Haas School of Business

Just Doing It at Nike

Michelle Wald, BS 03
NIKEiD Business Director,
Nike Europe, Amsterdam

parham

Huddled in a bright red overcoat, Michelle Wald sinks into a brown leather arm chair in the lobby of Amsterdam's swanky Conservatorium Hotel. A native of Sunnyvale, Calif., she has acclimated to Holland's soggy climate--and culture. Like the Dutch, she cycles everywhere. Sports, after all, have long been an integral part of her life.

Fresh out of school, Wald first joined McKinsey & Co. "Consulting is all about solving business problems. And I love puzzles," she says.

After a few years, McKinsey consultants are expected to gain industry experience. Wald, who played basketball and field hockey for Cal, jumped on a job opening she spotted at Nike. "Consulting and sports. It seemed a great fit," she says.

Nike agreed: She soon found herself at their global headquarters in Oregon, working as a global strategic planning analyst on everything from strategies for lacrosse to portfolio management of basketball brands.

After five years with Nike, Wald moved to Europe to work on the footwear giant's digital commerce initiatives there. At Nike's European headquarters, she is now business director for NIKEiD. "I deal with customization: Consumers can select their own performance options, colors, materials, and print their own names on products," Wald explains.

Despite her hectic job, Wall still finds time for sports. "I play basketball, soccer, and run a boot-camp on the weekends in Amsterdam's Vondelpark."

Wald credits her Berkeley-Haas degree with providing the foundation for her work, while sports helped her master the art of juggling. "Playing sports in college taught me an awful lot: discipline, time management, team work, and commitment. That certainly helps when managing schedules in the real world."

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