On Tuesday, 19th June, I had the chance to attend the event “FAU goes adidas”, a celebration to commemorate FAU’s 275th anniversary. We arrived at the adidas World of Sports around 9 A.M. and were welcomed at the “Consumer Center”. Attending this event, I have learned a lot about the power of collaboration, my power as a consumer, and what all of this means for my future career. The sort of things that rarely cross your mind in a classroom.
The power of collaboration
Nowadays, we heard a lot about open source and collaboration among companies and start-ups. There has been a shift from protecting your know-how and keeping everything in-house to an open approach when it comes to innovation. We probably own at least one T-shirt with a Climacool label or a pair of Boost shoes without knowing all the sophisticated technology and intense research behind them. Listening to the presentations by both FAU professors and adidas employees, I was blown away by the research and development jointly carried out by the university and adidas. There are three different layers in the Climacool t-shirt so the sweat can easily evaporate, and you stay dry. The shoes are designed to serve different running styles. With all that in mind, I feel better about paying a premium price for a t-shirt.
We can all claim to know how to run SPSS or analyse data on our CV, but I have never applied it to create something cool like a pair of sneakers. So, it was inspiring to see that memorizing those two-hundred-something slide deck for the exam and all the knowledge you gather could actually be worth it one day.
The power of the consumer
Compared to previous generations, we share more: we share our car (Uber), our house (Airbnb). As I travel and study abroad, I don’t like owning material things because later on, I’d have to think about how to pack all this stuff and bring it with me or about how I’m going sell it. As a generation, we also pay more attention to sustainable products and the environment. We also expect big companies to treat their employees in an ethical way. The rise of social media allows us to voice our demands and concerns clearly to big companies, including adidas. And they respond. Seeing adidas’ campaign “Run for the Oceans” to fight marine plastic pollution, or Parley shoes made out of ocean plastic – I feel empowered. I see that my voice is heard, and I realize my responsibility as a consumer. My purchase was not merely a transaction but has an impact. In fact, our purchasing behavior has a big impact and gives guidance to companies on how and what to produce.
What does this all mean?
adidas is a promising workplace. We all want to work for an innovative company, where we can contribute and shape the future. We all want to collaborate with people who have inspiring ideas and tha shared goal to build a better tomorrow. Besides learning about the collaboration between adidas and FAU, we also learned about what an employer like adidas looks for in a potential candidate. It is important to develop digital literacies as well as being able to work in a dynamic and nternational environment.
Overall, it was great to attend the event; I listened and felt inspired by people with drive and passion to create cool things and make an impact. I would definitely look out for more events and workshops like these to take a break from the university and reflect upon how I can prepare for my career and contribute to shape the desired future.