Getting Your Foot in the Door @ PUMA

Marie Rack shares her career journey from PUMA apprentice to Junior PLM

February 26, 2024

Marie Rack shares her career journey from PUMA apprentice to Junior PLM

February 26, 2024

Marie Rack sat down with us and shared her story of how her time as an apprentice would shape her future career at PUMA as a Junior PLM. Her walk with PUMA began in 2021 and ultimately led to her landing a position as Junior Product Line Manager in Core Unisex Accessories here at PUMA.

How did you come across the apprenticeship program with PUMA?

Marie: After graduating in 2020, I was unsure if I wanted to start a bachelor’s program or an apprenticeship. My friend inspired me, as he was already doing an industrial clerk apprenticeship. I saw the job offer online and since I grew up in this region and already knew PUMA as an employer, I thought, “why not give it a shot?”

Could you tell us a bit about how your apprenticeship went?


You always start with a Welcome Trip, and that was the first big highlight. We spent the night in Franconian Switzerland and did an Alpaca hike and a Canoe excursion. The trip was meant to act as a team-building exercise, and you get to know all the apprentices form the 2nd and 3rd years, as well as all the other Future Talents who started on this day. It was a great way to start.

Generally, you are in one department for three months. My first department was Labeling and Packaging. It was a great start, as it allowed me to get a good product overview without having a direct connection to the product itself. The next department was Logistics, where everyone was so welcoming. The experience I made there, helped me to get a better understanding of internal processes and the connection between different departments. In March 2022, I was assigned to customer service. I worked with key accounts and even had the opportunity to visit Berlin for a Go-To market event. It was amazing to see what kind of projects PUMA is working on and getting to know more people in the company. Next was Accounting. I had never really enjoyed accounting in school, which is why my enthusiasm was limited at the beginning. After a few days, however, I was able to gain a deep insight and realized the importance of this department. After that came Accessories Marketing and I was super hyped about that. Together with an intern, I had the opportunity to be part of the organization of two internal PUMA events: The Ted Talk with Angelica Dass – the photographer of the Beanie Campaign AW22 – and the “All Caps” Influencer Event. I was so overwhelmed by the team spirit that existed in that department, and it really did something to me. After that, I was able to gain an insight into the legal department where I learned a lot about trademark protection. Something in me still felt so drawn to the BU Accessories. For this reason, I asked to be assigned to the BU again – but this time with a focus on the products, the PLM department. Luckily, the BU allowed me to come back to the department and that’s kind of how everything unfolded. I officially became a Junior Product Line Manager Accessories CORE Unisex when I completed my apprenticeship at the beginning of February.


As an apprentice, were you able to pick out your own departments or were you able to express specific preferences you may have?

Marie: Yes and No. So, in the beginning, you are given fixed departments simply because it makes sense, as you don’t really know exactly what to expect right at the start. In the second year of the apprenticeship, you can express your interests a bit more. I think its great, that you aren’t forced to decide directly on what it is that you want to do. You can kind of go your own way and design the experience to your liking.

What is a highlight of your apprenticeship?

Marie: Overall, the entire apprenticeship was a highlight. But what I particularly remember were the presentations at schools and visits to trade fairs. It was a great experience, and you feel a sense of pride in representing the company.

What is so special about PUMA? Why did you decide to stay with PUMA, even after the apprenticeship?

Marie: Of course, the sports fashion industry attracted me immediately. Additionally, I don’t want to hide who I am at work. At PUMA you can easily be yourself without being judged – that was a big selling point for me. Working in such a large company also is a great experience and is of great value. The fact that English is the company language is also a great benefit as it allows me to practice my English from day to day.


What is your current position, and what do you enjoy most about it?

Marie: I am a Junior Product Line Manager for Core Unisex Accessories. We are responsible for the products which means we accompany the products from the initial idea to the finished product.  We are in constant communication with our designers, the go-to market team, the merchandisers, and our PUMA Global Sourcing Team throughout the entire process.

What is your favorite product? Or what product are you most excited for?

Marie: We just had our briefing for Autumn/ Winter 2025, and we have a few pieces which I am excited for. Of course, all the products I’m responsible for are my favorite PUMA products but if I have to decide I would choose PUMA DECK as my favorite line. PUMA Deck is our street style inspired range. But in general, there´s some really cool stuff coming.

Are there any trips coming up, that you are excited for?

Marie: As PLM, you attend trips annually, these are our development trips. The first one is to Vietnam and the second to Hong Kong. We will be visiting the PUMA Global Sourcing Team and of course will continue to work on our products. How our factories function and how the production runs will be really interesting to see, and I think this will enhance my understanding of the work even more.

What are the key elements that influence whether Future Talents stay with the company after completing their apprenticeship? What advice would you give them?

Marie: After the apprenticeship or the dual studies, most people want to stay. Of course, some self-motivation is crucial, and a bit of luck does not hurt. You have to make sure you connect with the right people. I also think it’s important to know, that not everyone will start in their dream position. I always say, “good things take time”.  So, to answer the question, I would say those who want to stay will find a way.


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