Michael Kuonen 

How did you come across the Ath­le­tes Network?

I heard about it from a col­league who knew Julia from her stu­dent days, so I went ahead and signed up as an ath­le­te on the website.

What do you think about the Ath­le­tes Network’s brand and services?

As I often say, the unfor­tu­n­a­te truth is that the idea of star­ting a new job after a care­er in sport is very often taboo. That’s why I think the Ath­le­tes Net­work is espe­cial­ly important. As pro­fes­sio­nal ath­le­te, you devo­te all your time, ener­gy and pas­si­on to your sport. I think it’s so important that you approach ath­le­tes to broach the topic of their care­er after pro­fes­sio­nal sport.

How did you come across the internship at OBT?

I saw the Ath­le­tes Net­work posi­ti­ons adver­ti­sed in a news­let­ter. I thought “I’ll still be a pro ath­le­te even if I don’t get the job”, so I deci­ded to sub­mit my app­li­ca­ti­on. I’d actual­ly bud­get­ed for that sum­mer so I could live off my inco­me from sport, so it was a bit of a bonus that I ended up with an internship that was the equi­va­lent of 60% of a full-time position.

What did you think about the internship at OBT? Can you tell us a bit about it?

I was warm­ly wel­co­med and onboar­ded by a fan­ta­stic team. Befo­re I knew it, I was respon­si­ble for a pro­ject of my own and had the free­dom to work inde­pendent­ly. I visi­ted all 11 offices in Switz­er­land and felt genui­nely wel­co­me in every sin­gle team. The team spi­rit at OBT is off the chart!  The flat orga­ni­sa­tio­nal struc­tu­re also hel­ps to make it a gre­at place to work. The­re was never a day when I didn’t feel hap­py about going to work.

I spent a lot of time at trai­ning camps and events during the sum­mer mon­ths, mea­ning that I was out of the office some­ti­mes. But OBT AG com­ple­te­ly under­s­tood the situa­ti­on, and they accep­ted it. As employee, if you have an employ­er like that, you real­ly want to give some­thing back.

Can you brief­ly tell us how OBT ended up beco­m­ing your hel­met sponsor?

OBT has been spon­so­ring ano­t­her bobs­led­ding team in Switz­er­land for years now, so my get­ting a job the­re was a bit of a hap­py acci­dent. Initi­al­ly, I didn’t want to ask for a spon­sor­ship deal for my team, becau­se I’d alrea­dy recei­ved ano­t­her offer and OBT had alrea­dy been so sup­por­ti­ve. But then one of my supe­ri­ors told me I should show them my spon­sor­ship port­fo­lio. That’s exact­ly what I did, and I ended up with a spon­sor­ship deal. I was over the moon!