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 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 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 second installment, Will Privette goes through the interview process and, eventually, orders off the kids menu.
What’s in an interview?
Day two of the 2015 Winter Meetings got off to a good, early start. I woke up at 8 a.m. and quickly got ready for my first interview with an American League team an hour later. Skipping breakfast, I made it over to the Opryland’s Magnolia lobby and met with the gentleman that was going to interview me. The interview lasted 20 or 30 minutes and was pretty standard. He asked me about my experience with my previous two internships and I gave the rundown of how the two internships were both “video,” but the two were very different regarding how each organization went about capturing the video for the players and coaching staff. My main focus in my interviews is to try and make that connection right off the bat. I feel communication is key and having a great rapport with a potential boss from the moment you meet will only help. I felt the interview went pretty well and I should be hearing back if I make it to the next “round” in the next week or so.
After my interview I went back to the hotel room and rested a tiny bit. You have to have a very high motor to endure the Winter Meetings, so after a quick break I got back at it. I hung out in the main lobby area and ran into a few people within baseball that I knew and caught up with them before my second interview with a National League team in the early afternoon. This interview was quite interesting as well, hearing how they run their video operation and what exactly the internship would entail. After my two interviews I spent the rest of the afternoon talking to more people in the lobby and checking in with all the trade and signing rumors that were going on throughout the day.
One bit of advice that I will give people reading this and have the aspiration to attend the Winter Meetings next year (in D.C.), is do not forget to eat. I know that sounds silly to say, but eating or drinking goes on the backburner when you’re in the heat of the moment trying to worry about all your interviews and networking. You get tunnel vision and say “oh, I’ll eat later” and then later comes and you keep putting it off. I did just that today. I ate a muffin after my first interview and that was it and developed a headache that I just couldn’t shake. Finally around six I ordered the kids chicken tenders with fries and it quickly alleviated my pain. (It was awesome, by the way.) So the moral of the story is stay hydrated and don’t forget to eat. That’s Will’s Words of Wisdom for today. Until tomorrow… ~Thrill
Where’s there’s a Will, is there a way to get a job? Stay tuned tomorrow for the next installment.
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 first installment, Will Privette gets the lay of the land.
Note: Will did not register for the PBEO Job Fair, and is seeking employment independently.
Since graduating from NC State I have been a video intern for the Cleveland Indians (2014) and the Atlanta Braves (2015). So, you may ask, “What is a video intern? Do you control the video board?” No, that’s not me. A video intern for a MLB team uses software (usually BATS) to record and chart the entire game from four or five different angles around the ballpark. Once the game is over, you take all those angles that you captured and then sync them all together so a player can look at his at-bat from all of these angles at once. My angle here at the Winter Meetings? To further my baseball career.
This is my third time attending the Meetings, so I feel like a veteran of this four-day event. Last year in San Diego I heard stories of how large the Gaylord Opryland Hotel is, but I will tell you that never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined just how massive it is. I am glad I got here on Saturday, instead of the typical Sunday arrival, because I spent all of Saturday afternoon and evening trying to find my way around this nine-acre resort. Sunday was very low-key for me. I spent the beginning of the day looking at all the clothes I had brought to Nashville.
I always over-pack, it never fails.
I brought three suits, 10 button-downs and seven ties for three days of interviews. It may be excessive, but I couldn’t lock down exactly what I wanted to wear each day before I arrived. As of now I have Monday’s suit combination picked out, but the rest will be a game-time decision. Today, for the most part, I did one of my favorite things at the Winter Meetings: people watch. I observed so many young faces who looked exhausted, excited and maybe a little scared walk back and forth between the ballrooms, passing by the MLB Network set and down the escalators to get a quick bite to eat before having to head back the other way for another event.
In the evening I hung around the lobby area and spoke to three first-year Winter Meeting attendees. I asked which facets of baseball they were interested in, and if they had made any contacts with teams yet. They picked my brain and I offered advice based on my past experiences. I enjoyed it, having the “veteran” job seeker role. After that, I met the other four Job Seeker Journal Writers and we did some one-on-one video interviews and talked about our experiences and expectations thus far. One little tidbit that was easily the highlight of my day occurred on the way back from the one-on-ones. I happened to run into a very good friend of mine, David Bell. Bell is the current bench coach of the St. Louis Cardinals. I haven’t seen him in person in three years so it was very nice to catch up with him. He was here because his father, Buddy, was receiving an award Sunday night. It was a nice surprise to run into one of my baseball mentors and catch up; it capped off a great first day. Now I am heading to bed because two interviews are waiting for me on Monday, beginning at 9 a.m.! Let’s go!
Will tomorrow’s events thrill Will the Thrill, or will they lack full-thrillment? Stay tuned.
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!