By David Lauterbach, special to MiLB.com
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, his fourth and final installment, David Lauterbach proves me wrong, heads back to college and continues to pursue the metaphorical Nomo.
I got lost three times yesterday, which put my final total at seven. Since I left Nashville to go back to Syracuse last night, this means that Ben’s “Bet the Over” when I guessed 7 was just short. Big win for me.
Anyway, I didn’t get to Hideo Nomo before the National Anthem, but that’s okay. I didn’t expect to get a job offer at the Winter Meetings, because the nature of broadcasting jobs is that our tapes need to be listened to multiple times and there just isn’t enough time at the Meetings for employers to do that.
Despite not landing a job offer down in Nashville, I did have five interviews and I’m really excited about that. I would be thrilled to be offered any of the jobs I interviewed for. Once again, to respect their privacy, I won’t name the teams I interviewed with. But I will say this: all five are tremendous organizations that I had been keeping my eye on all offseason.
Now, to go back through the day piece-by-piece. It started bright and early at 10:30 a.m. when I moved out of my hotel room and went down to the Job Fair. Unsurprisingly, there weren’t many new jobs and none were broadcast related. Additionally, there weren’t any new interview lists for the jobs that I had applied for. As a result, I walked around the hotel a couple more times just to see who else I would run into.
Near the MLB Network set, Clint Hurdle walked by me while I watched Terry Francona being interviewed by ESPN. I don’t count Francona because he was on air, but I do count Hurdle. So I guess that means my final count was three managers and three executives? I’ve said this multiple times, but the funny thing about the Winter Meetings is that because there are so many big league executives, managers, and baseball people in general walking around, it’s hard to keep track of who you did and didn’t see. For all I know I could’ve been in line behind a manager for pizza yesterday, although I highly doubt it.
After walking around and grabbing some slices, I went over to the Job Fair for one final look. Once again, nothing new. At this point it was 2:15 and time for my “exit video interview” with Ben and the rest of the writers. We answered some questions about our time at the Winter Meetings, which allowed me to reflect on my time in Nashville and how great it was.
I can’t say this enough: If you want to work in baseball and, a year from now, you aren’t at the 2016 Winter Meetings in Washington D.C., then you are making a huge mistake. There is nothing like it in any industry that I know of. If you can think of another industry where everyone comes together for four days in one place, there’s a Job Fair with hundreds of jobs posted, and interviews take place right there, PLEASE let me know. I’d love to break into that industry.
I met a ton of great people, most of whom I don’t remember their names. It was a tremendous trip and one I will never forget. As a result, I’m already looking forward to the 2016 Meetings and finally landing Hideo Nomo’s signature, although next year it may be Eric Gagne instead.
Also, I just felt the need to mention this again because it’s a cause that’s very close to my heart. A hot dog is not a sandwich.
Thanks, David, for establishing a baseball metaphor akin to Ahab and his White Whale. May your travels bring you ever closer to Hideo Nomo.
By David Lauterbach, special to MiLB.com
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, his third installment, David Lauterbach finds his way, continues his metaphor and keeps searching for the light.
I didn’t get lost yesterday, so that’s nice. I think my count now stands at four, which means that Ben’s “Bet the Over” may be a little too high.
So, Hideo Nomo. Great pitcher. I’ve been using him as my metaphor for trying to get a job this week. The metaphor is that me wiggling my way through the crowd to try and land a job is similar to how I tried to get Nomo’s autograph when I was eight at Dodger Stadium. It’s all about navigating the chaos.
The job search itself has gone well, but I still haven’t reached the light at the end of the tunnel. I was able to secure three job interviews yesterday and, so far, two more today. They have all gone well thus far. With respect to the teams, I’m not going to disclose who I’ve interviewed with, but I will say they have been great. Now I need to “knock on wood,” because baseball has made me extremely superstitious.
In between all of the interviews, I spent some time talking more to other job seekers that want to do broadcasting and baseball operations. It’s been really fun getting to know men and women both older and younger than me who, just like me, want to work in the big leagues. I said this in my first post and I’ll say it again: Attending the Winter Meetings is the best thing you can do if you want to work in baseball. Everyone is here in one building and you never get an opportunity like that in any sport and, really, any industry.
Also when I say everyone, I mean everyone. In yesterday’s post I said I had seen a GM and a manager, but might not see another for the rest of my time here. Well, yesterday I saw two more managers and two more GMs (and, once again, me standing by the MLB Network set while Buck Showalter was on doesn’t count).
