Khoa Weston, an electrical engineering major at Trine University, completed an REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) at the University of Michigan over the summer. The experience focused on learning how to make, study and improve advanced semiconductors.
Dreams come true: Adrienne Rosey’s Nike internship followed national championship
September 11, 2023
By John Clampitt
Adrienne Rosey got to live two dreams this past summer.
The design engineering technology major from Schoolcraft, Michigan, won a national championship with Trine University’s softball team, then boarded a plane the next day for an internship at Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon.
“I had been dreaming of winning since I got to Trine, and in fact it was my biggest goal other than to work at Nike,” she said.
Rosey has dreamed of working at Nike since she was 17. During her senior year of high school, she completed a dual credit public speaking class through a local community college. It was in that class that she discovered her passion for sports while researching a presentation about her dream job in product design and engineering.
She feels that Nike is the best athletics company in the world, and that’s something she wants to be a part of.
“I always have strived to be on the best team, and Nike is just that,” she said.
‘Hard for me to breathe’
It was a surreal experience when she first arrived.
“When I saw the huge Nike signs at the entrance it was honestly pretty hard for me to breathe,” she said. “The world campus is huge, there’s a big pond in the center and all the buildings surround it.”
The tour took a couple of hours to complete. She enjoyed seeing all the buildings and how they were personalized to the athlete they were named after.
“Lebron’s [building] had a café called Glo’s (named after his mom, Gloria), which he surprised his mom with when the building was opened,” she recalled.
During her internship, Rosey worked at Nike Air Manufacturing Innovation, where the company develops the air components featured in some of their shoes.
“They call them ‘air bags’ and they’re what you see when there’s an air bubble in the sole of your shoe,” Rosey said. Her main project was when Nike’s skateboarding (SB) team asked for an air bag made specifically for a new shoe they were developing.
“I was the project manager, and we sent out 100 samples to the SB team so they could do wear testing on the shoes with those air components in them,” she said.
For the other half of her internship, Rosey was networking with big shoe designers Tinker Hatfield and Dave Forland, among others.
“Those people were very influential for me,” she said. “They taught me about how taking risks can have huge rewards, and how if you believe in something enough, it is possible.”
She saw a lot of famous athletes during her internship. One day toward the end of the summer, she saw Lebron James casually walking around his building.
“The culture there is that you have to act like that person is just a normal dude, which he is, but come on... he's Lebron," she said. "So I just looked up, made dead eye contact with the guy, and looked back at my computer. It was the weirdest thing ever, but it was really cool!”
She also saw Derrick Henry, Jerry Rice and Ken Griffey Jr., among others.
Flourishing at Trine
Rosey chose Trine because the design engineering technology program is very similar to product design, and because Trine’s softball team is elite.
She became very close with her professors, and they took notice of how passionate she was.
“Courses that I’ve taken with Prof. Gagnon and Prof. Luchini were the most influential for me because they taught me how manufacturing and product design works, and they allowed students to have creative freedom when they designed things,” she said.
The Society for Women Engineers (SWE) Program really allowed her to flourish.
“I got involved through Prof. Gagnon. She told me about the conference my sophomore year and that’s basically how I was able to go. Every year, there is a SWE career fair and conference hosted somewhere in the United States. I have been two years in a row, and Trine was able to fund the trip both times,” she said. “I hope more women here studying engineering will take advantage of that conference. That is where most of the women engineering interns that I met at Nike got their job.”
“My goal for the future is to help athletes reach their peak performance through product design,” she said. “While at Nike, I made sure I got in touch with several product designers in many areas to learn about how they create their shoes.”
With her background as a softball pitcher, she would love to design softball cleats for women.
“Most softball cleats made today are made for a man’s foot, which is much narrower, leaving women very uncomfortable when playing,” she said.
“There is a ton of room for improvement for cleat design in both baseball and softball, and I would love to be able to help make strides forward in the industry. I’m pretty passionate about this. I’m currently working on getting my MBA through Trine as well, in case I want to start my own company someday.”
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