Don’t let the big brand name scare you!

 In this blog we hear from Ryan Sloan, BA (Hons) Business, who is currently working as a Marketing Intern for Nike. Ryan tells us how he sourced his placement and offers advice for anyone looking for a placement.

Placement student Ryan Sloan

A housemate initially sent me the role saying: “this is the role for you”. I  thought no way will I get a placement with Nike, surely they are looking for all the high flying students from red brick universities, this is a job I could only dream of. But, after much thought, I decided why not? I have nothing to lose; being sceptical I didn’t expect to get a response.

However, over the Easter period, while revising for summer exams I got a call from the Nike HR Dept. asking could I do a phone interview there and then? Of course I accepted…from this I got through to the assessment day which consisted of several presentations, some group work and finally a one on one interview with two line managers. The next day they called and told me I had got the job! I had finally secured a placement, I was speechless to be honest, and there is no other way to put it!

So, don’t be afraid of the big brand name! If the role is something you are interested in then that could be the role for you. No role is too big or too small, this is your first big step into employment and you have to start somewhere. Just remember that the majority of the staff working at these big companies probably started at the bottom.

When applying for my placements I researched in-depth which placements offered what I wanted to do, I took note of all them, paying particular attention to the closing date. It’s also good to search individual company websites as there are certain companies that only advertise their vacancies on their website.

I arranged several meeting with Shauna, one of the Placements and Project Coordinators, who, by the way, could not have gone out of her way more to ensure I knew what I was applying for and to make sure my CV was going to stand out from the crowd.  I applied for a lot of places, several companies didn’t reply and, of course, some replied with the usual: “You have been unsuccessful blah blah blah”, the words you don’t want to hear. Do not let this get you down; it will probably be their loss anyway. Get back on the placement hunt and apply for another few!!

I started my placement with Nike UK at the start of June 2014, just under 2 weeks after my 2nd year exams finished. I started work at full pace; my manager told me he wanted me to get as much from this as possible, offering me the opportunity to meet people and network and opening as many doors for me as possible.  I am a Marketing Intern based on the Manchester United Account for Nike, based at Old Trafford, which was a bonus as my friends are still attending university in Manchester.

I would never have thought in a million years I would get this placement, the fact that I didn’t expect to get the job automatically put me at a disadvantage so don’t doubt yourself. If the job is right for you, and you interview well, there is no reason why you won’t stand out!! I know it might seem an effort to start a new application, or you can’t make your placement meetings because you don’t have time, don’t make excuses: a placement gives you so much more opportunity when you finish uni!!


To book a 1-to-1 appointment with a Placements and Project Coordinator visit the Placements Desk in the Employability Hub.

Nike internships may be available at different points during the year depending on business needs.  Full details of all the opportunities currently available with Nike can be viewed on their careers website.


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