James Connolly discusses interview tips and career advice that help young professionals “look beyond the obvious” and leverage their existing skills and abilities.
To download this podcast, click hereJames explains that many young professionals struggle to distinguish between obvious observations and the insights that those observations provide. For example, Nike observed many Chinese basketball players playing outside, and this is what James calls an obvious observation. But, outdoor courts are very different in the way a shoe interacts with hardwood floors in comparison to concrete, and so the insight that Nike came up with was that the Chinese players needed more durability in the outsole of their product. This insight has helped Nike establish itself as the top basketball brand within China. James then applies this idea of “looking beyond the obvious” to job searching and interviewing. For example, he suggests that students can utilize a class project for something more than just a grade. He recommends that students tailor the project to something that could be offered as business experience during an interview. He recommends that we move past the dejected feeling of not having enough work experience to utilizing all the things in our life and applying them to better ourselves in the job search process. We have to be willing to take an honest and critical look at ourselves and need people around us that will give valuable feedback. His suggestion is that these people must be a balance between people we like and people who will give us the advice that is hard to hear.
James Connolly is a product line manager for Nike’s Global Men’s Athletic Training Apparel business. He is responsible for the product creation engine that creates essential training silhouettes for athletes in american football and baseball. In addition James’ oversees both the men’s and women’s LIVESTRONG apparel assortment. This assortment has helped create more than $80,000,000 in revenue for the Lance Armstrong Foundation and its fight against cancer. Prior to Athletic Training James worked as both a Product Line Manager and Associate Product Line Manager for Nike’s women’s training apparel business. His education includes a BS from Cornell University’s Department of Applied Economics and Management. While attending Cornell James was a member of the track and field program and continues to stay involved with the running community through youth coaching.
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