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 Jim Angell, 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, Jim Angell dishes out the advice, expresses gratitude and waits for what’s next.
That’s the Ball Game, Here’s the Recap
Over the past three days, I have taken (at times) a whimsical look at the Winter Meetings and my participation in the PBEO Job Fair. Today, I’ll focus on recapping the event for future job seekers and sharing some of the lessons I learned I during my time in Nashville.
There’s a saying around baseball that no matter how much you have been involved in and around the game, it will always teach you something new. First-time attendees need to keep that in mind. You should come ready to learn, willing to interact with a wide range of people, and honest about yourself, your talents and about what you want to do.
The primary thing that first-timers need to understand is that baseball is an industry made up of variously-sized companies (organizations) and suppliers that are in the “business” to win. Whether on the field of play, as is the case for Major League teams, or on the profit side of a balance sheet, the stark reality is that baseball is a business. To be profitable, organizations will do anything to control costs and maximize their ability to put more butts in the seats. Empty seats don’t buy tickets, eat hot dogs, buy t-shirts, or drink beer.
Here are the lessons I learned from my Winter Meeting/Job Fair experience:
- If you are a prospective job seeker, do go to the Winter Meetings and the Job Fair. As frustrating as the job posting and interview process can be you learn a lot and can meet a ton of people with knowledge about the “business” that you can’t pick up from a website, blog or book.
- Just because you have a lot of talent or experience, you still may not be what Minor League teams are looking for. Depending on the size of the team, their operation and their market (very important), the pay and talent they are looking for varies greatly. Some teams only offer college credit, while others pay upwards of $1500 a month for an intern. There are very few full-time positions posted.
- Most of the jobs are seasonal and targeting interns. So, if you’re not willing to relocate on an interim basis (three to nine months, depending on the job role) without the assurance of full-time employment, you best look elsewhere.
- Just because you’ve been an intern before doesn’t mean that you’ll get another internship or another job in baseball. Just like with on-field talent (the players), you will be competing against a new crop of “kids” each season who are entering the mix and willing to work for the wages being offered. That’s the stark reality of the business.
- Work the event. That means getting away from the workroom, the interview posting room and the job posting room. Yes, check back from time to time, but don’t set up roots. There’s a whole world of baseball happening at these events and it’s ripe with opportunities. Talk to people. Give them your business card. Listen, listen and do more listening. Baseball people are a gold mine of information.
- Come with business cards and resumes. (Enough said.)
- Go to the Winter Meetings Trade Show. You will meet people who are pretty much chained to their booths. They like talking about their companies and, if you are a mid-career free agent like myself, are interested in proven experience. Therefore, they may be looking for the talents you have that can impact their business. I got four job leads from “hitting the bricks” and talking to people at the Trade Show. Don’t skip it.
- Have fun. Get to know your fellow job seekers. Eat lunch or dinner with them. Hang out at the “watering holes” around the venue. There are a lot of good stories about why they are at the Job Fair, and hearing about their dreams for baseball is wonderful. For instance, I met one former Minor League pitcher who was looking to get into ticket sales for a Minor League team. His playing days were cut short due to two arm surgeries, but he still loved the game and now wanted to be part of the business. I’d hire him.
- Keep trying. If you didn’t land the position you wanted during the Job Fair, don’t stop trying. Keep “knocking on doors” and sending letters to teams. You never know when you’ll be in the right place at the right time. (Yes, even if you get lost in the Opryland Resort.)
I hope you enjoyed my daily reports as much as I enjoyed writing them. I want to thank Benjamin Hill and MiLB.com for allowing me to share my insights and experiences this year’s Winter Meetings and PBEO Job Fair.
Good luck to all the job seekers out there, and to all the organizations who are working hard every day to improve the game day experience.
Thanks, Jim, for sharing the lessons you learned.
By Tori Payne, 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, her fourth and final installment, Tori Payne solidifies friendships, gains confidence and gets an unexpected free lunch.
Wow. I cannot believe that this week has come to an end. My new friend Connor described today as akin to “the last few rounds of the MLB draft, when the choices are slim and viewers lose interest.” I’m not saying that the job seekers remaining (including myself) were any less qualified, but everyone seemed to be tired and losing interest in the process. The interview posting room had been stripped and new jobs were not being posted. It was evident that the Meetings were coming to a close, and the job seekers still on the premises knew that last minute impressions were their only opportunity.
On Wednesday, I came in to the Gaylord Opryland Convention Center stoked for my scheduled interview. I had been looking forward to speaking with this team for the past two days, and my nervous energy was turning into eagerness. I received some last-minute interview tips from my new friend Brooke before she headed out to see her new home in North Carolina (she got a job with the Greensboro Grasshoppers), and then waited for my first and only time in the interview room.
