During next week’s Baseball Winter Meetings in San Diego, California, four intrepid attendees of the annual PBEO (Professional Baseball Employment Opportunities) Job Fair will chronicle their employment-seeking experiences in a series of guest posts. Meet them all HERE. This marks the third season in which I have hosted “Job Seeker Journals” on this blog, and in advance of next week’s posts I thought that now would be a good time to hear from those who have trod down this road before. This post features career (and life) updates from three of 2012’s Job-Seeker Journal writers; click on their names to see all of the posts that they have written.
Meanwhile, a post featuring 2013’s writers can be found HERE.
Alright, buckle up: Here comes your annual installment of “Where is Clint Belau now?” In 2014, my second year with the Albuquerque Isotopes, I transitioned from stadium operations to field operations. Yes, I DO still take a moment or two (or considerably more) out of each day to stop and smell the proverbial roses. If I’m allowed to throw in a boastful moment, I am the assistant to the unanimously-selected “2014 Pacific Coast League Sports Turf Manager of the Year” Casey Griffin, so I am literally learning from the best. It was a different kind of pride that I felt this year, being able to prepare a field that players, managers and umpires considered the best, and one that left me feeling more fulfilled. It was a “just when you think things couldn’t possibly get better…” season, and it certainly has. I am living my dream on a daily basis.
As for the significance of the Job Fair? I would not be where I am without it, for real. The Job Fair is where I interviewed for my Isotopes internship. It’s where I listened to seasoned veterans of the business say things that made me question if I was making the right choice by getting into baseball as a career. It’s where I immediately answered those questions with “Absolutely!” It’s where my network of baseball people first began developing. It’s where I built momentum, gained valuable knowledge, and got my baseball nerd on for four days straight. It’s the first time a career in this incredible game felt like a real possibility to me. It was a chance that I definitely had to take. If you are hoping for a career in baseball, then I strongly recommend that you do the same.
I took a year-round internship with the Indianapolis Indians after the 2012 Winter Meetings, as a web design assistant.
My time with the Indians was the best career decision that I have ever made. I got to spend every day within what is my opinion the best Minor League Baseball organization in the country. On top of an amazing facility, I was fortunate enough to learn a lot, meet some people who are now my best friends and, perhaps most importantly, establish my acting career.
I left my internship with the Indians a few weeks early because I accepted a full-time position with the Adirondack Phantoms of the American Hockey League. I spent the 2013-14 season with the Phantoms as their director of game operations & marketing, overseeing their game presentation, promotions, graphic design and other marketing duties. I left the baseball season and had about a two-week “off season” before the hockey season started.
When I went to Nashville for the Job Fair, I had already secured an internship with the Indians and had several interviews lined up for other positions. So, it could be said that the Winter Meetings did not benefit me much. However, physically being there I think allowed me to make the already difficult decisions easier. Being in a room and having access to hundreds of front office employees is a huge benefit that you can’t get unless you’re physically there.
I enjoyed my time so much in Indianapolis that I wanted to get back to the city. I recently left the sports industry to take a marketing specialist position with Elements Financial. Although I took a step away from the sports world, I wouldn’t be where I am if it wasn’t for the Winter Meetings.
I had a great experience at the 2012 Job Fair. But, looking back, it feels like a missed opportunity. My fumbles and feelings on the event were well documented, but I didn’t leave empty-handed. A short time thereafter I was offered a seasonal sales position with a team in California, but decided to turn it down to take a marketing position with an advertising firm located back in Buffalo. Two years later, I’m no longer there and have a better perspective on my career and where I’d like to go with it.
The key, though, is staying in the game however you can. I’m in my second season with the Buffalo Bills, spending 2013 as a game day service representative in the ticket office before getting moved to premium services this season. I spend game days helping guests, answering questions and addressing issues in the premium club areas.
I’ve also helped co-found the Buffalo Soccer Council, an advocacy group dedicated to growing soccer in Western New York, with the goal of helping bring a professional soccer team to Buffalo. It’s been a great learning experience, starting a company and building it from the ground up.
But I really do miss Minor League Baseball, and I’m still looking for an opportunity that can be sustainable. I’m not sure that this year’s PBEO Job Fair would’ve been worth the trip as far as job seeking goes (seems more like resume collecting for teams), but each Winter Meetings provides at least a very memorable week. I’m hoping to catch on somewhere that will give me the opportunity to go back, as a professional instead of as a job seeker. If not, there’s always next year.
Thanks to Clint, Chris and Erik for sharing their perspectives. Stay tuned on Monday for the first installments from the 2014’s crop of Winter Meetings job seeking journal writers.
