Interview: Merryn Roberts, Nike Marketing Manager – Retail Communications (Running)

Question: What is a normal day of work like for you?

I typically arrive at 8am and leave between 6-7pm. I spend roughly 3 hours in meetings, 4 hours on email, and the rest of the time doing planning work.

Question: How does someone break into the sports field?

You need to build up your resume by doing project work or internships. Be willing to work for free to get experience. Try to set up informational interviews and let people know that you are interested in getting into the industry and are willing to work for free. After 6 months of work experience in the industry you’ll be in a much better position to get paid entry-level work.

Question: Any specific tips for finding work as a beginner or with moderate experience?

Same as above. People need to know you so get out there and have informational interviews. Simply sending out a bunch of resumes to people who don’t know who you are won’t work.

Question: Are there internships available? Where? How do you get them?

Yes, Nike has a summer internship program but it’s ultra-competitive so again, try to meet people before you apply. You can learn more at

Question: What education/certifications/background is needed and/or most useful?

These days you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree to get in the door. Retail experience is also a big plus. Try getting experience at a Nike retail store or a sporting goods store that sells Nike to learn more about the product and network.

Question: Are there certain qualifications that help separate the best from the rest?

An understanding of product by having experience at retail is a big plus (as mentioned above). Beyond that it’s more about who you know and being willing to work for free to get your foot in the door. If you’re good people will figure it out quickly and want to keep you.

Question: What are some downsides to the job?

Over 6,000 people work at Nike world headquarters so you are definitely one of many. The hours are long and you need to be willing to work weekends from time to time.

Question: What are the best parts about the job?

There’s nothing like the energy and passion at the #1 sporting goods brand in the world. People here love their jobs – it’s nice to work in that sort of atmosphere. The world headquarters campus is beautiful. The perks are great: excellent benefits, huge product discounts, and you get to make a good living doing what you love.

Question: Are there good online resources for both finding work as well as just learning about the field?

I always find the actual company sites to be the best. Make a list of companies that you would want to work for, bookmark their websites, and check back often for new jobs. Often internships are posted though so call the company directly to find out.

Question: Approximately how much does this type of job pay at each level?

I’ll take a guess here but it’s rough. Someone with an undergrad degree and 0-2 years experience would probably make $30-35K. If you have 3-5 years experience you would likely fall in the $35-55K range. 6+ years and you’re looking at around $60K. Every additional 1-2 years above that you can add on $5-10K. Add on an MBA or some other sort of special qualification and you can expect another $10K or so. Again, these are rough but hopefully it helps.

Question: Do most jobs include benefits such as medical and dental, etc.?

Yes. Great benefits.

Question: How much vacation do these jobs usually have?

Nike gives you two weeks vacation and 1 week sick leave in your first year. It is all considered ‘œpaid time off’ so you can use it as you want (i.e. If you never get sick then you get an extra week of vacation).

Marketing Consulting (Sell-Through Specialist)