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. womenâ€™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.
â€œI was lost,â€ she recalls.
Weeks later, she got an email about an opportunity to intern at Coca-Cola through the International Olympic Committeeâ€™s Athlete Career Program. Anderson had studied marketing in college and saw the Coke job — which would entail supporting the companyâ€™s sponsorship of the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi — as a perfect fit.
â€œI told myself, â€˜this is whatâ€™ Iâ€™m going to do,â€™â€ she says. â€œCoke was the company weâ€™d always talked about in class, and theyâ€™re the longest-running Olympic sponsor. I knew I couldnâ€™t pass it up, so I applied that day.â€