Meet our NextGens

Career track: Human Resources

To work at ECCO is like being welcomed into a big family, greeting you with open arms and big smiles at all units.  This is something that is often under-valued in business, but as a NextGen, being away from your family and friends for a long time, you learn to truly appreciate this.

Being a NextGen is not just about on-the-job learning, it is also about going through your own personal development journey and pushing yourself past your comfort zone.  You are expected to be able to embrace opportunities and tackle challenges on a daily basis, both personally and professionally. You are expected to work on projects that have a real business impact.  During the programme, you get to make your own leather and shoes. You work on tasks that are so different to what you would expect, yet develop you in way you never would have thought. I have been exposed to all levels of the business, from operational staff to directors, whilst working on high priority business projects.  The NextGen programme is about learning to persevere through good and hard times, to look at things from different perspectives, and to take away only the best parts.

But I have to say, my absolute favourite thing about the programme is, what you put in, you get back.  Put in passion, drive and effort, you get back responsibility, opportunities and new friends.

I prefer not to look at my NextGen programme as something that ends after 3 years.  I expect to continue being exposed to different areas of the business, stakeholders and challenges.  I want to keep learning and developing, both professionally and personally.  Most importantly, the NextGen programme puts you in a unique position, whereby you get to work within different areas of the business with many different stakeholders.  If you have put in the passion and effort during your rotations, you will have an unbelievably large pool of resources and help that you can pull on when needed during your future career at ECCO.

Career track: Shoe Production Management

No way?? Wait…  Let me read the description once again!!

ECCO NextGen Programme and the interview goes like this: “You will be given a complete on-the job training of the entire value chain from hide to shoemaking, until the product reaches our customer through our ECCO stores, whilst working in seven different countries across the globe”.

1 year later…

I never Imagined that there could be such a promising and revolutionary global training programme tailor made.  I am extremely fortunate to be a part of ECCO NextGen programme and there are some secrets I would like to share.  Along with on-the-job training of the entire value chain, the rewarding part is my learnings are mostly from experts with more than 30 years of experience in their field and a bonus takeaway of strong relational ties with each unit upon completion of rotation.  I am sure that the NextGen programme serves as a blessing not only for me but for every individual on this programme.

Fun Fact: I have never been out of India in my past which was definitely an advantage as it has made every day exciting, filled with amazing experiences and surprises.  Whether it be my first Danish Christmas with four dinners by our retail colleagues, or learning to stitch a pair of shoes from the finest teachers in ECCO Indonesia, where I also met my mentor for the first time.  He takes complete responsibility in guiding and shaping me with my professional and personal development.  As the saying goes, surround yourself with people who are going to lift you higher. Moving forward with our global family of shoemakers’ vision, to be the best shoe company in the world and the NextGen quality of always being agile and delivering high quality output.  I see myself in a career growing though the challenges and contributing in technical areas, where designers’ creativity and prototypes are converted into final products for mass production.

Career track: Commercial Sales, Accessories

I chose to be a NextGen for the greater picture of a global company.  I saw the opportunity to bring links throughout a company spread all over the world.  How many people get that opportunity?!  To travel, network, encounter thousands of people with thousands of stories, unique to culture and history was a privilege I couldn’t pass up.

My highlight of the programme so far - in one word: Friendships.  I’ve been able to walk alongside hundreds of lives around the world.  While I only get the chance to walk for a short time with them, short times have been enough to learn about their lives and especially their culture.  Some of my closest friendships I still talk with on a weekly basis even though I’ve moved we’re thousands of miles apart.  This though can be a double edged sword.  To invest in so many lives, then to move on, is not an easy task.  It teaches one what things matter when getting to know someone, and what is important to hang onto when one moves.  Friendships; both my greatest highlight and greatest challenge.

Because of the touches I’ve had throughout the organization, I expect to translate those touches into value additions to the greater business.  Traveling and moving so frequently has meant thousands of experiences and learnings of the greater company.  Someone told me recently to be careful to not be a “Jack of all trades, but master of none”.  This has heavily influenced me and caused me to ensure that I really capitalize on the strengths I feel I bring to the table while bringing my weaknesses to light.

To be a value adding NextGen, I believe you need tenacity, a strong sense of security about who you are, your values, and protecting those in the work place. You need to passionately believe in your role and push to bring up cross functional information based on where you’ve rotated in the world as it is relevant in your position. Being a NextGen means being brave, brave when facing new people, bravery when saying goodbye to friends, bravery when approached with new challenges. A NextGen experience is truly one of the most unique opportunities in the world, treasure it.

My advice for future NextGens is: Say yes to new opportunities. Even when tired, stressed or uncomfortable, be willing to try new things in new cultures.  This will simply stretch and grow you. Being a NextGen will teach you how to react when encountering new business units and cultures.  Learn how to listen to people and ask open ended questions. Often, just by listening when you’re in a new situation, you’ll be able to draw out key information you wouldn’t normally have uncovered. Asking good questions and listening to key answers is part of what makes a great NextGen.

Career track: Product Management, Outdoor

Joining this programme was a natural decision. As a NextGen, I’m able to develop both the inner-engineer and the hungry long-distance runner within me.  The programme provides a plethora of hands-on opportunities to experiment with new ideas and concepts; moreover, the multi-cultural rotations allow me to garner a well-rounded perspective on the specific features our consumers yearn for each time they wear our shoes. In a 20,000+ people company, what excites me most is the available abundance of resources for me to learn from and add value to the company.

