In this article by Kasper Personen he reflects on the first half of his internship at adidas. He assesses what he has learnt from the work experience over the last six months, in terms of both job-specific and interpersonal skills. He picks out three topics in particular that he considers would be important to implement in a possible future managerial role. He then proceeds to break them down into three specific points: “openness to critical questions”, “innovation is for everyone”, and “open & honest communication”.
Openness to critical questions
One of the major goals of an internship is to gain valuable work experience. You often enter an organisation knowing comparably little about the company and industry as compared to industry veterans. Especially in the beginning, it is part of your job to get up to speed and to understand processes, etc. as soon as possible. As an intern, I believe you shouldn’t be shy to make the most out of this situation by also questioning some processes and thinking of improvements. After all, it’s you who has a fresh set of eyes on how day-to-day business is conducted. It takes a bit of confidence to question processes. A manager’s encouragement can help a great deal and might be rewarded with increased efficiencies, time savings and other sizeable improvements for the company. In a managerial role, I would thus always try to welcome and encourage critical questions and suggestions on improving ways of working.
Innovation is for everyone
Innovation is a core value of adidas and the company puts a lot of effort into creating an environment that allows that. For me as an intern it’s always energising to be a part of cross-functional meetings and brainstorming sessions with so many creative minds. I’ve learned that great ideas can come out of informal settings and are not necessarily related to experience or areas of responsibility. As a manager, I would want to contribute to creating an environment where everyone has the opportunity to be creative and where everyone is on a level playing field. I believe there are many small things you can do to help spark innovation, and these small things could lead to sizeable benefits for the organisation.
Open and honest communication
To read the third and final point from Kasper Personen, click here to see the original article in full.
To put into practice these philosophies within a major sports industry organisation, click here and find an internship today.