Now that it’s all said and done, Chris Miller offers his views on the trials and triumphs of the Winter Meetings Job Seeking experience. And — no spoilers! — he lets us know where he’ll be working during the 2013 season. Follow Chris on Twitter @Cmill004, and read his other entries here:
When I signed up for the Winter Meetings in Nashville this year, I really only had one thing set in stone: I was pretty excited. Another than that I really was uncertain of what to except — who I was going to meet, what job opportunities where available and so forth.
After spending four nights in the city and logging several hundreds of miles on my car, the one thing I can take away from the Winter Meetings is that it is an experience. Obviously that’s an extremely vague description if someone is getting information about it for the first time. You can use any type of similar adjective you want and it would probably work.
The event was beneficial for several reasons. I got to see a big city (and hotel) I had never been to. I talked to some baseball and media personnel (during one walk across the hotel I passed Bruce Bochy, Charlie Manuel, Joe Maddon, Joe Girardi and Tony La Russa). I caught up with people in the industry I hadn’t seen in a while. All of these are great things, but obviously I was there to land a job, not to eavesdrop on Craig Counsell about how his back is holding up. That’s where I am somewhat disappointed.
Having worked in baseball three seasons so I felt I had a decent chance of getting an interview or two. Did I expect to become the general manager of a team? Absolutely not. I realized how many people were going to be at the event, and I knew there were going to be a lot of smart men and women trying to get a few jobs in the industry. Did I think I would get an interview with a team? There was almost no doubt in my mind I would.
I was somewhat selective when it came to applying for jobs. I put my resume in for just 12 jobs during my time at the Job Fair (I saw people slaving away at the work room filling out 20-30 at a time). Out of the 12 I applied for one team posted times for interviews. One. That was the most frustrating thing to me. Not that I was being turned down for jobs after long talks with multiple members of a front office for a person who was better suited for the job than me. No, I wasn’t even given the opportunity to talk to anybody, to attempt to sell myself to them. That whole process left me pretty stunned.
The whole trip involving jobs wasn’t a loss though. I had three interviews that I had scheduled in advance of the Job Fair where I met for jobs for the upcoming season. All three went fairly good, and I met with one particular team multiple times to meet more members of the front office. As I mentioned in my previous post, I was offered two positions and had to make my decision within a time frame. Without a doubt the decision I made was the hardest I’ve ever had to make. Both were incredibly opportunities, and I couldn’t go wrong with either decision. With that being said, I’m happy to say I’ll be joining the Indianapolis Indians as a Marketing Assistant starting in January.
If someone who had never been to the PBEO Job Fair before asked me if it was worth his or her time (and money), I would definitely suggest going. Obviously they can’t guarantee you employment, but it puts you in the best situation to be able to land a job in baseball. The people you meet could someday help you get a job down the road. For a pure baseball fan as well, it’s almost heaven with players, coaches and media all confined to one particular area. My advice I would offer would be if you really want baseball to be your career, it will happen. It won’t happen overnight, and maybe not even after four or five years of seasonal work. But if you put in hard work, you’ll be lucky enough to be one of the few who travel to the ballpark everyday for their job.
Thanks to Chris for sharing his experiences, and good luck in Indy!
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). In this installment, Chris Miller does a last lap through the Job Fair before hitting the open road and mulling his options.
Chris Miller archives:
12/5/12: A LAST CHANCE TO MAKE AN IMPRESSION
Wednesday was a long day, yet very abbreviated in terms of job possibilities. I had the pleasure of driving seven-plus hours from Nashville back to the Buckeye State, so I did only the essentials Wednesday at the Job Fair.
I started the morning out as usual, looking at the interview postings. When I found none of the jobs I had applied for had posted interviews, I briefly talked to people I had worked with in the past and wished them well as I had a meeting with a team right before lunch, then was taking off.
As I began to walk to the main lobby of the hotel, I ran into Matt Underwood who handles the Cleveland Indians play-by-play on SportsTime Ohio. This is the second time we have met, and his time he came up to me, remembered my name and asked how my job search was going. He gave me an update on any possible moves the Indians were going to make, and we talked about the Ohio Athletic Conference (Underwood went to Baldwin-Wallace in Cleveland and I went to Marietta, both members of the OAC). Underwood was without a doubt the friendliest member of the media I had a chance to talk with over the week.
When I arrived in the main lobby I met with a front office member of a team that had already offered me a position. We chatted more in-depth about why I should consider the position and the benefits the team had to offer me.
When it was all said and done, I had two offers made to me and two more that were still a possibility. On the long ride back to Ohio I had absolutely no idea where I was going to find myself when 2013 begins, and as I type this I’m still uncertain. I have time frames to make my decision, so I will give it a long thought and let it be known in a final wrap-up post on Ben’s Biz. What I do know is that the 2012 Winter Meetings were quite the experience and it was great to meet a lot of people in the industry as well as see a lot of MLB higher ups. I also really appreciate Ben (and his Dad, a fellow Zanesvillian) for the support giving me the opportunity to write about this trip, as I’m sure there were other Job Seekers whose journey may have been more noteworthy. With that being said, I hope everyone that went to the job fair found what they were looking for, whether that was a job, internship or the fact that baseball isn’t the industry for you. It certainly made me want to become a front office member full-time and have the chance to come back every year.
