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 2013’s four journal writers (Click on the name of each job seeker to see all of the posts that they have written).
Meanwhile, a post featuring 2012’s journal writers can be found HERE.
It was just about one year ago that I took a leap of faith right before graduation and made my way down to Orlando for what proved to be a life-altering week. I went into the Baseball Winter Meetings expecting to find a great internship somewhere in the middle of the country. After spending four long days “hitting the pavement,” I left Orlando not knowing what to do. The only full-time job I interviewed for wouldn’t be making a decision for at least another month, while every internship I had been offered needed an answer within the next week or two. I chose to turn down each internship to stay in the running for the full-time position, which played out in my favor, and here I am today.
Currently, I’m the marketing manager for the Staten Island Yankees, the Class A Short Season affiliate of the New York Yankees, handling the team’s website, media relations, gameday publication and social media (follow us!). After nervously sitting at home unemployed in Port Barre, Louisiana, for two months, I got the job I had been holding out for. Not only did I get a full-time position, I also got the chance to live in New York City, which is much different than any place I had imagined myself in when I planned my trip to the BWM. Living and working in this city is exciting, stressful, intriguing and challenging, but certainly not boring. Plus, you never know when you’ll bump into Ben Hill during a mid-week game.
As far as my experience at the Winter Meetings, it was certainly positive. The Job Fair process is intense to say the least. It seemed like there was an equal number of job seekers and job postings. While talking to other job seekers, however, it was apparent that most people were there for one of three job categories: broadcasting, baseball operations and marketing/communications. Unfortunately, there were only a handful of full-time jobs available altogether (the vast majority were internships), and there were far more people looking to gain experience in the aforementioned areas than for sales, stadium operations, etc. This created a LOT of competition for the most appealing positions. I like to think that I was able to cut through the clutter by being very prepared. I brought tons of resumes, cover letters and business cards, and read several first-hand accounts of the Job Fair from previous years so that there wouldn’t be any surprises. But, most importantly, make sure that you enjoy the experience. While it might be stressful to have your future hanging with uncertainty, there are not many places where you’ll be able to shake hands with Tommy Lasorda, embarrass yourself in front of Mark Prior and walk amongst your childhood heroes all in one night. Best of luck to everyone attending this year’s Winter Meetings!
It has been a rough couple of months for me. Last year when I was going through the job seeking process, I knew surgery was looming for a torn labrum in my left shoulder. After my labrum was repaired in February (which forced me to miss my whole collegiate baseball season), I found out that I needed to get a minor procedure done on my lower back. While looking for opportunities at last year’s Winter Meetings, I knew I needed to find a position where I literately sat all day long.
I was offered a internship with a Minor League team in late January, but I turned it down because I was about to go in to surgery and I had no idea what the recovery process would be like. I did not want to make a commitment to a team if I ended up not being able to fulfill it. It really bummed me out because the opportunity justified my reasoning for going to the Winter Meetings.
In April, I got a call from Baseball Info Solutions in regard to an application that I had submitted at the Winter Meetings. It was a pleasant surprise, considering that the Winter Meetings were three months prior and I did not expect to hear from the company. I did a phone interview soon after and they offered me a “Video Scout” internship opportunity. I ended up working at BIS for the summer, and it was a fantastic experience. My first day at BIS was just two weeks after surgery, but the excitement of getting paid to watch baseball all day was the perfect morphine. Overall, BIS opened my eyes to analytics, and I’m extremely thankful for the experience.
I’m now a senior at Lynn University, and I am graduating in just a few weeks. However, you won’t see me at this year’s Winter Meetings as I’ll be starting graduate school in the spring (while I play my last two years of college baseball). At the end of my last post almost a year ago, I said I was “pretty sure that I just heard that bamboo lemur (in the Winter Meetings Job Fair jungle) that I had been searching for ruffling in the bushes.” Looking at my timeline, I found the lemur, dropped it in a black hole, and then its brother attacked me in my sleep. But the lemur has now come and gone, and while my journey is currently on hold, I’ll be heading back in to the forest come 2015.
I still remember exactly how I felt when I wrote the phrase “Just waiting…” for my final journal entry last winter. After spending an incredible couple of days in Florida running back-and-forth between the Job Fair and the media area, I was exhausted and, honestly, nervous. I was a senior in college trying to juggle my final semester, freelancing and searching for a place to work after graduation.
