Take a Chance and Try Because You Never Know What Might Happen…
October 16, 2014
Hi Passion Crew! I hope you all are doing well. I recently shared my exciting news on social media that I’m partnering with Reebok and just joined the ReebokONE network as a Global Fitness Pro, where I’ll part of an amazing global community of fitness professionals and enthusiasts. This partnership is near and dear to my heart because I used to work for Reebok at the corporate headquarters in Interactive Marketing, was a member of Reebok University and the former Reebok Alliance program for fitness instructors and taught Reebok Core Board classes at the corporate office. Therefore, it’s truly an honor to come full circle and partner with them as I’ve launched my own health, wellness and fitness company. 🙂
In light of this new development, I wanted to share my story of how I pursued my dream job of working at Reebok over 10 years ago and hopefully inspire you guys to take a chance on something you desire and give it a try, because you never know what might happen…
So here’s my story. It was the Spring of 2003 and my husband and I were engaged at the time, working on final plans for our wedding and getting ready to move across the country from San Francisco to Boston. My husband got accepted into MIT for his MBA and Master’s in Engineering, which was the main reason for our cross-country move after our wedding. I also was planning to apply to graduate schools in Boston once we got there (and ended up getting accepted into Boston University’s part-time evening program for Advertising and Communications) and also had an offer to transfer from the San Francisco office to the Cambridge office with my company, CNET, at that time. However, I knew Reebok was headquartered in the Boston area and I had always thought it would be so amazing to work there if I ever lived in that area because I was a long-time fan of the Reebok brand and products given my background in fitness and dance. So…here was my big chance!
Unfortunately, I didn’t know a single person who worked at Reebok at that time and didn’t know anyone in my professional or personal network who had any ties to the company either. So my choices were to apply through their website and have my resume buried under thousands of other resumes or get creative and find another way to apply. So I started doing some research and spent a lot of time looking through their website, reading press releases, industry articles, etc. to see if I could find a contact person. In one of the articles I was reading, I came across the name of the Chief Marketing Officer and also saw his corporate email address at the bottom of the article. So I took my chances and sent him an email explaining that I was a huge fan of the Reebok brand and products, had both a fitness and marketing background, was moving to the Boston area that summer and was planning to be in town in a few weeks with my fiance (now husband) on an apartment hunting trip. I asked if I could meet with him for an informational discussion about the company and future opportunities when I was in town. I had no idea if he would ever write me back since this was the Chief Marketing Officer of Reebok for crying out loud! But I took a chance and gave it a try by sending the email, along with my resume. What did I have to lose? The worst thing that could happen was that he’d never write me back, but at least I’d know I tried and I could always try another strategy or accept the wonderful CNET job offer I already had.
Well, guess what happened next? He emailed me back within ONE HOUR and told me he appreciated my strong interest in the company, he thought I had an impressive background and he’d be happy to meet with me when I was coming into town in a few weeks! Wait…what??? Was this really happening? It actually was and I had to pinch myself because I really couldn’t believe it! So I wrote him back right away and suggested some dates and times for the informational session. Now this time he didn’t write me back within an hour, a day, or even a week. At that point, I started to get nervous. I knew he was probably a very busy person, but if he said he was able to meet with me, why wouldn’t he respond? So once again, I took a chance and called the number that was in his auto signature in his email after a week of not hearing back from him. Unfortunately he didn’t answer, but thankfully his administrative assistant did. I asked if I could speak to him about an upcoming meeting I was trying to schedule, but she said he was out of the country traveling on business and wouldn’t be back for a few weeks. Given I was going to be headed to Boston in a few weeks for the apartment hunting trip and needed to get back to my company, CNET, on if I wanted to take their transfer offer or not, I didn’t have much time to wait for him to get back from his trip, respond to me and then figure out a time to meet. So I honestly told her my story and situation and that I really was hoping to get the meeting scheduled as soon as possible. She said, “Sure honey, how does 9:30 a.m. on the 10th sound?” I, of course, said, “Yes, that works!” I locked in that meeting as fast as I could and thanked her so much for helping me schedule it. A little side note and lesson learned here: always be nice to administrative assistants because they can be of more help than you know! 🙂
A few weeks went by and it was time for my husband and I to head to Boston for our apartment hunting trip and my meeting with the Chief Marketing Officer at Reebok. I prepared really hard for weeks for this meeting and was ready…extremely nervous…but ready nonetheless! When I first walked into his office and introduced myself, he looked a little confused and said, “I remember your email, but I don’t remember scheduling this meeting with you.” My stomach dropped for a second, but I quickly told him I had called to schedule the meeting and since he was traveling out of the country, his administrative assistant scheduled it for me. He said, “Oh right…okay…great!” Whew!
He ended up doing a formal interview with me that day and asked me some pretty tough questions. Thankfully I had prepared and knew my stuff so the interview went well enough that he said he wanted to schedule some additional interviews for me with some VPs and Directors in HR, Interactive Marketing and Women’s Marketing. I ended up interviewing with about six different people over the next few days and then had to wait a few more weeks and then…I RECEIVED AN OFFER for a Global Interactive Marketing Manager position about a week before my wedding!!!!! I was on top of the world as I was getting married to the love of my life, embarking on an exciting move to an amazing city and starting my dream job with a company I had always wanted to work for! What I loved most about working for Reebok was that it allowed me to combine my professional background in marketing with my personal passions of health, wellness and fitness (which is exactly the driving force behind me starting Passion Fit all these years later and partnering with Reebok once again). Anyway, it was the perfect fit for me and I went on to work at Reebok for two years and had such an incredible experience working with really talented people, learning, contributing and growing so much. The only reason I ended up leaving the company after two years was because my husband and I were finishing up graduate school and knew we wanted to move back to the San Francisco Bay Area after that to settle down and start a family. My husband also received a job offer with Bain, a management consulting firm, in their San Francisco office. Unfortunately, Reebok didn’t have any full-time marketing opportunities on the West Coast, so I had to make the very difficult decision to leave, which was heartbreaking for me at that time. Luckily I ended up bouncing back and getting a very cool job opportunity at Yahoo in the San Francisco Bay Area after that.
Anyway, I share this story to illustrate the fact that we all have it deep within us to take nothing and turn it into something if we work hard, believe in ourselves, take a chance and just try. It will take guts and tenacity, but if you want it badly enough, you can do it! So the next time you want to sign up for a marathon or triathlon, apply for a new job, start your own business, publish a book, take a new class, go back to school, travel around the world, go rock climbing or whatever it may be…take a chance and try because you never know what might happen!
That’s it for today my friends. I’ll be back with another blog post soon! Until next time…