Thanks to Chris for taking the time to share his experiences. As he mentioned in the post, he’ll be checking back in one more time to let us know the results of his job-related deliberations.
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). In this installment, Chris Miller pounds the pavement, stocks up on freebies, and appreciates the unique humor of Appalachian League general managers.
Chris’ first journal installment can be found HERE.
Tuesday, 12/4/12 — A DAY ON THE MOVE
While Monday was more so a day of waiting, Tuesday was the complete opposite and by the end of the day, I logged a decent amount of mileage on my feet.
My day started like most others with a decent walking commute from a nearby parking lot outside of the hotel—the walk is worth saving the $20, even if it was raining on the way on. I proceeded to the interview postings room, slowly making my way past the MLB Network set to see if I noticed anybody noteworthy (Just like job seeker Clint Belau, who I met with as well as the famous Ben Hill, I also bumped into Mariners Manager Eric Wedge last night while networking at the bar).
After checking the interview schedule, I made my way to investigate the Trade Show a little more before an early afternoon interview I had. After loading up on free stuff galore, I met a couple front office folks for an interview. We searched lobby after lobby for a place to sit down, something that has been a common occurrence to me thus far. All of the interviews I have had up until this point have not actually been in the interviewing room. I have met members of front offices in coffee shops, a lobby next to a live radio broadcast and on a bench next to the river that runs through the Opryland where we were interrupted a couple of times by the person giving the tour.
After a good interview, I made my way back to the job fair area, only to stop and catch up with my former boss Jim Holland, the GM of the Princeton Rays. I’m always happy to see Jim for a handful of reasons: He gave me my first opportunity to work in baseball, he’s one of the most knowledgeable people I know about how to run an organization and he always has a funny story to tell. This time his humor focused on what the definition of what a “mezzanine” was. His take: “Something that’s between two different floors of a building. I always that those were called nails.”
After getting my fill in of laughs, I checked the boards again before I had to walk all the way across the hotel again for an afternoon interview. After searching for a bench for five minutes, I was able to talk to two front office employees for about 30 minutes. The job fair part of the day went very well, and the evening of networking was eventful as well, even though I didn’t bump into any MLB managers. With Wednesday being my last day in Nashville, I anxious to get the chance to talk to people I haven’t as of yet, while also hoping for a chance for more interviews. My time in the city has been great so far and I’m hoping Wednesday will bring a great end to the week.
Check back throughout the week for more from our intrepid Job Seekers. Sorry, I should have been more polite: PLEASE check back throughout the week for more from our intrepid Job Seekers. And, no, I’m not sure why Job Seekers is capitalized either.
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.) In this installment Chris Miller recaps his first two days in the Music City.
When I registered for the Winter Meetings, knowing it was in Nashville, I was pretty eager for the chance to land a full-time gig. Secretly, however, I was also glad it gave me a chance to see the city and put on my on my non-existing cowboy boots and hat for a few days.
After getting a meal and seeing some sights of the city on Saturday evening, Sunday brought the first official day and a chance to see the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. There are few words that can really describe The Gaylord Opryland but if I had to pick one, it would be stunning. It’s just an unreal facility.
The personal highlight of the Baseball of Business Workshop on Sunday was listening to President of Minor League Baseball Pat O’ Conner, who touched on his career in MiLB (where he started as in intern out of college making less than desirable wages). He mentioned something that I have found to be prevalent in my three years in baseball: “Getting the job done.” At the end of the day, regardless of your position, skills, or anything else, you have to pitch in to get the job done to have the game go on.
Once the job postings went up, it was somewhat of organized chaos as everyone flocked to the postings similar to people seeing if they had made or been cut from their high school sports team. It was relieving to finally see the jobs go up.
Monday was a routine of checking my phone, the job postings, and the interview scheduling. I also had the chance to meet a few nice people looking for jobs and saw a few celebs (I was pretty disappointed when Ken Rosenthal walked by me and wasn’t wearing a bow tie).
The day’s events concluded with the Baseball Trade Show where everything and everything that has to do with the Minors—uniforms, inflatables, food options, European acrobats performing routines on a balance beam—were on display.
On Monday I had an interview and a few good leads on jobs, but the highlight of my day came at the very end, as I followed Craig Counsell up an escalator. I can’t wait to see what Tuesday has in store.
There will be much more to come from Chris and our other three job seekers throughout the week. In the meantime, my own recap of Day One of the Winter Meetings can be found HERE.