How To Land a Job At Nike

by Tobias van Schneider
first appeared ✍🏼 on my personal blog

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In this series I talk to people at some of the most admirable companies and studios out there, simply asking: How do I get a job there?

Our second interview in this series is with Nike.

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Hey Shine, let’s get right into it. Let’s assume my dream job is joining the Nike design team (any design team, can be digital or even becoming a shoe designer), but I don’t know where to start. So here are some questions — some are so basic, it might even surprise you, but I’d love to hear your answer.

Looking at your current design team, how many of them came through internal referrals and how many came through the traditional application process?

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Nike World Headquarters in the Greater Portland, Oregon area.

Say we do reach out with a cold email or note on LinkedIn. What kind of message gets a reply? Any secrets for us?

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Concept art & early sketches of the innovative, auto-lacing HyperAdapt 1.0.
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You may have to come here eventually for an in person interview

What are the top mistakes you see designers make when applying for a job at Nike? Are there any specific things that keep bothering you? Please complain to us! (:

Tell us one thing you never want to see again on a portfolio website. Anything you wish you saw more?

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Behind the design of the Air Max 1, created by world renowned Designer, Tinker Hatfield

Do you have a favorite story of an application that really stuck with you? Someone who prototyped their own Nike shoe, maybe? Or redesigned an app without you asking?

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The Nike team in action
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Welcome to the Nike World Headquarters in the beautiful Pacific Northwest

What are the secondary skills you look for in a designer, besides common soft skills? Do you prefer business skills over coding skills, for example?

Do you take design interns? If yes, how do I get in, and where do I apply?

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Do you have to be a “shoe dog” to get in? Say you found the perfect candidate skill-wise, but he/she isn’t really into anything athletic, not breathing the full spirit. Is that a problem?

Thank you so much for your answers, Shine! Is there anything else you would like to add that I forgot to ask? Something crucial a potential candidate needs to know?

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All right, so there are a few key learnings from Shine’s interview I found worth noting and summarizing.

Nr.1 — Nike might find you before you find Nike.

Nr.2 — Your portfolio is crucial.

Nr.3 — Take your time.

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Desk of van Schneider

Stories from the Desk of van Schneider written by Tobias…

Tobias van Schneider

Written by

Self-taught Designer & Maker. Un-Employed. Founder of https://www.semplice.com/ Formerly Spotify — More About me: http://www.vanschneider.com

Desk of van Schneider

Stories from the Desk of van Schneider written by Tobias van Schneider. New stories usually appear first on my private email list which you can sign up to at vip.vanschneider.com — Enjoy!

Tobias van Schneider

Written by

Self-taught Designer & Maker. Un-Employed. Founder of https://www.semplice.com/ Formerly Spotify — More About me: http://www.vanschneider.com

Desk of van Schneider

Stories from the Desk of van Schneider written by Tobias van Schneider. New stories usually appear first on my private email list which you can sign up to at vip.vanschneider.com — Enjoy!

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