While biding my time, a woman stopped by and asked the waiting interviewees if we were “getting a job today?” I noticed her tag had the name of the team I was about to interview with. Too many times during this process I had been too afraid to speak up to people of interest, so I smiled and said, “Hopefully! I am about to interview with your team, actually.” Her game face came on, and she began questioning me on the spot about my goals and experience. I liked it. I love being challenged, and this impromptu conversation readied me for my interview with her other two employees. It went great. Both men seemed interested in my experience and answered my questions with humor and honesty.
After my interview, the group of people that I have been hanging around with – a group of people that I now call friends – went to one last lunch together. While at a sports bar in the Center, we were watching ESPN and MLB Network detail the Winter Meetings that we were attending. After ordering the food, a man I recognized from the television approached our table. He smiled and said, “You guys don’t eat much but I paid for your food. It is all free! Enjoy!” It was Harold Reynolds. The retired MLB second baseman and current TV analyst had noticed our group of young job seekers and casually decided to make our day by paying for our lunch. That was special.
After lunch, I met up with Ben and the other Job Seeker Journal writers one more time, bringing our excursion to an end. As I was about to do my exit video interview (again, it is probably embarrassing so no judgment), I got a call from the team I interviewed with and they wanted to run some things by me in the interview room. When I went back, they introduced me to another employee and expressed interest in me. While I did not receive the official offer, they did want me to begin thinking about the money and moving situations and if that were something I would consider. They also mentioned a possible stadium visit. I cannot adequately express to you how amazing I felt in that moment.
So much came out of the Winter Meetings that I am incredibly thankful for. Not only did I receive interest from one team, but I was also called later in the day to schedule an interview with another team tomorrow (even though the Winter Meetings have concluded). I had the awesome opportunity to receive guidance from Ben Hill, and got to express myself along with the other Job Seeker Journal writers (all of whom will do great things in baseball, I’m sure of it). I was able to network with old and new connections. And, most importantly, I made some great friends who share my passion for baseball. Thus far, I’ve had the opportunity to work in the music and sports industry. While they are both entertaining, I gravitate to the sports and baseball industry more. This week I realized why: Even though it is competitive, it is not a cutthroat industry. People of success also want you to succeed. Professionals are willing to give you tips and your colleagues are willing to celebrate with you when you triumph. If the 2015 Winter Meetings were in any way a glimpse into the future of baseball, I can tell you personally that the industry is in good hands.
Thanks, Tori, for providing such a heartfelt and observant take on your Winter Meetings experience.
By Will Privette, 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, Will Privette says good bye to Nashville and looks forward to what the future may bring.
Today Is Not the End. It’s Just the Beginning
It’s been a fun ride, Nashville. On Wednesday morning I met with one last team about an internship and then — Boom! — all of the interviews were over and it was time to “relax,” (a.k.a. “go network and people-watch”). Today seemed a little bit less crowded than Tuesday. Some people even had flights leaving in the evening so I assume that was a contributing factor as to why it seemed calmer. One cool thing that happened was running into some of the first-year job seekers that I wrote about the other day. Some of them had secured a job, which was great, and one of them thanked me for the advice I gave him. He took the advice and was able to get in touch with a team and send his information over. It goes to show that you cannot be afraid to approach or email someone because that email might be the first step toward your new job.
After hanging around and talking to more people I headed back up to the room to eat dinner. (It may or may not have been the kids menu chicken tenders again.) Then I went back downstairs to meet up with some family friends and caught up with them. The area I was in was way less crowded than the night before. I can only assume that everyone is exhausted, asleep and ready to fly out early Thursday.
What’s next for me? Going into the Winter Meetings I knew that I wouldn’t come home with a job in hand, and that’s perfectly fine. That’s just the nature of the positions I interviewed for. I will know where my baseball future leads me by early 2016. (I didn’t get my previous internships until the second week of January.) That is probably the worst part of the whole ordeal, the waiting. I am used to it by now, but it would be nice to have something locked in sooner so you don’t spend countless hours wondering what might happen. I am talking to four teams and possibly have one or two more irons in the fire, so I will be very excited to announce via Twitter where the Thrill will end up for the 2016 baseball season. I want to thank you all for reading this blog. I hope I could give you a little insight as to how massive of an event the Winter Meetings really is. I appreciate you taking the time to read our journals and keep up and cheering for us as we tried to conquer the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. Enjoy the rest of your off-season and I hope to see everyone next year at the 2016 Winter Meetings in Washington, D.C.! Until then… ~Thrill Out
And with that, the Thrill is gone. Thank you, Will, and good luck.
