Corporate

From the Olympics to Adobe, Elli Ochowicz’s Career Journey

July 19, 2018

With the 2018 FIFA World Cup having come to a close earlier this week, we still can’t help but have sports on the mind. Just yesterday we held our annual Adobe Olympics in our San Jose headquarters, where employees competed in activities such as a Bean Bag Toss, a 35’ Bungee Run, Water Balloon Toss and more, all while bringing out their competitiveness to succeed and be well at the same time.

The Adobe Olympics is all about bringing employees together from all areas of the business; bringing community, competitiveness and fun into a single event. The event encourages  employees to get out and get active with their friends and colleagues. Each year there seems to be more excitement from the participants!” Said Sara Torres, Global Wellbeing Strategist.

We embrace all the unique backgrounds that our employees have, which is exactly why we encourage them to bring their personal passions to the job—including their athletic abilities! To learn more about which transferable skills athletes can bring back to the job, we asked 3-time Olympic athlete and Manager of Talent Scouting Americas, Elli Ochowicz, to share her experience on and off the field—or more specifically, on and off the ice.

Can you tell us about your athletic background?

I’m a 3-time Olympic speed skater. It’s kind of a family affair—my dad was an Olympic cyclist, and my mom was a 3-time Olympic medalist speed skater. I took interest in speed skating at a young age, because it definitely made me feel unique. I liked going fast and being competitive. And once I got into actual racing, it really brought out the competitiveness in me and made me feel special. When I was about 13-14 years old, I start going down the Olympic path, and I made the national team when I was 15 to start preparing for the 2002 Olympics. There was never a doubt in my mind that I would be an Olympian.

What is your fondest memory as an athlete and proudest achievement?

My greatest accomplishment was making my first Olympics. It felt like I was adding to my family legacy. But it doesn’t sink in until your first opening ceremony. When you walk into the stadium with your teammates…It’s just indescribable. You feel a sense of accomplishment that no one can ever take away from you and you feel like an Olympian for life. It was also the first Olympics after 9/11, so to represent team USA during that time felt like being part of something much larger than yourself.

What skills do you most leverage from your past experience as an athlete in your current role?

The number one skill I bring back to my role is teamwork. Speed skating is an individual sport, but you’re training with a team to accomplish a larger goal. At Adobe, it’s the same thing. We have individual goals as an employee, but we’re all ultimately contributing to the business. We all need each other. In order to succeed in sports and work, you have to navigate and work well with others. Besides that, being an athlete has also taught me how to be adaptable in situations, and to re-focus when roadblocks show up.

What advice do you have for people with similar backgrounds looking to transition into a new career?

Embrace your diversity of experience. When I stepped away from speed skating, one of the challenges for me, and many other athletes as well, was going from “I’m this” to “I’m not this.” It’s an identity shift. I took some time to reflect on my experiences and thinking of how I can translate it into business. I realized my background really helped me standout. Leverage your background and skills. Embrace them, promote them, and be proud of them.

We couldn’t agree more with Elli! Apply for opportunities today on our career site and bring your unique skills to Adobe. And see below for some shots from our own Adobe Olympics!