I never did get a job offer from any of the teams at the Winter Meetings, but I can say with complete certainty that I’m OK with that.
In the year since I attended the Winter Meetings, I wrote several features for FoxSports.com, graduated from Boston University, accepted a paid internship with the Cape Cod Times and, most importantly, got a job with MassLive.com as a high school sports reporter.
My summer with the CCT gave me some incredible opportunities, including a chance to shadow one of the Cape Leaguers as he experienced Fenway Park for the first time. Just as that internship was coming to an end, I was offered the job with MassLive and it was the perfect fit. I get to work toward my goal of becoming a professional beat reporter every day, and it really doesn’t get any better than that.
While the Job Fair didn’t lead to my current position, I still think that it was completely worthwhile. I had a chance to talk to professional writers about their experiences and learn more about the business of baseball. Most of all, I made really great connections with people who have helped me to continue my passion for sports journalism.
Oh, and I’m still annoyingly good friends with fellow journaler Kasey Decker.
So, that’s where I’m at right now. Thank you to Ben for giving me the chance to update you all on my whereabouts and for giving me the opportunity to talk about my Winter Meetings experience in the first place!
Hey there future job seekers! I still remember exactly how I felt leaving Orlando (it was a lot of panic because I wasn’t sure if I had returned my first-ever rental car correctly.) I have since taken a job outside of baseball to pay the bills, started my own blog, and I even took up my old gameday role with the Rome Braves again over the summer.
It’s definitely a challenge to keep applying, keep working on getting my name out there, and to keep my head up that something is going to come along.
As far as the Job Fair goes, I absolutely think that it’s worth it to go to once. I don’t know if I would recommend the second trip. I was planted pretty firmly between being overqualified for entry-level jobs and underqualified for higher-level jobs.
With all of that being said, I definitely gained a lot from my experience in Orlando the second time around. Writing for Ben helped me find my voice and allowed me to start my own blog (kaseyatthebat.com) that has grown steadily in the past year. I met fellow job seeker Meredith who I still talk to every day. Lastly, I now know the layout of the Swan & Dolphin resort and Downtown Disney well enough to give some solid travel advice.
Thanks to Ian, Alex, Meredith and Kasey for sharing their perspectives. Stay tuned on Monday for the first installments from 2014’s crop of job-seeking journal writers.
Throughout this year’s Winter Meetings in Orlando, four attendees of the PBEO Job Fair kept a journal chronicling their employment-seeking experiences (meet them all HERE). In this installment, Meredith Perri (@meredithperri) provides a post-Meetings update.
When we last met, I was writing from the skies as I made my way back to Boston University a day earlier than many of the other job seekers. Well, I wrote those essays, worked a few shifts, finished up my final and took a nap or two. Then, when I probably should have been packing to go home for winter intercession, I sat on a couch in the lobby of my building, finally able to think about the adventure I had gone through a week earlier.
The Winter Meetings were one of those weird experiences for me – I feel like they just happened, with the thrill of getting a call for an interview or the adrenalin rush I would get the moment before I went up to network with someone. At the same time, it seems like months have passed since I ran from the Swan to the Dolphin trying to savor every exchange of my three-day trip.
Among the many things I came away with, I know that one of the best decisions I made was reaching out to a few industry professionals beforehand. Whether it was simply introducing myself or actually talking to them, I met people that have already helped me to move forward with my career. I also couldn’t be more grateful to my former supervisor over at SportsNet New York who, after I talked to him back in October, made sure I had a media credential while I was at the Meetings. With that lanyard I had the chance to see a few press conferences and ask a few more questions of those pros that I have a knack for tracking down.
At the same time, it was great reconnecting with and meeting other job seekers (I’m looking at my Cape Cod Baseball League companions and fellow journaler Kasey Decker on this one). While the main goal of the trip was to come away with a job, I really think one of the more essential experiences for me was talking to new people and learning about others’ experiences in the baseball industry.
So, with all of that said… where will I move all of my media guides and sports writing compilations after the pomp and circumstance in May?
I couldn’t tell you.
I had a couple interviews during the Job Fair that I think went incredibly well, and I am a finalist for one of those spots. I’m also a finalist for another job that I had applied for before making the trip down to Florida. While I was at the Meetings, I reached out to the coordinator for that position and had a chance to talk with him in person on my final day there.
