From Newham to New Balance Athletics: A Cyber Security Success Story

Ade Adeyemi, a Cyber Security student at Staffordshire University London, boosted New Balance's digital progress as an IT Infrastructure Intern.

A male student smiling as he poses for a photograph.

Ade Adeyemi, a Cyber Security student interning at New Balance.

As an intern, it's understood that you won't have all the knowledge, but demonstrating a willingness to learn and maximising the opportunities available is paramount.

Ade Adeyemi, Cyber Security, Year 2

Ade Adeyemi, an undergraduate Cyber Security student at Staffordshire University London, delved into the complexities of IT infrastructure and played a vital role in New Balance's digital advancement during his time as an IT Infrastructure Intern. Established in 1906, New Balance Athletics originated in Boston, Massachusetts, initially concentrating on arch supports. Over time, it burgeoned into a prominent force in the footwear industry, extending its reach to 120 countries and earning renown for innovation in global sports footwear and apparel.

In this dynamic setting, Ade and his team’s responsibilities span across various areas, including but not limited to, IT Service Desk, Cloud Services, Networking, Security, and Hyper Care. Ade himself plays a key role in ensuring the smooth operation and advancement of the EMEA domain’s technological framework. Within the IT Service Desk domain, Ade diligently addresses technical inquiries and concerns, prioritising minimal disruptions and maintaining stringent service standards. Whereas his involvement in Cloud Services focuses on managing and refining digital resources, aligning closely with the company’s digital transformation trajectory.

Ade's responsibilities extend to overseeing the organisation’s network infrastructure to ensure uninterrupted connectivity and safeguarding digital assets through robust security measures, particularly during critical incidents or system implementations. Furthermore, Ade plays an active role in numerous business projects, leveraging his technical proficiency to contribute to aid in their effective completion. This multifaceted role offers him a comprehensive understanding of IT infrastructure and its integral role in driving business operations forward.

Ade attributes his readiness for this role to his academic journey, which equipped him with both academic knowledge and practical skills. Ade stated, “The University has been instrumental in equipping me for my role in New Balance, both from a theoretical and practical standpoint. Modules such as Networking Concepts in Cyber Security, Commercial Computing and Cyber Security have provided me with a solid theoretical foundation, keeping me abreast of the latest technologies in today’s digital age”.

Ade attests to Staffordshire University London’s curriculum alignment with the current job market particularly beneficial. From day one, Ade and his cohort utilised Cisco’s Networking Academy syllabus and tools for Networking modules. This exposure allowed Ade to understand and apply these technologies in real-world scenarios during his placement at New Balance, helped to facilitate a seamless transition into the professional realm.

The University's focus on teamwork further polished Ade's collaborative abilities, crucial for manoeuvring through the corporate environment. His higher education experience ensured that he felt at ease and integrated when collaborating within a team during his placement. Ade expressed gratitude for the guidance provided by the academic team, including Dr. Vahid Heydari Fami Tafreshi, Dr. Maryam Shahpasand, and Dr. Mahsa Zolfaghari. He remarked, "Their mentorship and support have played a pivotal role in my personal and academic growth at the University. They have significantly contributed to refining both my technical and interpersonal skills, preparing me for my placement. Their input has been invaluable in moulding me into the professional I am today."

For students embarking on similar paths, Ade offered invaluable insights gained from his own journey. He strongly advocates for seizing opportunities for growth and leveraging university resources available at Staffordshire University London. Ade stresses, “Make the most of the resources available at the university. This includes the certification exams, conferences, and talks. These opportunities not only broaden your knowledge but also equip you with practical skills for the real world. The university provides an array of these resources, and it’s up to you to utilise them to their fullest potential.”

In addition, Ade highlighted the significance of upholding a robust work ethic among students. Ade remarked, “The industry can be demanding but maintaining a diligent work ethic like completing assignments on time, working effectively in a team, and striving for more than just the bare minimum will prepare you well for the professional world. Having a positive attitude towards both staff and fellow students is also crucial. While I’m still an intern, these practices have allowed me to learn a lot, grow, and gain a realistic understanding of what to expect in the real world and the industry”.

A challenge which Ade faced upon starting was at New Balance was the adjustment to a new work environment and the pressure to meet the set expectations. However, with the unwavering support of Ade’s team and manager at New Balance, he successfully navigated through the onboarding process and beyond. Additionally, he realised the importance of acknowledging that it's acceptable not to have all the answers immediately and to approach tasks one step at a time. Ade reflected, “As an intern, it's understood that you won't have all the knowledge, but demonstrating a willingness to learn and maximising the opportunities available is paramount."

Ade's success story is a testament to the significance of both hard and soft skills in the professional arena. While technical proficiency is essential, Ade underscores the pivotal role of soft skills such as teamwork, communication, critical thinking, attention to detail, and adaptability in securing his position at New Balance Athletics. As Ade continues to thrive in his role, his journey serves as an inspiration for aspiring professionals, showcasing the transformative power of dedication, perseverance, and a commitment to excellence in the pursuit of one's career goals.

Embracing the ethos of perpetual learning and growth, Ade's journey from Staffordshire University London to an IT Infrastructure Intern at New Balance Athletics has been nothing short of transformative.

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