- 18 Jan 2010
- Athlete Stories
Nordic combined, Germany
For many years, Stephan Münchmeyer was among the top athletes in Nordic combined, a sport that consists of ski jumping and cross country skiing. Between 2000 and 2006, he participated in numerous World Cup competitions and scored well. But Stephan was always aware of how important it is to build a solid basis for a professional future outside sport. So in 2006 he became one of the first 26 athletes to enrol in a Bachelor’s degree course specifically for elite athletes at the Ansbach University of Applied Sciences. After only two semesters, Stephan was already planning an internship to gain initial work experience. His sports career had previously left little time for practical experience in the job market, however, which prompted his first contact with the IOC Athlete Career Programme.
In a series of counselling sessions, Janine Bischoff, the programme’s project manager, coached Stephan through the application process. Ultimately, he decided on a well known sports goods manufacturer as his employer of choice. Thanks to additional targeted coaching, Stephan’s interview was successful, and in September 2007 the athlete began a seven-month internship with the company. At its conclusion, he was given the opportunity to continue on a 30-hour-per-week basis in the company’s Business Unit Olympics. In July 2008, Stephan was also accepted into a dedicated programme for a temporary position which ended in August 2009, at the same time as he completed his studies. When he noticed a job ad for a position at the same company as an assistant product manager in the marketing department of Men’s Training, he contacted Adecco again. The cooperation with American colleagues in the IOC ACP gave Stephan the support he needed for all his questions throughout the entire application process in English, which involved three rounds of interviews. For Stephan, the transition from elite sport to professional career has gone better than he ever dreamed possible.
‘The last months have been very stressful. I was really hoping to get an offer from the company I intened at. Now I can hardly believe my luck in finding a permanent position in marketing right out of school. The IOC Athlete Career Programme was enormously helpful. I still remember how hard my very first application was. Without the additional coaching, I would never have found such a great job”.