Now I just have to wait patiently, something I’m admittedly not great at doing. If things turn out the way I hope, I could know in the next month. With my last semester of college, a spring internship and my work around campus, though, I have plenty of things to keep me distracted while I wait.
Thanks for following along as I made my way through the Winter Meetings. I hope you enjoyed reading about my experiences as much as I enjoyed writing about them. And, of course, thanks to Ben for the great opportunity.
And thanks to Meredith for providing such a great series of journal entries — I know that many of this blog’s readers are rooting for her! Tomorrow, we’ll hear from journaler Kasey Decker; Alex Reiner and Ian Fontenot are also playing the waiting game and will check in at a later date.
Throughout this year’s Winter Meetings in Orlando, 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, Meredith Perri (@meredithperri) reflects on a whirlwind couple of days while wondering what the future has in store.
Instead of writing today’s post from my hotel room as I did for the first two entries, this one comes from a few thousand feet in the air. As Ben noted yesterday, I had to leave the Winter Meetings early in order to get back to school and take care of a few finals. What better time is there to write than when you can’t have anything – including a cellphone – distract you?
OK, so I do have a crying baby sitting in front of me, but anyway…
While Monday was about networking and organized chaos, Tuesday was about finishing up strong. I was exhausted after only getting a couple hours of sleep the night before, but, as I mentioned yesterday, it was completely worth it.
Rather than go to the Job Fair first thing in the morning, I went up to the media area to see what I could do for SportsNet New York. Then, around 10:00, after I ran into fellow Job-Seeking Journaler Ian Fontenot, I had my third interview of the week – one set up because a team reached out to me after reading the introductory post for these journals. Unfortunately, since I am graduating in May, I couldn’t fill the position. Although this was established in the first few minutes, the conversation went on for 20 minutes or so, as we discussed new ways to produce content about teams.
Following my interview, I made a quick trip to the job fair where I met up with Kasey Decker once again. We then met Ben and the fourth journaler, Alex Reiner, for the first time and took a few photos that look a bit like they belong in an awkward family picture album.
— Lynn University (@LynnUSportsMgmt) December 10, 2013
I spent the rest of my morning with SNY watching the Curtis Granderson press conference, shooting some behind-the-scenes footage and just taking in everything I could up in the media area. Thanks to my busy night of networking on Monday, I had the chance to talk with someone who runs an internship program I had applied for before I came down to Orlando. After having that conversation – who knows, you might hear more about this later if everything works out – I went back to SNY to say my goodbyes and thank them for letting me tag along for the two days before heading back down to the Job Fair.
At that point I only had two hours before I needed to leave for my flight, so I sat with Kasey and our friends from Monday. While each of them went back and forth from interviews to the table and from the interviewing posting board to the table, I found out that I had another networking opportunity, this one courtesy of my older brother. With just minutes before I left the meetings, I talked to one final person, capping off a fairly successful day.
Once I catch up on my sleep – which, with finals coming up, might take some time – I’m sure I’ll have more to reflect on from this brief, but extremely worthwhile adventure. For now, though, I’m beyond thrilled that I left the Meetings knowing that the work I’ve done over the past three years was worth it; I networked as much as I possibly could and I met some extremely talented people along the way.
Good luck to Kasey, Ian and Alex today!
That’ll be it from Meredith for now, but stay tuned! She’ll provide a final post at some point in the near future, updating us all on her what her next step may be.
Throughout this year’s Winter Meetings in Orlando, 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, Meredith Perri (@meredithperri) lands her first interviews amid a barrage of hotel lobby networking.
I honestly did not know what to expect when I got to the Swan on Tuesday, but by the end of the day, it seemed like one phrase accurately depicted my experience from start to finish: organized chaos.
Now, that isn’t a bad thing, it’s just what happens when a few hundred job seekers sit in one room anxiously waiting for someone to post a new position or an interview schedule on one of the boards.
I made my way over to the job posting room at 8:30, forgetting that the area didn’t open until 9:00. I wasn’t the only one. Fellow job seekers were scattered throughout the hallways as they waited to see the results from the previous night’s bombardment of the job posting room. When the it opened up, I didn’t see anything, but that was fine. I had worked out my schedule so I would have something to do other than play the wait-and-see game.
Before coming out to the Winter Meetings, I got in touch with a few people that I knew from Twitter, Boston University or SportsNet New York. I’m lucky that my supervisor from when I interned at SNY not only encouraged me to come to the meetings, but also got me involved with the outlet’s online coverage. So, once I didn’t see any new teams to apply to, I made my way back to the Dolphin and picked up my media credential.
