Before becoming the CEO of Flywheel Sports and holding top executive roles at Nike and Gatorade, Sarah Robb O'Hagan was fired back-to-back in her 20s, first from Virgin and then from Atari Interactive.
"I fully deserved it," she admitted at the iCONIC Tour conference in New York City on Wednesday. "I was so arrogant, so cocky."
On top of losing two consecutive jobs, her visa expired and "I had three months to figure out how to stay in this country," said the New Zealand native. "I was basically a train wreck."
O'Hagan ended up getting a call from a headhunter at Nike and, after a nine-month interview process, got her foot in the door at the billion-dollar company. "The same person that was a total train wreck — suddenly I find myself in the exact right environment for me and my specialties," O'Hagan said. "I went from zero to suddenly my career takes off and I'm on the leadership track."