Gonzaga alumna Sara Wedland smiling as she hugs the Nike swoosh logo atop the bronze bulldog status outside the McCarthey Athletic Center

Going pro

How does a Zag win a spot on team swoosh?

Sara scored a coveted internship with the biggest athletic brand in the world - and then turned it into a full-fledged career.

As the president of Gonzaga’s Kennel Club, Sara Wendland (’15, B.Ed. Sport Management, B.A. Applied Communications) has a lot of practice going for the gusto. She led the pack of rabid bulldog fans who cheer on Gonzaga’s athletes at every game. Rallying hundreds of sports nuts takes organization, creativity and a whole lot of dedication—exactly the traits she applied as a summer intern at Nike while studying at Gonzaga.

For two years, Sara networked with Nike employees through family and alumni connections. After an interview process that took more than a month, she was finally offered an internship. Once she arrived, Sara threw herself into her tasks wholeheartedly. With a work ethic she describes as “commit to doing the extra,” she seized every opportunity to connect with her co-workers, learn the organization, and contribute meaningfully to its smooth and successful operation. “People remember when an intern does extra,” she says. “But more importantly, I believe your overall character improves.”

Clearly, her character made quite an impression at Nike: the company offered her a full-time position in the marketing department immediately upon graduation. She also credits the support of her family and fellow Zags for helping her land her position. We have no doubt that in her new role, she’ll be even more unabashed. (Look out, Phil Knight!)