Read Coca-Cola Journey
Like many Olympians, Alyssa Anderson felt a bit directionless upon returning home from London in August 2012. A 16-time collegiate All-American, she had just reached the pinnacle of the swimming world by winning a gold medal as part of the U.S. women’s 4×200 meter freestyle relay team.
At 22, Anderson decided it was time to make the leap from the swimming pool to the talent pool, but after competing in a sport with no off-season since she was 7 years old, the Granite Bay, Calif. native was uncertain where her path would lead next.
“I was lost,” she recalls.
Weeks later, she got an email about an opportunity to intern at Coca-Cola through the International Olympic Committee’s Athlete Career Program. Anderson had studied marketing in college and saw the Coke job — which would entail supporting the company’s sponsorship of the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi — as a perfect fit.
“I told myself, ‘this is what’ I’m going to do,’” she says. “Coke was the company we’d always talked about in class, and they’re the longest-running Olympic sponsor. I knew I couldn’t pass it up, so I applied that day.”