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John Panighel

Senior Manager - Brand, Media & Digital Activation - Adidas Canada
EducationRetail Management - Class of 2011

John is the Senior Digital Marketing Manager for Adidas Canada. His role is to drive traffic to their websites through different Digital Marketing Channels such as Paid Search, SEO, Email, Affiliates, Display and Social etc. He get to work with great vendors such as Google, Facebook, Adobe and Salesforce to drive traffic to their websites in innovative ways.

He has worked for 3 companies since his graduation from Ryerson. John has worked for Canadian Tire, Grand & Toy and is now with adidas Canada. All roles have been within eCommerce or Digital Marketing. He has realized that he wanted to work for a company that shares the same values as he does. He is an avid sports enthusiasts, both a fan and participants. John is a huge fan of street culture and is passionate about innovation. All of which adidas encompasses. When he was granted the opportunity to work for adidas Canada it was a no brainier.

John believes one of the most important things he has learnt while at Ryerson was the value of relationships. It is very important to connect with the people in your class, at your job or at social events. Being able to create genuine relationships will help you not only create a network but it will help you build relationships that have the potential to re-emerge years later. He also mentioned the importance of having a mentor. This person doesn't have to be someone in the direct field you are looking to work in, it could be a professor, it could be a fellow classmate. The importance of a mentor is for you to be able to learn from this individual and have them help provide guidance for anything you may have questions with.

John is very interested in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, don't worry machines won't take over jobs...yet. Adidas has started to incorporate Machine Learning into some of their marketing practices and are seeing great results from it, this technology is super cool. Newsletters from, Mashable and AdWeek have great information about the digital landscape and the innovations that are happening within it. Conferences are a great source of information and relevant case studies from different company are great sources of learning materials.

John was never a confident speaker in High School and always shied away from teachers as they scanned the room looking for a student to answer a question. He realized that he needed to overcome this fear and started to speak more in class. When he started at Ryerson, he took it upon himself to try and break free of his fear. It took him a long time to be comfortable with speaking in front of a large group of people and he truly believed that it was because of the close relationship he had with his fellow classmates and professors in the Retail Management School that he was able to overcome this fear of public speaking. In July 2017, John had the opportunity to travel to Sao Paulo Brazil and speak at the 3rd largest eCommerce conference in the World. He prepared many weeks in advance and practiced his presentation over and over again. Even with all this preparation he was very nervous about speaking in front of 1,500 people. He specifically remembered he was minutes away from walking onto the stage (picture the launch of a new Apple product) and he thought to himself...

"What am I doing here?, I'm about to speak in front of 1,500 people, can I really do this?"

He then somehow recalled the first time his voice crackingly spoke in Retail100 and the progress he has made through his University career becoming a confident public speaker. Needless to say the presentation went amazing with no hiccups.

Whn asked what advice he would give to curretn students, John mentioned that he would ask the students "What are the Top 3 companies you would like to work for and why?". If you don't know the answer it's ok, but you should think about why you would like to work for a company. Try and match up a company's mission and values with your own. Lots of companies hire for fit and the ability to adapt to change, along with experience. Companies can training employees but it's hard to instil passion, this is why connecting your values with a company's values is important.