Navigating the Corporate World

by Sarah Evans,

  • Jun Zhang

Campus leadership positions prepared Jun Zhang ’05 for work at several major companies.

Jun Zhang ’05
Major: Economics and computer science
Job: Director, global sales and operations planning, Nike
Location: Portland, Ore.

“At Willamette, I was in actively involved in House of Hall Representatives and in ASWU (Associated Students of Willamette University). My campus involvement helped me to become more assertive and collaborative, and I’ve carried that into the corporate workplace.

My interactions with other students through those opportunities were similar to how I now work with my peers and senior leaders at work. I learned how to share my ideas with others, influence them to understand the benefits and then collaborate to bring those ideas to life.

I love sports, technology and consumer gadgets. And I’ve been very lucky and blessed to follow my passions by working at Apple and Nike, two of the best companies in the world.

I first got involved with Nike after one of my friends at Willamette told me about his amazing summer internship there. I applied for the same internship as a sophomore and was fortunate to receive an offer. After the first internship, I knew that was where I wanted to work. I completed two additional summer internships at Nike and went on to accept a full-time job.

My career has been mainly in supply chain planning and management. It’s essentially about getting the right product to the right place at the right time. When done effectively, this creates a huge competitive advantage and delivers a great experience for the consumers. To do my job well, I often use the critical thinking, analytical and leadership skills I learned at Willamette.

In today’s ever-changing workplace, the job descriptions and requirements rarely stay static. I’ve had to evolve and redefine my skillsets and career path along the way to stay relevant and competitive. Not only did Willamette prepare me with the important skills I needed for my first job, but it also prepared me for the subsequent jobs I’ve had in a dynamic and unpredictable workplace.”