Student and Academic Life

UK CI Student-athlete Interns at Nike World Headquarters

Alex Martens
Alex Martens

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 11, 2019) — Over the summer, Alex Martens, a senior integrated strategic communication major in the University of Kentucky College of Communication and Information and a UK softball player, completed a prestigious internship with Nike Inc. at its World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon. UKNow talked to Martens to see what it was like working as a Nike intern.

UKNow: Can you describe the process of applying for the internship, and how you felt when you found out you were chosen?

Martens: The application process for Nike took about six months and consisted of résumé preparation, cover letter preparation and four separate interviews. After making it past the application stage, I had an interview with a Nike college recruiter on a “get to know you” basis. After this interview I had three separate interviews with different managers in different fields at Nike. I ended up getting a call back in early spring and was offered the position as a global employee communications intern. I was actually getting rehab at our training facility when I took the call. I had locked myself in my trainer’s office and after hanging up, my teammates and I celebrated with hugs. I had never been prouder of an accomplishment — but at the same time I had never been more nervous and scared about the unknown.

UKNow: What was your internship position and the location where you worked? 

Martens: I worked at Nike WHQ in Beaverton, Oregon, as the global employee communications intern. In this role I was responsible for sending weekly newsletters to all Nike WHQ employees, planning and creating content for employees, as well as learning and understanding all facets of internal communications at Nike. My department didn't have a specialist, so I took on that role for two months. I also wrote numerous stories for the Nike employee website, Zero. My project for the summer was the “Made to Play Field Day,” which was the most successful employee event of the summer. More than 3,000 employees and their families came together to get active. I was the communication lead for this event, so I was responsible for creating a media shot list, interviewing employees at the event and writing up the story post-event for Zero. Additionally, I took part in the Intern Combine, which was a 48-hour sprint project where interns worked in groups to create a new revenue generating experience for Nike consumers. We researched, brainstormed, prototyped, created and then pitched ideas to a table of NIKE Inc. leadership.

UKNow: What were your biggest challenges/favorite parts of the internship?

Martens: My favorite part of this summer was the experience I am going to be able to take with me where ever I choose to go post-graduation. Working for a major corporation like Nike is humbling, yet instills a hunger for success. I packed my bags and moved across the country, not knowing what or whom I would encounter. I made connections and friendships with people that will stay in my life forever in different ways — not to mention a stellar new shoe collection. 

Follow along with Martens' journey and find more information about UK CI here.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" two years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.