Anthony T., Footwear Developer
“Whatever tenacity you bring to the table is what other people will bring as well.”
Q&A with Anthony T., Footwear Developer
What does a Footwear Developer do?
It’s kind of a split between project management and manufacturing. I’m on the product creation team, working in three categories. The biggest is the Incubate Team that does collaborations with outside brands, designers, and celebrities. I also work on original creation with our Italy team. And beyond that I do some work with our innovation team.
Where were you before Converse?
I was a mechanical engineer at Boston University, and my concentration was tech innovation. I had just come off a co-op with Hasbro and that summer was the perfect opportunity to jump into another internship.
So you’ve been in Boston a while. How do you like it?
I’m born and raised here. I’m never bored, and by getting out of my comfort zone I’ve done a variety of things I never would have known were in Boston. Last year was the craze of microbreweries, a million opened up, and that was the focus of my friend group. I think the city is ever-evolving, and it's also very adaptive to a lot of people.
What's your team like?
Oh, I love my team. There’s the larger product development group, and then my team does quick-response regional creation. We meet with supply, demand planning, design, product management, legal, marketing, and merchandising. I have to be aware of everyone else's roles and responsibilities, as well as my own. I'm lucky to be on the Incubator team, especially a year and a half out of my internship, and I see new contracts being written with celebrities, artists and brands you wouldn't expect from Converse. I think the team is one of the reasons why I love doing what I do and coming to work every single day.
Is there a typical day for you?
I prefer to come in early to catch our CTS tactical team in Asia before they go offline. I'll do emails for two or three hours and then 10am–2pm is a lot of meetings, then til 4 or 5pm is time to get actionables done. The middle of the day is my interaction with the greater teams.
What's the best experience you've had on the job?
That's a hard question! A great moment was realizing hey, even though I’m not a 15-year veteran of the job, people are allowing me to contribute opinions and insights and add value to projects. Also, my inner team goes on runs together at lunch time. That's a highlight of my day.
What Converse Value speaks to you most?
Dare Greatly, because I was given a very open-ended role. My team knew my background and experience, they level-set my expectations and then just let me be who I am, go at my own pace, and bring my own perspective.
What's great about Converse that outsiders wouldn't necessarily know?
You might think the industry is enticing only to designers and marketing people, but you have finance, digital, IT, all these instrumental roles. There's a lot to be done behind the scenes. Another thing is the ease of connecting with leadership. When I reached out to someone they would reciprocate, from directors on up to the CEO. Even as an intern, with a simple email I’d get a response and a meeting invite by the end of the week. That experience really sparked a moment of defining where I wanted to work, and how I wanted to work.