A highlight from my time as a NextGen was definitely my first experiment in production.  The trial turned out as expected: a conglomerate of unorthodox standards, uneven PU flow, awkward upper fitting, and a shoe that didn’t really look like a shoe. I stared at the Frankenstein-ish result for a while before my Thai mentor walked up. With her hand on my shoulder and a smile on her face, she said: “No problem, try again.  You’ll learn 100x more from a defeat than a 1st time success”. Since then, that short four-word mantra has further strengthened my conviction for fearless failure and speedy adaptation… No problem, try again.

The hard sell: Close your eyes for a bit and think about your goals; visualize your aspirations, picture how you’ll get there, and imagine placing them in a brown cardboard box.  This is how you’ll start off.

And then, as a NextGen, you’ll join a passionate group of go-getters - a tight-knit family that grows each year. It’s a program for hustlers who simultaneously foster and create their own aspirations. Day in and day out, you’ll step out of your comfort zone, expanding your horizons and collaborating with colleagues in multicultural settings. Most importantly, you’ll be surrounded in an environment where your inner-drive to add value results in a direct correlation between company impact and your career development.

That cardboard box you started with? You’ll learn fast to push past those cardboard walls. As a NextGen, it is your determination to learn and grow that will excel your development as a shoemaker. It is your determination to succeed that will take you above and beyond to reach your goals and eventually… discover new ones.

Career track: Finance & Business Control

My experience of working in ECCO has been very amazing. I have learned so many new things at work, not only different approaches on how we analyse things but also the culture and the people. As a NextGen, I meet and work with a lot of talented people, leaders, managers and directors.  ECCO is a big company but also rich in culture and we are able to work together due to our unique company culture and values that we have.

What I like the most about the programme, is having the chance to have a mentor like a director or manager who has a lot of experiences. It is a rare opportunity.  It feels like an accelerated program where you have to understand how the company runs in a steep learning curve. How we set-up priorities? What matters the most to the company? What kind of approach should use to handle a specific task? These are the questions that we are not able or have the chance to answer in the beginning of our career path. The NextGen programme gives me the opportunity to learn about making decisions and implementing changes in the company.

To be a NextGen in ECCO it requires readiness to new challenges and open-mindedness. As traveling is going to be a part of your new life, you are going to meet new people with various cultures and backgrounds, and see the beauty behind it. Then, at work, you will face different types of tasks and assignments which sometimes is very challenging for you – as part of the steep learning curve.

Career track: Trade Concept Development (Marketing Production)

I have always wanted to work within a company where you can feel the passion within every unit and where you can feel the motivation for reaching something bigger. ECCO is definitely a company like that. I feel that I’m a part of a big family where we all have passion for our heritage and our shoemaking skills. Working in ECCO is truly the best, I feel that I’m being heard and that my opinion matters just as much as anyone else’s. 

What I like the most about the NextGen programme is that I’m developing my skills and learning even more than I thought I would. Part of this is that I get the opportunity to travel to different business units within ECCO and learn, see and feel how the different units are functioning, this have so far given me plentiful of knowledge about being a shoemaker within a shoemaker company. Travelling and experiencing so much have also boosted my confidence a lot and I feel so motivated to do my best and show the world and ECCO what I am capable of. 

To be a NextGen in ECCO the key ingredient is to have passion; passion for your career track, passion for your development and passion for ECCO. A positive mind-set and being open-minded will help you along the way, as you will be challenged and taken out of your comfort zone. These challenges are to develop you further in your career within ECCO; so take them and learn from them. Being a team player and to understand cultural differences are also important, in order to be a successful NextGen, as ECCO is indeed a global family.  

Career track: Sales & Business Development, Kids

Working in a company with 60+ other nationalities is certainly a unique experience. Although every person in our generation is going to be affected by globalization, being a NextGen at ECCO allows you to experience this phenomenon at a whole different level. Slowly the borders between countries start fading away and running on three different time zones at the same time becomes a habit.

What I like the most about my program is having the opportunity to see a full supply chain of a vertically integrated company and taking the time to understand every step of the way. From cutting raw hides in Indonesia to selling end product in the Baltics - you name it, I’ve done it!

There is a thin line between wanting to always be open-minded and simply having no direction. In my opinion, it is crucial for a NextGen to know where he/she is going and communicate it. It’s even better if you find yourself swimming against the tide for a while: challenges build excellent leaders and that’s what we are here for.

Career track: Strategy and Planning

I have always wished, that my work is my passion as well. That became a reality in ECCO, I truly love to work here. I feel that my voice is always being heard and that I am part of global family of shoemakers. In such a big and international organisation, there are opportunities around every corner. It just up to you how you grab them.

I like my programme because I can develop myself and use my potential fully. I have a possibility to work on interesting projects, support ECCO on its vision and be creative and independent. I can experience new cultures, get a deep understanding of ECCO’s value chain and develop a great network.

To be a NextGen in ECCO you simply have to be a daring and positive person. You have to be ready to get out of your comfort zone, to take initiative and to be challenged. If you want international career and are willing to work hard for it, you are the right person to become a NextGen in ECCO. 

Career track: OMNI channel retail/E-commerce

From my experience, ECCO is a company truly interested in motivating and empowering employees willing to become involved. The corporate culture is friendly and trusting. Very quickly, I was able to meet many passionate and talented people behind the brand.

What I like about the programme is that, in a short amount of time, I get the opportunity to look in depth into different areas of the supply chain. Each placement challenges me in order to achieve things, which seem to be impossible at the beginning. These high targets constantly motivate me to outgrow my current abilities. My mentors do everything in their power to support the achievement of these goals. It is a personal challenge where you can learn a lot about the shoemaking process but also about yourself.

To be a NextGen in ECCO, I think it is necessary to have an internal drive, to be curious, to make new experiences and to broaden one’s horizon. It is helpful to be a team player, to have an awareness of cultural differences and be ready to change location often.