When I emailed Rolf at CSIO to ask about applying for the Game Plan – LinkedIn Job Shadowing opportunity, I hadn’t anticipated actually getting the gig. I had been working on my resumé with Rolf, the Game Plan advisor at CSIO. I was slacking on putting the finishing touches on the thing and when I got the email about applying for a job shadow, I jumped on it because the deadline was one week away. That was perfect to push my butt into gear and prioritize this resumé!
When I got an email saying it was time to organize my interview at the LinkedIn office, I got a bit of a thrill – that meant I had submitted things properly and maybe even done a good job! And then I got nervous. I had never done an interview before. I have had a couple jobs that have fallen into my lap. Rolf helped me prepare for the interview, and I knew even in preparing for it, that this was going to be a great experience for me from start to finish, no matter if I got the “job” or not.
I silently sweated through the interview, uncomfortable talking about myself so much, but enjoying the charisma and energy of the three LinkedIn employees interviewing me. I got a glimpse of the office and the environment on that first day, and it truly impressed me. The employees seemed content and driven, and there were a ton of activities and food that you could explore on breaks. In the interview, Perry, the manager of the Customer Success team to be shadowed, explained that LinkedIn tried to help grow employees that worked there by giving them opportunities to add skills and knowledge to their repertoires. Pretty cool. I explained to Perry, Andrea, and Melissa that I wasn’t in the market for a job. I’ve currently got a great one as a pro athlete, but that I want exposure to different kinds of jobs. I told them that I have no idea what I’d like to study or explore after my squash career, and I saw this job shadowing experience as a great piece of information for me. As I left I thought it would be prudent to acknowledge how sweaty I was, and explain I’d never been in that situation before. Apparently, I handled it like a seasoned veteran, they had no idea it was my first interview! I learned after a debrief with Rolf and Perry later that there were things that I can improve upon, which is very valuable for whatever interviews I have in the future.
The next day I got a call from Perry, and I assumed the “You were great…” had a “but” after it, but it didn’t!
On my first day, I learned that all three of the athletes interviewed were given a job shadowing opportunity. The three of us are all in very different stages of our athletic careers, and it was interesting for me to see how they approached the opportunity.
From the first day at LinkedIn to the last, I felt very welcome, and I was always invited to ask questions and interject when I didn’t know what one of their many acronyms stood for. I got to see what customer success managers got to do on a day-to-day basis. I sat in on meetings with customers, took part in talks, experimented with the LinkedIn software, and learned about the many different positions within the company. My last event was to be part of the team’s Q3 team outing! One of the other athletes, Evert, organized a sailing day for everyone. What a great way to wrap up a cool experience – with another new experience!
I’m very grateful to have been given a chance to explore the LinkedIn Canada Headquarters. Thanks so much to Perry and his team – Andrea, Jon, Dena, Marie-Anne, Amanda, Maya, Ismaëll, and Magdalena, as well as to the many other people at the office who took the time to meet with me. Thank you to everyone at Game Plan for opening this door to us athletes! And for guiding me through it. What a great opportunity to gain experience to prepare us for life after our sport careers.