I was just about to head back to the Swan to scan the postings again when one of my friends told me that I had an interview. I hustled to the other hotel, signed up for a time in the early evening and did another walk through before going back to the Dolphin to meet up with a beat reporter that I reached out to on Twitter.
During one of my trips to check the latest postings, I ran into [fellow journal writer] Kasey [Decker] in the hallway. We could not have had better timing. As we went from basic introductions to how our experiences were so far, I received a text from a general manger asking if I was near the PBEO area and if I had time to meet with him. Within the next hour I had completed my first interview and felt a lot better about the entire process. A few hours later, I had my second interview, and was even more encouraged.
I found Kasey and a few people she had introduced me to after my interview, and I learned quickly that having a group of people to battle through the now-swamped lobby was a good thing. I stayed with them until a BU alum and beat reporter who has been incredibly helpful during my job hunt was free to chat. Over the course of the next two-plus hours he introduced me to a dozen or so people from different media outlets and beyond.
The evening could not have turned out better.
Now it’s time to pack my bags and head to my final day at the meetings. I have one more interview this morning and hopefully a few more people to speak with before I leave. Maybe it was the organized chaos, but I cannot believe how short my time in Florida was. Regardless, I have one more day, and I’m ready to go.
Note: Meredith is returning to school on Wednesday in order to take her final exams. The other three journal writers will remain in Orlando until Thursday. Check back tomorrow for Meredith’s final entry of the week.
Throughout this year’s Winter Meetings in Orlando, 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, Meredith Perri re-connects with former co-workers and learns what it means to “work” in baseball.
About 12 hours after I first stepped into the Dolphin Resort, I stood in the lobby and looked on as Ron Darling finished taping a show for MLB Network. He had walked by me a few minutes earlier, and it became my goal to talk to him before I left for the night. I had met him once while interning for SportsNet New York, and while I figured he didn’t remember me, it seemed like a decent way to start up a conversation.
After the show wrapped, I walked over to where Darling stood signing autographs and practiced my introduction in my head. A few moments later, he walked over to me, smiled and shook my hand as I told him my name and about my time at SNY. He wished me luck with my job search and both of us went on our merry ways.
Now, why would I start off my first journal entry with this anecdote? It actually has little to do with talking to Darling, although that was one of the highlights of my first day at the Winter Meetings. As I waited to speak with Darling, a fan made the comment to him that the next few days would probably be very busy. Darling smiled a bit and agreed, but responded that when it’s baseball it isn’t really work.
I’ve heard writers and other industry professionals make similar statements before, but Darling’s comment perfectly articulated the main thing that I took out of the Business of Baseball Workshop – if you’re passionate about something, it doesn’t necessarily feel like a job.
So, now back to 12 hours earlier when I made my way into the ballroom for the seminar.
After reading last year’s journal entries, I knew what to expect when I got to the workshop. That doesn’t mean, though, that I wasn’t thrilled to see a familiar face as one of the broadcasters from the Cape Cod Baseball League, Justin Rocke, also made the trip down to Florida.
The two of us sat together as speaker after speaker made sure that every person in attendance understood that working in the baseball industry is not easy. Of course, each one of them had their own entertaining way of explaining this.
No matter what the speaker talked about, though, they all eventually told a story about their experience either at the Winter Meetings or working for a team. Some of them were inspiring, like Pawtucket Red Sox general sales manager Cookie Rojas’ photo story of why he has the coolest job. Others sounded more like war stories as speakers detailed their attempts to get ice off of tarps and mishaps during on-field promotions.
Even the more harrowing – although thoroughly entertaining – stories, though, made me think about the passion it takes to work a job where, to quote Todd “Parney” Parnell, the Vice President and COO of the Richmond Flying Squirrels, you work “25 hours a day, 8 days a week, 13 months a year.”
Baseball is a business, and that, clearly, was the main focus of today’s seminar. At the same time, though, it takes a certain kind of person to find joy in this type of non-stop lifestyle.
Like many of the other job seekers, I’ve put in a lot of hours at internships and miscellaneous jobs to get here. Those stories only encouraged me even more to get into the business. Now it’s time to see where my passion and those previous experiences will take me.
Check back tomorrow — and throughout the week — for much more from Meredith and her three fellow job-seeking journalers.