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 Tori Payne, 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, her third installment, Tori Payne jumps the gun, gets a confidence boost and celebrates success.
Remember when I was so excited to see my name on the interview sheet? Well, I obviously was so excited that I misread the date of my interview. It was for Wednesday, not Tuesday. When I arrived at the PBEO Job Fair this morning, I was ready to go for my interview at 11 a.m. I even ran into Lara Juras and Vincent Pierson, two of the professionals I have been connecting with since the Diversity Symposium, and expressed my excitement. Then, I walked into the interview sheet room to check who I was interviewing with, and BAM! Right place, wrong day.
Although I was understandably bummed, I still wanted to make the most of the day. Because the rate of jobs and interviews being posted was very slow, I decided to take a walk around and see if I recognized anyone. The Opryland Convention Center is extremely large – I honestly have gotten lost at least five times – but somehow I still saw Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin talking with someone from a distance. It was nice to see a familiar face among the eager crowd. Afterwards, Brooke, whom I had met the day before, asked me to go to the Trade Show with her again. She introduced me to the coolest company, Baseball Lacelets. The wife of a baseball player in the Red Sox organization and her cousin take the old laces out of gloves and recreate them into a branded or personalized bracelet. As a souvenir, I bought one with the quote, “You’re killin’ me Smalls.” It’s a baseball classic.
Around 2:00, I began to get discouraged. I understand that everyone has worked hard and has the passion for baseball, but it is still tough to see your hard work and passion be overlooked while others are receiving multiple interviews a day. Right when I was about to leave for the day, a professional from a team in the California League approached me. I had bumped into him yesterday, and he had asked for my resume. I didn’t think I was qualified for the job because of my graduation date, but I handed it over anyway. He asked me to meet him at 4:00, and I gladly obliged. Our meeting was incredible. I was able to explain my skills and experience and he described the learning environment and job opportunities that I desire. After our conversation, my confidence surfaced. No matter what ends up happening, I know that my skill set can be – and one day soon hopefully will be – appreciated by a baseball club.
After the day, some new friends and I planned to go to dinner in Nashville and I was designated as tour guide. However, as Brooke and I were driving into the city, she got THE call: the Greensboro Grasshoppers were hiring her. I’ve never been a part of a moment like that, but it was an indelible experience to watch someone reach their dreams. Time got away from us and we accidentally missed dinner with friends, but we still celebrated with jalapeno margaritas, queso and tacos.
What was the highlight of my day, you wonder? Other than the surprise interview, it was seeing Joe Girardi. Twice. He looked a little lost, and I don’t know my way around the building so I couldn’t help, but I still gawked just a little. I pulled myself together in time for his entourage to pass the second time, but it was a pretty neat experience. It’s not every day you see baseball legends in the flesh.
Stay tuned tomorrow for the exciting conclusion of Tori’s Nashville adventures. Will she get a job? See another baseball legend in the flesh? Enjoy another jalapeno margarita? All will be revealed.
By Jim Angell, 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, Jim Angell investigates trends, plays the waiting game and meets Opryland angels.
Comfortable Shoes and Unexpected Angels
It’s true, people seldom look at your feet. If they do, they don’t remember what you were wearing. So, what do you do when you hang out in the interview posting room at the PBEO job fair? You watch feet. More precisely, the flow of job seekers as they scan the tack boards for their targeted jobs.
See, the tack boards are big enough to cut most people off at just about the knees. Thus, all you are left to notice are legs and feet. Simply fascinating if you’re interested in the fluid dynamics of crowds. I am not (well, sort of), but I do spot trends and today I noticed the trend to more comfortable shoes.
You really can’t blame the job seekers for seeking refuge for their tired toes and heels heading into the third day of the Job Fair. One, it’s a hike to get to the posting, work, and interviewing rooms. Two, there’s just a ton of walking to get anywhere in the Opryland Resort.
Pardon me for one digression: I met a lady today wearing workout clothes and commented to her that she was wearing the right stuff for getting around the resort. She agreed but asked if I knew the way to the gym. She was lost. (What a shocker!) After telling her that I was no help there, she scurried off in search of better fitness.
Okay, back to feet.
The trend in footwear today has begun to slide to the comfy side. Fewer high heels, more flats. (I raised two girls, so I know the lingo, boys). More casual men’s shoes and even a tennis shoe sighting was noted. There were suits and interview garb, but the look was definitely in decline.
