Now that it’s all said and done, Linda Le offers a poolside perspective on what the experience meant to her and fills us in on her still uncertain plans for 2013. Follow Linda on Twitter @MsLinda_Le, and read her other entries here:
Winter Meetings 2012: Final Thoughts
As I write my final thoughts on the Winter Meetings, I’m actually lounging poolside in the Dominican Republic. Some may call it a family trip but I like to label it a scouting trip for the next Jose Bautista or Jose Reyes.
Attending the Winter Meetings for the first time was a very exciting experience. While I was there to attend the Job Fair there were other various aspects to enjoy and experience, which included connecting with other job seekers as well as baseball executives.
Going into Nashville I knew I might run into a couple of challenges. One factor being that I did not have a great wealth of baseball knowledge under my belt compared to the other job seekers. I grew up watching baseball with my brother and father but I can’t recall every stat there is to know. If I could do that then I would have specifically pursued a career in baseball scouting or become an analyst. Taking part in the Business of Baseball Workshop on the first day helped me realize there’s more of a need to focus on the business side of baseball than it is to just be a fan of the sport.
The second challenge I thought I would encounter is the fact that I was a female trying to break into an industry made up mostly of men. During the Winter Meetings, I did feel like a unicorn being only one of the few women attending but that quickly turned into something I embraced as I felt that people would see me as someone that was easy to approach and talk to – case in point, every night at the Opryland drinking at one of the bars in the resort. Oh how liquid courage seems so appropriate at a place where the ratio of men to women is close to 100 to 1.
As a follow-up from my last post where an offer was extended to me, compensation and housing was still being negotiated. The GM has since indicated that housing could not be secured at the start of the internship, which at that point was the only compensation available. I have since declined that opportunity but the GM had indicated of course that if anything changes then we would reconnect again.
After returning home from the Winter Meetings in Nashville I was contacted by another Minor League team in regards to a Community Relations internship. I am currently still in talks to see what may come out of this encounter.
Overall I view my time spent in Nashville as only a positive experience and I will be definitely attending in Orlando in 2013. I believe that anyone looking to break into the world of professional baseball should consider attending the Winter Meetings. I’ve met many people who have been attending for several years, even a couple of people who have been going for as long as I’ve been alive (I’m in my twenties). Even if you walk away with no offers, you will still leave with great memories of meeting new people and of course staying connected can ultimately lead to great career prospects.
See you in Orlando!
Thanks to Linda for sharing her perspective throughout the process. Here’s hoping we’ll be seeing her at a Minor League ballpark in 2013.
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, Linda Le networks throughout the vast expanses of the Opryland before sharing some hard-earned wisdom.
Linda Le archives:
12/5/12: GOODBYE MUSIC CITY!
There was a calmness in the Gaylord Opryland Convention Centre as the PBEO job fair was nearing to a close on Wednesday afternoon. Most job seekers were packing up and heading home if they had not done so already.
My day actually started with finishing up my journal entry from the day before (better late than never right Ben?) I then decided to reach out to Bill Wanless, VP of Public Relations with the Pawtucket Red Sox to have lunch that afternoon. I had met Wanless and other members of the Pawtucket Red Sox front office staff the drunken night before. I like to think I had a power lunch with Wanless where we discussed and strategized about revamping the current PR practices for the PawSox but Wanless might say otherwise. He might just recall me conversing in a Bostonian accent if anything.
Wanless provided great insight in regards to his career in professional baseball. He started with the organization as an intern and is now responsible for all aspects of public relations amongst other things as well. It was a great opportunity to sit down with him and get his perspective on working in Minor League baseball especially considering he started out as an intern. We also discussed the need for more women within the industry and that there wasn’t a healthy representation at the moment.
From my previous journal entry I had indicated that I had an interview lined up with the GM for a Minor League team. The role itself was for Promotions and Merchandising with an affiliate of the Blue Jays. The interview was as casual as can be; we met in the middle, or what I thought was the middle of the Orpyland Resort (this place has its own zip code) and discussed the role further while crowds of tour groups passed by. At one point we gave directions to an elderly woman who didn’t know her way around, but then again who did?
The interview resulted in the GM extending an offer to me but compensation still had to be finalized in the next few days. I was pleased to hear that our ten minute conversation turned into an offer – oh how quick things can happen in the business of baseball. At this point nothing has been confirmed in regards to an acceptance.
Overall my time spent at the Winter Meetings was a great experience and I’m glad I made the decision to come to Nashville. From the fellow job seekers I’ve met to the great connections to baseball executives, it’s been nothing but productive and rewarding.
To sum up my time spent here in Nashville, the following are some key factors I’ve learned at the Winter Meetings:
— Network as much as you can; this can lead to your next great career
— Be open to any opportunity in professional baseball as moving to one role to another can happen within a short period of time
— I’m starting to enjoy listening to country music
— Being one of the few females at the Winter Meetings I learned that drinks are free
— I’ve been eating the wrong kind of chowder – courtesy of Joe McDonald from ESPN Boston; thanks Joe!
— Be honest and be yourself – being honest with your intentions prevents being disappointed
Thanks to Linda for her journaling contributions throughout the Meetings. Perhaps there will be more…
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, Linda Le thinks outside of the box, makes connections, and plays the drinking game.
Linda’s first entry can be found HERE.
Tuesday, 12/4/12: GOING BEYOND THE JOB FAIR
Upon arriving to the interview schedule room to check up on any of the postings I had applied to, the same organized chaos ensued, the same disappointed faces appeared and the pacing back and forth from room to room continued.
