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Former Knights' Intern Erica Hohlt Lands Dream Job at Nike.

January 10, 2014

OSU Grad Earns Full-Time Position as Account Rep in the Running Specialty Group

Former Knights' Intern Erica Hohlt Lands Dream Job at Nike.

Like many college students, former Corvallis Knights intern Erica Hohlt always dreamed of working for Nike.

Unlike almost all of her contemporaries, however, Hohlt's dream has been realized. Hired by Nike as a temporary employee last June, she recently accepted a full-time position as an account representative on the Running Specialty Group (RSG) team for North America.

She's traded in her white employee badge for a much-coveted black badge.

That may not seem significant to those outside of the company. But it's a major step for any Nike employee, and another tangible sign of success for the personable Tillamook native, one of the Knights' most popular and productive interns during the team's 2011 West Coast League championship summer.

"People at work know the vast difference between the two badge colors!" she said, laughing.

Hohlt manages Running Specialty accounts for the Rocky Mountain region and Florida. She makes sure stores in those regions are filled with Nike product by being proactive with her clients.

"I let them know when styles drop, provide product knowledge, a lot of customer service, data reporting, and partner with sales and other areas of our supply chain" to deliver top-drawer service to her vendors.

"What I like most about my job is working with a lot of different people, either in person, e-mail or over the phone," she said. "Even though this is a basic, entry-level position, there is so much opportunity for growth.

"You really learn the foundation of how Nike works with all their consumer outlets, the different demographics, and gain so much knowledge about all product offerings. You fine-tune crucial skills that are applicable to any position in your career.

"It's exciting with all the opportunities here to grow and develop! Plus it's a really fun, cool culture!"

Hohlt learned about every aspect of the Knights' organization as a key member of their inaugural class of Oregon State College of Business interns.

She received academic credit and was exposed to the sports business world through a wide range of preseason and summer projects requiring critical thinking, creativity, enthusiasm and commitment.

She partnered with team sponsors and fans in sales, marketing and customer service, and in developing, organizing and running on-field promotions. And improved her business skills, gained practical experience, and networked with prospective employers in private business.

"The Knights family was awesome, and they are still always checking in on me!" and following her professional career, she said. "I built lasting friendships during my internship, and learned the importance of being a good teammate and having a positive attitude."

Hohlt returned to OSU for her senior year following her internship, and graduated in June, 2012, with a marketing degree with a minor in communications. She then moved to Portland and was hired by a small, family-owned promotional advertising company.

"I worked there for almost a year, doing sales and marketing and building a better skill set to get my foot in the door at where I really wanted to work, Nike," she said.

Her plan worked to perfection.

She hasn't gotten self-important, however, or forgotten her roots. Her friends at the office have discovered a perfect way to keep the 2008 Tillamook High School graduate from getting too big for her Nike DRI-fit Epic britches.

"They call me 'Mookie,'" she said. "How endearing."