As I look back on my first year at HBS, one of my most memorable experiences was the international FIELD project. I had the incredible opportunity to travel to South Africa and work with a company that’s been a part of my life since I learned to walk. A lifetime athlete, I have a long history with Nike – my first basketball shoes were Nike, I crossed the finish line of my first half-marathon in Nike running shoes, and my favorite yoga pants now sport the famous swoosh. Like the five other HBS first years on my team, I was honored to help Nike think about its strategy to grow access to shoes and apparel in Africa. The experience was so rewarding for me, I vowed to put every effort I could into finding another way to work with Nike. Using the knowledge and skills I developed working with the South Africa team, I interviewed for the Nike World Headquarters internship in the Corporate Strategy & Development group – believing my prior work as a consultant and my passion for sport would be a winning combination. As I prepare to fly to Portland for the summer, I’m thrilled to accomplish three things: to better understand the role of an internal strategic planner, to use the new skills I’ve developed during my first year, and to make a valuable impact in a company that’s left such a positive mark on my life. I suppose I should confess to one more goal – I’d love to leave with some awesome new shoes, too.

- Amanda Burlison, MBA 2014