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Alumna's Passion for Fashion Leads Her to Nike

Story by Alana Gaither '15, public relations and health communication major

Hollee Burba ‘05 has a passion for fashion.  Her enthusiasm led this public relations major to land a position three years ago at Nike, one of the world’s most recognized sports companies. As a merchandise planner for running apparel at Nike’s main campus in Beaverton, Ore., Burba loves working for Nike.

“My favorite part is the Nike culture and having the ability to really drive my own career,” says Burba. “Nike—the culture, the people, the history, the stories—

Nike embodies the best.  It's more than a job, it's about the emotional connections.”

Burba first found her passion in Italy while taking a Renaissance art class. Despite having lived in Columbus her whole life, a year after graduating from Otterbein, Burba headed west to attend the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles.

An internship at the California Mart,a trend agency, led her to professional jobs as a merchandising analyst for Tilly’s and then to Portland, Ore., where she worked for Lucy Activewear as a merchandise planner. As her network in the retail world grew, thanks to her experiences at both companies, Burba landed a position at Nike.

Though every day is different, she typically tracks season sales, provides recommendations to her merchant on promotions or needs for the business and plans for the upcoming seasons, which all require cross-functioning communication to ensure maxim productivity.

When Burba isn’t tracking fashion trends or helping to come up with the next season's lines for North America factory stores, she can be found playing dodgeball or capture the flag.  It’s the Nike way: work hard, play hard.

Burba explains that Nike is more than just a clothing company.

The DNA of this company, and the story of how this industry giant was built, is extremely inspiring,” says Burba. “I think everyone can relate to the feeling of overcoming adversity, winning a sporting event, or not letting your failures break your stride of turning opportunities into successes.”