Tom Spence prepares to leave Under Armour for a third time. Do what you love…
I think I’ve tried writing this post over a dozen times, every time scrapping it, thinking that I’m over thinking. This evening I planned on working on my internship project, not exactly a “Skunkworks” project that Ryan Drew had mentioned earlier, but something that I can be proud of and leave behind here at Under Armour. As I’m writing this I have seven days of work left and I feel like it’s going to be a crazy final push.
With this looming cloud of work hanging over my head I wanted to write my last planned post for Training Camp. JB has left the window open for future posts, but I have to go back to Cincinnati and finish my last two quarters of school so posts may be staggered depending on school work (going back to 18 credit hours will be a challenge).
This quarter has been a blast and CounterKicks definitely has had a huge part of that. I wanted to take this post and thank the readers for the support and comments, Brandon for tweeting Ryan’s interview, JB for this great opportunity to share a small glimpse into my life at UA, and the chance to share some details about the people behind UA’s basketball product. I’ve had a great time here at UA and between the long nights of work, to jokes with Ryan, John Humphrey, and Ron Johnson (our product line manger) – work has hardly felt like “work” for three months and it’s a privilege to work with these guys every day. UA is a billion dollar business as of today and one of their “Four Pillars of Greatness” is “Great Team” – the group I got to work with is a textbook example of this.
It’s a bitter sweet feeling leaving UA, knowing I’m going back to friends, family, and a more relaxed schedule in Cincinnati, but leaving behind something I love doing everyday and working with great people.
I wanted to end this post by sharing something that I’ve held onto for as long as I can remember. My family (my mom, dad, sister Kim, and I) would always go to a small island in Florida every chance we could – Christmas, Spring vacation, summers, etc. One day I remember walking with my family on the beach, it was just us, we didn’t pass anyone during that walk. Once we reached the end of the beach and the island, we sat and watched the sun set. My dad looked at me and said, “Whatever you do in life, leave it better then you found it, and leave being proud of the job you did.” One quote I’ve always held onto and try to live by.
My mom started three businesses during her lifetime and preached hard work pays off and never give up on your dreams. If you believe it can happen, it can.
As I prepare to leave UA and Baltimore for a third time, I remember after my mom passed away I left her with the promise, a) I’d finish school and get my degree, and b) I’d become a footwear designer, no matter what.
This post is dedicated to them – my dad who passed away December 14, 1997, and my mom August 16, 2009.
Do what you love – love what you do.
Tom Spence is currently a senior at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP) and a footwear design intern at Under Armour in Baltimore, MD.
Check out previous “Training Camp With Tom Spence” posts:
- Training Camp – Week 1: Rookie Debut (New Series)
- Training Camp – Week 2: The Warm Up
- Training Camp – Week 3 & 4: Check In
- Training Camp – On The Record – Vol 1: John Humphrey
- Training Camp – On The Record – Vol 2: Ryan Drew