Maria-Lena Kate (born in 1987) has been a national athlete in equitation, more specifically in eventing for many years.
Eventing comprises dressage, cross-country and show jumping always with the same horse.
For the first time, Maria-Lena took place in the German Championship when she was only 10 years old – the youngest participant ever - followed by many international and European Championships.
Despite her successful career, she never wanted to make sports her main career. After her college degree, she focused on her studies in international management and did some internships during her studies.
She realized that competitive sports meant a lot to her and that she wanted to combine her studies and passion for eventing. In the fall of 2008, she changed University and started in Ansbach with a bachelor degree customized to the needs of elite athletes.
„I realized that I was more productive in my studies when combining them with competitive sports. This may sound contradicting as you have a lot more pressure but I felt that the balance between mind and body activity was just what I needed in order to succeed”.
Adecco is working closely with the University of Ansbach to support athletes with the difficult task to successfully manage higher education and sports.
In 2010, more than 100 athlete students took part in a career fair where international companies explained about their business and the people they are looking for. A perfect way for both sides to get in touch and network.
Maria-Lena was one of the participants. During a fruitful discussion with Annette Schmitt from Adecco Germany and the ACP project Manager at Adecco Janine Bischoff, she got offered a six months internship with Adecco in Hamburg preparing her for the final step to finish her career – the master thesis.
„The IOC Athlete Career Programme has helped me to find the right way and get an idea of my career path. As an athlete, there is nothing more rewarding than to have a clear goal of what you want to achieve!”