Honors Program Nike Site Visit

Members of the Lundquist College of Business Honors Program had the chance to tour the Nike World Headquarters and hear from a panel of highly experienced employees. Beyond learning about the heritage of the world’s premiere athletic apparel company, students saw firsthand what it means to make a career out of your passions.

The day began with a tour of the Nike Campus, led by Dana Reams of Nike Golf. On the tour students learned the rich history of the company’s humble beginnings, which involved selling shoes out of the trunk of a car mere minutes away from where the Lillis Business Complex stands today. While sharing with us how Nike became the world’s premier athletic apparel and supply company, Reams instilled an important lesson: never lose sight of who you are. For the honors students on the trip, this meant varying things; however, for Nike it means never losing sight of the innovation instilled in Phil Knight, the dedication of Steve Prefontaine, and the unrelenting drive and loyalty of Coach Bill Bowerman.

During the panel discussion at the end of the day, students heard from Heather Broderick, Jane Moss, David Pearce, and Amy Bartlett. Each panelist shared a very different story of their journey from childhood to Nike. Some took the “traditional path,” while others spent a stint as a bartender or self-proclaimed ski bum. These varying experiences led to distinct advice and core values from each. The one thing they all had in common is that each took something about which they were particularly passionate and found a way to turn it into a career.

One of the most resounding pieces of advice was “listen to your athlete.” Moss and Barlett explained that if you are “listening to your athlete,” simple comments, such as “I wish I could wear these shoes on the golf course” or “These are my favorite shorts,” can lead to revolutions in the industry and carry the athlete to victory.

Although the student audience members were not in a position to listen to comments from Tiger Woods or Maria Sharapova and create a multimillion-dollar product, many of them will likely be in the position in the future where they can either choose to follow the status quo or choose to innovate. The advice given by the panelists will undoubtedly linger in the minds of the students on the trip.

Beyond stories and lessons from the panelists, the site visit proved particularly significant for the members of the Business Honors Program. For the newly admitted 2016-2018 cohort, this was one of the first opportunities to meet and get to know one another. At the same time, the visit served as the last official Honors Program event for the graduating seniors in the upper cohort. Memories from this visit are sure to stick with everyone who took part in the trip.

Story by TJ Reardon ’17. Reardon is an accounting major minoring in economics. He will be spending this summer interning as a core assurance intern with PwC at their Portland office. Reardon will be graduating in the winter of 2017.

Written by UO Business

The UO Lundquist College of Business empowers an engaged community of students, faculty, staff, and stakeholders who create, apply, and disseminate knowledge that contributes significantly to their professions, communities, and society. The college delivers a dynamic learning environment where world-class professors engage and get to know students, where students work on real projects for real companies, and where alumni go on to high-powered jobs worldwide.