Most of the positions I had applied to at this point were still not posted for scheduled interviews with the exception of one. I was disappointed to not see my name listed, but I still proceeded to email the contact for the team to send my regards.
There was actually one posting that I didn’t apply to originally and instead of going through the process of submitting my resume I decided to email the contact listed on the posting, which happened to be the GM for the team. This paid off as I got a quick turnaround time of a response in regards to setting up an interview for the next day.
During the afternoon as well I made time to email a couple of contacts over at the Major League team in my hometown, specifically in regards to being involved in the charity foundation that is set up in the organization. Not only was I provided with more information on the volunteer program that was being formalized but I was also added to the list of participants for the upcoming season.
This adheres to the notion that you don’t necessarily need to go through the conventional ways of pursuing an opportunity – think outside of the box. Always make opportunities happen rather than waiting for them. I believe in having the mentality of always trying to hustle and selling yourself – if you can’t sell yourself, how do you expect to be apart of an organization that revolves around the business of selling?
Another aspect of the day was meeting several job seekers who decided that the idea of working in professional baseball was not so favorable to them anymore. One individual stated that the possible sacrifices that may be made, especially being a female in the industry, was too much of a toll for her to continue her pursuit in professional baseball. Looking back at the Business of Baseball Workshop, Pat O’Conner indicated that some people who were here for the job fair will find out that perhaps working in baseball is not ideal which is perfectly fine – better to know now than to invest so much time and effort in an industry you will not enjoy.
The end of the night was capped off like every other night so far here at the Winter Meetings: drinking and more drinking. Earlier I talked about the waiting game, but it’s the drinking game that seems more appropriate here at the Gaylord Opryland – my favorite is to drink every time I see a male attendee of the Winter Meetings. It’s within these settings that are perfect for making great connections within the industry and it’s also a way for industry people to see you in a social setting because to be apart of a baseball organization is to take on a new family and when someone can see you in that perspective, it’s always appreciated.
Clearly, this narrative has not reached its conclusion. Stay tuned for the sure-to-be engrossing next installment of Linda’s job-seeking adventures.
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, Linda Le recaps her first two days in the Music City.
12/2/12: Hello Music City!
The week started early for us job seekers (one day earlier, to be precise) and was filled with inspiring guest speakers and their stories about endeavoring into the world of long work days, low paying opportunities, yet rewarding moments – also known as the world of professional baseball.
The Business of Baseball Workshop was an all day event that provided information on the ins and outs of working in professional baseball. When I entered the designated room where the workshop was being held, I instantly felt the eagerness and the anxiety amongst all the other job seekers. One may think that it would feel intimidating too see 400 – 500 other job seekers all in one room knowing that we are all here for the same reason, but for myself it reiterated how beloved this industry is and how much people are willing to do to get their foot in the door.
The reality of working in professional baseball was repeatedly illustrated through the presentations of both Juliana Paoli, the CMO for the San Jose Giants and Giovanni Hernandez, the Scouting Assistant – International Operations for the Detroit Tigers. I was trying to count how many times the words “ramen noodles” came up in Giovanni’s presentation, which was concise and pretty much blunt on the topic of becoming an intern. Oh, how memories of my university days were flooding my mind.
After the workshop was completed and we got a chance to view the current job postings, I was exhausted. Needing to reflect and take everything in I decided to grab a quick meal. At the bar of one of the restaurants in the Gaylord Opryland Resort (which by the way is a city on its own), I was able to strike up a conversation with the gentleman sitting next to me, who happened to be a scout for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Upon introduction I thought to myself the amount of people that attended the workshop earlier in the day who would have loved the opportunity to be sitting next to a scout, let alone a scout for a Major League team.
The moment in the bar illustrated the power of networking and how easily a connection can be made from just a simple conversation. This particular conversation happened to start off with the scout indicating he was from Chicago, then I proceeded to profess my love for Chicago food (Deep dish pizza, Harold’s Chicken Shack and Al’s: anyone from Chicago will know these references).
After exchanging contact information I walked away thinking that the conversation I had was just as informative as the all day workshop. It also made me realize how here at the Winter Meetings, there are endless opportunities to meet and connect with great individuals – it doesn’t just pertain to the confines of the job fair.
12/3/12: Let’s Play the Waiting Game
I was hopeful to walk into the interview schedule room to see if my name was listed on any of the postings I had applied to in the previous evening. Of course I was not the only one there and it was overwhelming to see the faces of disappointed individuals who either did not see their names listed or even the posting itself.
I circulated around the room which by 11am only had about 20 – 30 lists for scheduled interviews. None of the postings I had applied to were up yet for scheduling interviews – not a big deal I thought, it was early in the day. I didn’t want to be like most of the attendees there who were nervously checking every 30 minutes for any new information, so I decided to wander off and explore the rest of the Winter Meetings. If I learned anything from the previous day it was to build on my network and to foster new connections.
During lunch I had the opportunity to meet with the Director of Corporate Sales for one of the minor leagues. I looked at this whole waiting game situation in a different perspective. My down time waiting for new job postings or interview schedules encouraged more opportunity to meet baseball executives.
I went through another round of checking for new postings I was interested in as well as checking up on any new interview schedules. I left the day still not seeing any of the interview schedules for the postings I had applied to from the previous day. The waiting game continues.
At this point it was the opening night for the Baseball Trade Show, a nice distraction from the chaos of the job fair. As the day was winding down, I thought it well needed for myself and other job seekers to be surrounded by inflatable mascots and free beer!
There will be much more to come from Linda 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. I’d really appreciate it if you check it out.