As comfortable became vogue, the interviews ramped up as groups of job seekers waited nervously outside the interview rooms for their call to an appointed table. As for me and a handful of prospective hires, we hunkered down in the interview posting room wondering why the jobs we supplied resumes for were not interviewing yet.
According to one returning job hunter, some of the teams may not get around to interviews during the Winter Meetings. It depends on how busy they are. Makes sense…business first. So we shouldn’t be surprised that there may not be a face-to-face meeting in Nashville. Patience is key here but it does make for some long days not knowing when the interviews will be.
Today finished up a little early as interview posting quickly tapered off, sending all of us out of the convention center happy to know that we could finally kick off our shoes and put up our feet.
Here’s a tip to all of the future job seekers out there who are thinking about coming to the next Winter Meetings: You never know when you’ll meet angels who will be willing to help you in your job search.
It happened on my way out of the resort today, when I offered to help two women who were lost (it’s a trend). As we talked about the trials of traveling the Opryland trails, they asked why I was here. I told them that I was looking for a job after being cut just over a month ago.
They sympathized and began offering up suggestions about jobs in Major League baseball that I hadn’t thought about. They said you just have to get in. Then, as you get to know people and they know you, you can move around.
I asked what they did. One was married to a vice president of communications for a MLB team and the other was married to a gentleman in MLB. When they asked if I had a business card, I was floored. Me. They wanted to help me. Wow.
So, never say never folks. Angels do exist and they are everywhere at the MLB Winter Meetings.
I love how my days here are ending.
Will Jim feel the thrill of victory tomorrow? Or the agony of da feet? Stay tuned tomorrow.
By Will Privette, 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, Will Privette hangs out in the lobby, gets mistaken for hotel staff and extols his networking skills.
Do You Work Here?
Today I woke up with a mission. Through the first two days of the Winter Meetings I hadn’t really seen the people that I try to catch up with every year, so with no interviews in place I decided that I would spend the afternoon people watching. The hope was that I would see everyone I wanted and needed to see. Mission successful. Throughout the day I was able to run into almost every person that I wanted to see and got to meet some new people as well. Many people would ask what I was doing there and I told them I was searching for a job, etc.
One funny thing of note is that today I was wearing a dark suit with a vest that had a red/burgundy back. Apparently, that’s what people who work at the Gaylord Opryland hotel wear because two different people came up to me asking if I worked at the hotel. They both wanted directions. One lost person asked “Do you work here?” I was quite confused, and replied “As in do I work in baseball?” I guess they were that desperate or I looked that official. (I’m banking on the latter.) After hanging around for way too many hours I headed back to my room for a bit, to regroup and make a wardrobe change into more casual evening attire (button down and dress pants, no tie or vest).
Close to 9 p.m., I headed back downstairs and went to the hotel’s Cascade area to see if people were there and it was PACKED! That was the place to be at night. I ran into all my bosses and front office personnel from my time with the Braves and Indians and caught up with them. Hanging out and watching the hoards of people come through was entertainment in and of itself. Before I went back to my room I ran into two people in particular that capped off a great night. One, I was expecting to be at the Winter Meetings, while the other was a very nice surprise.
In the lobby I saw people posing for pictures with former manager and general manager Jack Mckeon. I met Mr. McKeon back in 2004 and have stayed in touch with him ever since. He saw me while he was taking pictures, walked over and said hello. For 85, he has never looked better. He is one of my favorite baseball people I’ve encountered. The second person I ran into was my former pitching coach when I worked for NC State’s baseball team, Tom Holliday. I hadn’t seen him since I graduated in 2013 (the year NC State when to the College World Series) so it was very fun to talk to him and catch up on what I’ve done since I worked for NC State.
In yesterday’s post I gave a little bit of advice for readers, so I want to try and give a little more. Yes, you may come all the way to the Winter Meetings and leave empty-handed, but you can always network. Whenever I’m not interviewing, I am networking with people. Do not be shy about going up to people and talking to them. You don’t want to be invasive, but there is a certain way to go about it where you can come off as nice and impressionable. I always talk to people, and even if I don’t know them I try and make a connection. Maybe we have a mutual friend or former coworker. People enjoy stories and like to hear when you know someone that they know. So Will’s Words of Wisdom for today is do not be scared to approach people and network and market yourself. You’re there at the Winter Meetings to get a job and they aren’t going to come to you, so you have to make yourself available and show what you can bring to the table. And a little luck never hurts. ~Thrill
Stay tuned tomorrow for Will’s final update from Nashville.
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 Tori Payne, 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, 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.