime the marketing department needed something, I was ready to help out.

What was your favorite part or perk of the internship?

The birthday parties and free products. Whenever there was an excuse to celebrate, the office was ready. We always had balloons, cake, and tons of food. The parties occurred almost weekly, creating a friendly and united workplace. Since Adidas is prominent in the soccer world, the FIFA World Cup brought much cause for celebration. With regard to the free gear, my boss felt it was important for me to understand the merchandise personally. She gave me all five of the miCoach products for free to explore on my own time, including a $400 SmartRun watch. I also had the opportunity to test out a few of these products in the lab, which was fun.

How did you like living in the city where the internship was located?

The office was conveniently located only 20 minutes from my house. It was nice to be so close to home and already know the area where I was working.

What key takeaways/skills will you bring back to W&L?

Research is the foundation for everything. Know your competition just as well as you know your own company. Ask questions and challenge ideas, while remembering to keep an open mind. This is what creates innovation. Always work hard; people will notice.

What advice would you give to students interested in a position like this?

Networking in your own town is the most effective way to find your first internship. Explore companies around you that you might be interested in working for and reach out to them. You never know what a given company needs at a given time, and you might just be it.

Will you pursue a career in this field after graduation?

I am interested in pursing a career in marketing after graduation, but it’s definitely not set in stone. I want to explore my options and gain experience in different fields including advertising and finance. Even though I’m undecided about my future, working for Adidas has given me insight into the marketing world and provided me with meaningful knowledge and experience.

Describe your experience in a single word.

Invaluable.