Throughout this year’s Baseball Winter Meetings in Nashville, four attendees of the PBEO Job Fair have agreed to keep a journal chronicling their employment seeking experiences. (Meet them all HERE.) These journal entries were scheduled to start running on Tuesday, but job-seeker Clint Belau just couldn’t wait to begin sharing his experiences. Hence, he has sent in this “bonus” entry, covering Sunday’s “Business of Baseball” orientation. Enjoy, and check back throughout the week for more from Clint as well as our other three job-seekers.
Sunday, 12/2/12: OPEN THE FLOODGATES
I departed the fabulous Days Inn on foot bright and early, making my way towards the Gaylord Opryland Hotel for the orientation-style Business Of Baseball workshop. Apparently I was a little on the excited side, since my walk – which had taken 21 minutes in my test version last night — took a mere 13. I’m sure the skinny bald guy in a black suit with briefcase in hand, walking at a furious pace down the streets of Nashville at 7:00 AM on a Sunday morning, looked completely normal to cars passing by. Alas, at 7:13, I had officially arrived at the Winter Meetings.
The day was emceed by the recently appointed President of the Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRiders, Rob Crain (sidenote: that dude really knows how to emcee a workshop). The morning session began at 8:15 sharp, and included an impressive roster of Minor League executives, all of whom had helpful hints about the interview process, tips for what to do/what not to do during the upcoming week, and most importantly, offered incredibly blunt insights as to what life in Minor League Baseball is all about. At points, it seemed as if they were trying to talk us all out of our respective pursuits. In reality, their candor was greatly appreciated. With a room made up of 95% bright-eyed, ready to conquer the world 20-somethings, the reality check-themed speeches were a bit predictable. If anyone in the room was surprised to hear that Minor League Baseball is made up of understaffed, overworked, minimally paid people who are in it for all the right reasons, they neglected to do their research.
As I mentioned, the crowd was mainly comprised of upcoming/recent college graduates, although I (age 35) was far from the only old timer there. Of the younger attendees that I spoke with, the fact that I’m basically a decade their elder didn’t seem to bother anyone. (Although, if I’m patting my own back here, I’m a pretty easy guy to get along with.) Whenever there were breaks, most of us wisely used our time polishing our networking skills. As was repeated countless times by each and every speaker, that will be the single most important skill during this week, and more so, going forward in our career.
We broke for lunch, at which point I made a very important phone call that I’ll get to in future entries. The afternoon session included a panel of esteemed industry professionals, a session on how to locate the job posting board, and where to submit your resumes. The workshop was capped off with a hilarious, incredibly thought-provoking, 45 minutes with the extremely entertaining Vice President and COO of the Richmond Flying Squirrels, Todd “Parney” Parnell.
The day closed with the unveiling of the job posting room, where some 278 jobs were on display. Yeah, that room got real busy, real quick. However, there were no “Wal-Mart at midnight on Black Friday” incidents, so there was no need for a safety helmet. The job-seeking crowd was very cordial…for now. Most of us mingled a bit in the “Job Seeker Workroom” area, labeling our resumes to be placed in the appropriate box, according to job posting number. Me, I was on a mission for Mexican food…so after submitting my resumes, I was off to eat, and to begin my week at Networkfest 2012.
Quote of the Day – “If you are looking to begin a career in baseball, you are in exactly the right place.” Pat O’Conner, President – Minor League Baseball
There will be much more to come this week (and next) from Nashville. The Gaylord Opryland Hotel is where the magic happens!