Elizabeth asked Jennifer Polivka, Nike

AddedFriday, April 10, 2015 at 11:14 AM

Working for Nike
Hi Jennifer, I saw that you work at Nike as a test engineer, which is basically my dream job, and I just was wondering if you could answer a few questions for me. What's your typical day like? Did you go onto get a master's or any other higher education after undergrad? I just applied to a few positions at Nike and I just want to know what they're looking for and how I can improve my chances (I have a BS in BioE). Thanks!
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  • Answered Friday, April 10, 2015 at 11:14 AM
    Hi Elizabeth, I have  BS in MSE. About half of the group's engineers have additional degrees, but everyone has at least 4-5 years of work experience which in my opinion is equally valuable as continuing education.
    My day varies quite a bit all the time. Of course there is a lot of time spent working out in the lab doing hands-on things, both individually and with other peers.  With that comes a lot of report writing because we document what we tested, how we tested, and outcomes.  And with that also comes a lot of meetings whether that's within the lab or with our customers (the folks who bring in parts and have questions).  Any one day has some varying balance of these things and even when I think I know what my day is going to look like there's always the chance that something will come out of nowhere and take priority over everything else.
    There are actually quite a few different engineering-centric groups at Nike and each one has a different focus and is therefore looking for something slightly different. Some groups look at biomechanics and want a higher-level more research-oriented work experience; some groups are purely theoretical analytics looking at scenarios or process improvements via data processing and therefore need a strong computer background; My group, since it's a testing lab (and there are other testing labs withing the company too) has a big focus on hands-on testing experience.
    One thing that each group at Nike (ie, Nike in general) values a lot is great communication skills whether that's formal/informal emails, research papers, oral presentations to different levels of audience (technical and non-technical, minions to Vice Presidents), etc.  Nike is all about relationships and building trust so being able to articulate thoughts and persuade people to understand your viewpoint is very important!
    Best of luck!  Hope to see you here soon :)