A young shoe designer from Freshbrook has been given an amazing career chance by Adidas, one of the world’s top sporting and leisure wear brands, to work at its design and development centre in Germany.
In August former Greendown pupil Kaylie Hill started a six month internship, one of two applicants offered a placement out of two hundred.
She took a year out after school but decided the catering trade wasn’t for her. After a university access course at New College Kayleigh spent three years at De Montfort University in Leicester, graduating with a degree in footwear design.
“Adidas is a world leader on the sports field through to fashion footwear, I was very keen to work with them,” said Kaylie. “The call from the Adidas placement coordinator came out of the blue. I was told they usually interview applicants but they liked my final degree portfolio and asked me to join them. It’s an amazing opportunity to learn all aspects of shoe design, product development and marketing from the very best people.”
Before going Kaylie said she wasn’t nervous about the work she might be asked to do, but more anxious about making friends in Herzogenaurach, Bavaria where the Adidas centre is located.
After almost eight weeks on placement in Germany Kaylie describes what it’s like to work in a different country.
For as long as I can remember adidas has always been my favourite brand. Because of this I had very high expectations of what it would be like to work for the company and I never imagined that I would be getting the chance to experience it so soon.
Having little experience in the industry throughout my three years at uni. it was really overwhelming to know that I was going to work for one of the biggest superbrands in the world, but knowing that I was finally gong to be part of the working world was exciting.
Initially I was very apprehensive about living in Germany, this was mainly because of the language as I did not know any German. However at adidas everybody speaks English so that immediately put me at ease. To be honest I haven’t even needed to learn hardly any of the German language because even outside of work English is understood almost everywhere I go, such as at supermarkets and shops. The only times when I do find it difficult is when I get mail in the post as its always in German, so Google Translate has quickly become my best friend!
I’ve never lived or worked anywhere apart from the UK so socially its opened my eyes to the world even in the short time I’ve been here. In my team alone I have made friends with people from Holland to Korea; it makes working here so much more interesting because I get to learn so much about cultures I would otherwise have been none the wiser about.
I work within the design department in a team who deal with all aspects of design from research through to production. It’s fascinating because although I’m familiar with all these processes this is the first time I’ve been fully involved in how they all connect together from a business perspective.
Having been here nearly two months I have settled into a friendship group who are a mixture of interns and permanent staff. Generally we go to bars and clubs and try to get used to the German culture which is very different to the UK.
We have visited other cities within Germany such as Munich and being in Europe we have plans to visit neighbouring countries and cities such as Prague and Austria as they are only two or three hours drive away. There is so much to do and see in the six months I am here outside of adidas!
Even though its very hard to live so far away from family and friends, and I do admit I do get homesick from time to time, I can already tell that this will be one of the most influential and motivational experiences of my life both socially and career wise.