Company Spotlight

Ivy Exec Company Spotlight: adidas Group

adidas GroupRecently, Ivy Exec interviewed Steve Fogarty, the Senior Manager of Strategic Programs at adidas Group, one of the largest sportswear manufacturers in the world. Below, Steve tackles questions about employment and employee life at adidas Group.

IE:
What three words best describe your culture?
Steve:
Integrity, Passionate and Innovative.

IE:
What is the best perk about working at your company?
Steve:
The people. The adidas Group attracts highly self-motivated, passionate people. Our people are driven to build the best sporting goods and Sports Style Brands in the world. It’s tough work but working around people that are this driven makes you better. The adidas Group has a deep history in sports and our employees connection to sport, fitness and our athletes makes coming to work every day much more than a job, it’s an experience. It’s not uncommon to see people out on our track, playing volley ball, tennis, football, you name it. To work around people motivated by living a healthy, active lifestyle and doing industry leading work makes our working environment truly unique.

IE:
In which area of your company do you expect the most growth during 2012?
Steve:
There are several areas within our company where we expect to see growth. The adidas Group has one of the most comprehensive business plans it has ever had in place. This plan is called Route 2015. We have lofty targets but we are united as an organization to achieve them. We are continuing to innovate in our core Sports Categories within the adidas Brand, and the upcoming Olympics and Euro Football Championships are always big for us. We are also seeing a lot of growth in areas like our own Retail division and new areas such as Fast Fashion. Our Reebok Brand has incredible momentum in Fitness, specifically around Cross Fit and the new campaign, “The Sport of Fitness has Arrived”, and our TaylorMade brand continues to maintain its leading industry position.

IE:
What three areas would you advise business students to specialize in in order to increase their
career prospects five years from now?

Steve:
This is a tough one. I’ve been in recruiting for a long time and my first advice would always be to focus on what you are most passionate about. If you do this I believe the rest will fall in place. Whatever it is, if you love doing it, it’s going to be very tough for people to compete against you. In terms of our business we offer opportunities in many disciplines from marketing, to design, to supply chain, IT, product development and the list goes on. You can have any number of focus areas that are right for our business. I would say getting experience with internships, traineeships and even retail is an added bonus. Masters and MBA’s are great for our development programs such as our Functional Trainee Program and our Business Management Programs. And if you have a passion for sport and fitness then you will most likely be a strong fit for our culture.

IE:
What makes your clients excited about doing business with you?
Steve:
I believe it’s our humility and ego free way of working. We work for some of the leading Brands in the industry, adidas, Reebok, TaylorMade and more. But we hold our relationships with our clients in the highest regards and we work hard to ensure their success. We also work hard to ensure we have a sustainable business model so we can contribute to making the world a better place. I think this builds trust and mutual respect between us and our clients.

IE:
Do you expect to grow headcount this year? How much?
Steve:
We are a Global organization with several major Brands and several sub Brands with operations in over 170 locations worldwide. Currently we have over 500 open positions globally, not including internships. You can almost always find job opportunities in any of our locations. The adidas Group is looking to responsibly grow headcount through our Route 2015 plan and we will grow globally especially because of retail expansion. Rest assured if you visit our career site at www.adidas-group.com/careers chances are you will find an opportunity that matches you.

IE:
What is one thing that Ivy Exec members should know about adidas Group that is difficult to be captured by a job description or company website?
Steve:
I don’t believe there are any secrets to our job descriptions. We do our best to explain what is required of the position and what is expected of the person in it. Of course job descriptions can’t capture everything but if you focus on what we are looking for in the position and do your best to apply to roles you feel you are most qualified for then this is already a positive step in the right direction. Some of our positions are competitive so if you don’t get in right away don’t give up. If you do make it in for an interview just focus on answering the questions, showing your passion for your work and the industry, and asking smart questions at the end. It’s that simple.

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