The ability to walk through the hotel and strike up a conversation with an executive from this MLB team or a GM from that minor league team is second to none. The Winter Meetings are incredible, and the place to be if you want to work in baseball.
I also spent some time hanging out around the TV sets, where I accidentally made it on TV. (Okay, it wasn’t an accident. I tried to, because why not?) Another highlight was walking through the Trade Show. I got lost in there once, so Ben, if that counts, my number is now at five. (Ed note: It doesn’t.) At the Trade Show they had everything from a machine that cleans baseballs to specialty jerseys to even a Dip N Dots station that was handing out free samples. The Trade Show is neat because anyone who is attending the event, whether you are a job seeker or buyer, can attend. It’s a great place to see where different companies sell their products to both major and minor league teams.
Due to this being my last full day in Nashville, I’ll finish this one now and have it be shorter than the rest. I think I see Nomo, but the organ pipes are warming up and the anthem starts soon. In the words of Jay Bilas, I gotta go to work.
By David Lauterbach, special to MiLB.com
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, his second installment, David Lauterbach expands his horizons, catches a glimpse of a legend and, inevitably, gets lost.
Well I haven’t gotten to Hideo Nomo yet, but I have made progress… I think.
Day two is in the books and I think it was much more successful than the first because well, I actually applied to some jobs and that’s the point of attending the Job Fair. So, yes, it was successful.
Bright and early at 9 a.m., I was outside the job postings room and ready to go in. Surprisingly unlike the first day, not as many people were in the room, which allowed me to walk freely in the aisles to peruse the different jobs posted. After looking them all over, I went to the work area and began to apply.
I’ve always wanted to be a broadcaster and I still want to be, but those aren’t the only jobs I applied to. To be successful in broadcasting, I’ve always been told the most important thing is to get your name in front of as many people as possible. That’s why I also applied to media relations jobs that involve no broadcasting, because most posted are for Triple-A or MLB teams. Those are the exact people I need to get my name in front of. Who knows if I will be interviewed for those jobs? Well, the people that looked over my work yesterday do, but that’s not the point. The point is that when you come to this Job Fair, it’s important to not pigeonhole yourself. The ultimate goal for everyone here is to make the big leagues. As a result, you have to be willing to work any odd job you might have to in order to get that call one day down the road.
After a couple hours in the job postings area, I spoke with a couple people I knew who already have jobs and heeded their advice to get out of the Job Fair. As a result, I went with a couple friends on a long tour of the hotel. Okay, maybe it wasn’t a long tour. We were trying to find a couple places where people were congregating and we got lost. Ben, my “getting lost” count is now at four. I think your “bet the over” for seven is looking very likely.
We walked around the hotel, watched a couple minutes of MLB Network’s coverage, caught up with some old friends, met some new friends and even saw, for one brief second, Don Mattingly. When we saw Donnie Baseball walk by I realized how big this place really is and how true this tweet from Jayson Stark was. This place is so massive, the government really could place the Witness Protection Program here. I have seen only one big league executive walk through (being on MLB Network doesn’t count in my opinion) and now one manager. I expect to not see another over the final two days I’m here.
Going back to meeting up with old friends and getting to know new ones, that’s the best part of the Winter Meetings. As a broadcaster, I follow a lot of other broadcasters on Twitter, so it’s kind of funny to run in to people who I feel like I’ve known for a year or more and talk to them for the first time. But what’s even better is that because everyone here is in baseball; it’s not awkward. All you have to do is sit down and talk about the hot stove, your last season, their last season, what each of you is looking for, and whether a hot dog is a sandwich. By the way, a hot dog is in fact not a sandwich.
From there, I put my feet up in my room for a little bit before heading to dinner. There’s a restaurant here called Fuse and it’s a sports bar, so naturally when a baseball event is at the hotel, everyone congregates there. It was a nice relaxing way to wrap up the second day and helped get my mind off interviews that were possibly forthcoming, despite the fact that I was spending time with other job speakers and employers.
Day Two was successful. I can see Hideo Nomo, I think and hope, in the distance. But who knows, the National Anthem is in a couple minutes (or days) and when it starts, autographs wrap up. Let’s just hope I get there before it starts.
Tune in tomorrow, as David continues his quest for the metaphorical Hideo Nomo.
By David Lauterbach, special to MiLB.com
Throughout this year’s 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, his first installment, David Lauterbach enters the scrum and prepares for more of the same.
I’d never been to the Music City before this week. Nashville is an incredible town and the Opryland hotel is amazing. The hotel is about 20 minutes away from downtown, but luckily there is so much to do outside and inside of the Winter Meetings events there really is no need to leave.
