She competed in a triathlon while helping Kenvue debut on the NYSE. Meet Alyse Phillips
How a Kenvue senior finance analyst managed her busy job while also training for 70.3 grueling miles of swimming, biking and running.
Alyse Phillips is no stranger to tests of physical endurance: Phillips was a runner growing up and already has several marathons under her belt. But when she saw the chance to complete in a triathlon at her alma mater, Pennsylvania State University, she had to decide: Could she really take on training for a 70.3-mile race, while working full-time as a senior finance analyst, while Kenvue was about to go public on the New York Stock Exchange?
Yes, yes and yes: Here, Phillips tells us how she juggled getting her work done while preparing for a grueling mix of swimming, biking and running— and how working at Kenvue helped make it possible.
So, why an triathlon? What drew you to such an intense physical test?
Competing landed on my bucket list years ago. I had always thought I would do this sometime in the future, possibly during retirement when I’ve got more time on my hands. But when they announced the triathlon at Penn State University, my alma mater, I couldn’t wait. There was something telling me I needed to start this adventure now.
What was training like?
I started a 16-week swimming, running, biking and strength training plan in January, but figuring out my schedule on a weekly basis felt like playing a game of Tetris. In the beginning, the training often started around 4:45 or 5 a.m. with a session at the pool, and I would run during lunch or at night. I learned pretty early on that I had to get all of my conditioning in before the full workday started for an optimal routine. I didn’t set out to break any course records. Having never done this before, my goal at the end of the day really was to finish the race feeling good.
You’re a senior finance analyst at a company that went through the IPO process this spring. How did you handle the demands of work while prepping for a triathlon?
Lots of coffee and lots of snacks! On a more serious note, it goes back to mindset. I know that I’m an all-around better person—and a better employee—when I’m able to exercise in the morning a few hours before work.
Speaking of work, what’s your day-to-day like?
Currently, it’s a mix of meeting with business partners to review budget details, preparing journal entries to make sure costs are reflected in the appropriate budgets and accounts, and analyzing data to complete forecast updates.
Sprinkled in there, depending on the week, are one-on-one meetings with mentors, team members and colleagues to stay connected and see how we can support each other in our careers.
How did your colleagues and manager feel about you taking on this challenge?
During this period there was so much going on (the IPO, quarterly closes, forecasts, updates, etc.) but the message, from leadership on down, was always that your health and your family are what’s most important—so you need to take care of yourself, whatever that looks like. I’m so proud of the culture we have at Kenvue. Having an awesome and supportive manager helped, too. And the flexible work environment was key. All of my colleagues were always incredibly accommodating if I needed to reschedule a meeting or squeeze in some training here and there.
What was the day of the event actually like?
I haven’t even fully processed the whole experience yet—I’m still wearing the race wristband! But some of the highlights include seeing so many friends and family members cheering me on. It felt like the whole community really turned out to support all the athletes. During the bike portion, I rode through these beautiful rolling hills and mountain areas. Running around campus past buildings where I used to attend classes brought up so many fond memories.
How did it feel crossing the finish line?
Crossing the finish line was insane. It happened at the 50-yard line on the Beaver Stadium field. I remember lying down right afterward because at that point I just needed to stop moving.
What else is on your bucket list?
Besides one day competing in a full 140.6 triathlon, I’d like to run a marathon in each of the 50 states. I’ve run marathons in about six states so far, but I figure I’ve got some time.
Any big takeaways from your experience?
Anyone can do anything they set their mind to. It doesn’t have to be running, swimming, biking. It really can be anything to get moving in order to take care of yourself physically and mentally. I think it’s an important perspective to have.