I am very interested in working at a sporting goods company like Nike

Hi Jennifer, I am currently a senior majoring in materials science at university of Illinois. I am very interested in working at a sporting goods company like Nike and I chose materials science when I was in high school because it looked highly related to the field. I figured it indeed is related and so I chose my concentration to be polymer. I recently applied to two of the job positions (Test engineer and materials researcher) through the Nike career website. I have several questions about the company and I would really appreciate it if you could answer me.
1. Are there many engineers working at Nike with bachelor's degree? What would be the rough proportion?
2. Most of the job positions that I am interested in, they require some experience. Would I have a better chance of working at Nike if I work at related field first and then apply to Nike? Is this normally the case, meaning are there more people working at Nike who had experiences beforehand?
3. How much does it normally take for you guys to respond back to the people who have applied online?
posted by Hyokang, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on February 3, 2016

Answer by Jennifer Polivka

Hi! Hopefully I can give you some answers to your questions.

1) There are definitely engineers that work at Nike with bachelor's degrees.  I can't speak to the entire makeup of the company (there are so many different careers here which are not related to science and engineering) but in my department I would say about 1/2 of the group has a bachelor's degree while the other 1/2 has a master's or PhD.
2) Yes, experience will always be helpful. Internships and research projects through school count, but some engineer work (not strictly sporting-good related, although that would be great) is a highlight on a resume.  Only 1 or 2 people in my department came here as their first major job out of college, most had one or more previous jobs.
3)The response time for applications varies very widely. Sometimes positions are posted for only a couple days before enough applicants are found, while other positions can take months to find the right pool of people.  A lot of variables go into whether the job process goes quickly or slowly.

Good luck!
Jennifer