Speaking of the hotel, I have already gotten lost twice. One was on my way to meet the other job seekers, when I asked someone from the hotel for directions and they had no idea. The other was trying to get back to my room after we met, when I took about five wrong left turns and four wrong right turns. When people say this hotel is massive and it takes forever to get around, they aren’t lying. I tweeted yesterday that I may get lost seven times over the course of the Winter Meetings and Ben Hill responded with “Bet the over.” He’s probably right.
But, anyway, the point of this journal is to talk about the Job Fair, right? At least that’s what Ben told us. The first jobs to get posted yesterday didn’t appear until around 3:30, which left about an hour and a half for hundreds of job seekers to squeeze into a tiny room to look at them. The only advice I got before I walked into the small room was “Sharpen your elbows.” Truer words have never been spoken.
The job posting room is laid out with about 10-15 rows of poster boards. The jobs were posted on said boards and had numbers attached to them that job seekers have to note and write on their resumes when they drop them in the application bins. Due to the small amount of room between the poster boards and the clamoring of hundreds of job seekers and briefcases and backpacks and resumes flying everywhere, it was akin to when I was eight and trying to get Hideo Nomo’s autograph before a Dodger game. If you think about it, the Job Fair really is just that: A bunch of eager young men and women trying to get something that only a few can, and they all are trying to wiggle their way closer to the finish line. Only when we were eight it was an unreadable signature, and now it’s for a paycheck and a job. No pressure at all.
A couple hours after I visited the crazy job posting room, I went to the relaxing and incredible Winter Meetings Banquet. Growing up as a huge baseball fan, I’ve always admired the role of the Commissioner and have always had a desire to one day be in his shoes. So when Commissioner Manfred was introduced for a Q & A session, I freaked out. The majority of the questions and answers I had heard before in other interviews, ranging from expansion talks to rising young stars to youth participation. In the end, it was really cool to see the Commissioner in person for the first time. After that, various awards were handed out to individuals who have made a great impact on baseball. It was really cool to see those people recognized and hear their crazy stories from their time in the game. It really makes you appreciate how close this community is and how important it is to treasure every second you have in it.
From there, I got to meet Ben and the other job seekers. After Ben interviewed us and we got to know each other, we all split up and went our separate ways. We all knew the real madness was about to begin the next morning and that it was time to go back to our rooms, rest, and plan the quickest route to Hideo Nomo for the next day.
There will be Nomo from David today, but there will be plenty mo’ from David tomorrow.
The Baseball Winter Meetings are scheduled to take place from Dec. 6-9 at the Gaylord Opryland hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. A key component of this multi-faceted and increasingly massive event is the annual PBEO Job Fair, in which industry aspirants seek to secure professional baseball employment.
Looking for a job at the Winter Meetings is equal parts exhilarating and maddening, as hundreds of seekers vie to land a geographically and economically appropriate position. Some are content with securing an internship — anything to get that proverbial foot in the door — while others have already gone this route and are now intent on full-time employment. Some are just out of (or still in) college, while others are taking a leap of faith by trying to break into baseball after having started out within a different line of work.
Every story is unique and worth sharing. In 2015, as during the previous three Winter Meetings, I will run a series of Job Seeker Journal guest posts on this blog (these will also be compiled and featured daily on MiLB.com). Therefore:
Are YOU attending the Winter Meetings as a Job Seeker?
Do you want to write about it?
If so, please get in touch — firstname.lastname@example.org — with a photo of yourself and the following information:
— Name, Age, Hometown, College, Twitter Handle (if applicable)
— Prior Sports Industry Experience (if applicable)
— Why do you want to work in baseball?
— Why do you want to write about it?
— One random fact about yourself (this can, literally, be anything)
Emails from interested Job Seeker Journal writers must be received within one week from today: the deadline is Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 5 p.m. ET. Three individuals will be chosen (selected by myself, with input from an esteemed group of MiLB.com colleagues), and introduced in Dec. 4’s “Minoring in Business” feature on MiLB.com. (This feature will include your answers to the above questions, similar to THIS, from last year). Selected journal writers will be responsible for writing four entries during the Winter Meetings, one for each day (Sunday through Wednesday).
This is a great opportunity to share your unique perspective on a baseball career rite of passage, and, who knows? The exposure you get from these journals could, for better or for worse, help separate yourself from what is always a crowded field of candidates.
If you have any questions, then do not hesitate to get in touch. Good luck and hope to hear from you!