Winter Meetings Job Seeker Journal: Tori Payne, December 7


By Tori Payne, special to

Throughout this year’s Winter Meetings in Nashville, four attendees of the PBEO Job Fair have agreed to chronicle their employment-seeking experiences (meet them all HERE.). In this, her second installment, Tori Payne overcomes fatigue, makes new friends, ogles celebrities and gets a confidence boost. 

Whoever said “Sleep is overrated this week” on the first day at the workshop was telling the truth. Combining 9 hours a day networking and job-hunting with finishing up my fall semester as a senior is a tough task. My senior portfolio kept me up Sunday night until 4 a.m., so I may or may not have been mistaken for a zombie when I first entered the workroom this morning. Luckily, the excitement in the room gave me a burst of energy.

This experience reminds me a lot of the first week of college, when you can walk up to anyone in the cafeteria and ask to sit with them and it’s not completely creepy. When I first got to the workroom I didn’t recognize anyone, so I introduced myself to a few girls sitting at a table. Together, we took on the day of waiting. Waiting for jobs to be posted, waiting on interviews to be posted, waiting on people to make decisions…Just a lot of waiting. I began to get a little discouraged because, of the twenty jobs I had put a resume in for, only two had posted interview schedules. Other people were racking up six interviews for the day, and I had yet to receive one!

In order to keep my sanity, I decided to concentrate on the networking side. I met an awesome girl from Texas named Brooke. She has worked in the Minor Leagues and gave me some tips and names to network with. At lunch, we trekked to the other side of the hotel and found ourselves in the epicenter of baseball executives. It took everything in us to not to run up and introduce ourselves to those we recognized, but we sure wanted to. After lunch, I had the opportunity to meet Mark Deaver, an MLB Network director. We had been connected through a mutual friend and wanted to meet in person while in the same place. He knew EVERYBODY. As we spoke, he pointed out who was around me: Cal Ripken (I recognized him, of course), the Yankee sideline reporter, the White Sox general manager, and the Atlanta Braves outfielder that also played for the Falcons. He even took me into the TV van so I could see where the show was being created. It was incredible.

Around 4:00, I went to the interview schedule room and saw something incredible: my name on a sheet. My confidence spiked. It always feels good when someone recognizes your accomplishments, especially among this talented group of people. To end the day, a group of friends (I think I can already call them that) and I went by the Trade Show. We were like kids in a candy store, but just big kids running around for free food and drink-holder gadgets.

So after the first day, I am tired, no doubt. But I also am excited. Excited for my interview, excited to meet people, and excited to see where my journey takes me.

Will Tori land more interviews? See the inside of more vans? Score more free gadgets? Stay tuned.

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