Yes, Jose Reyes and Albert Pujols talks at the 2011 MLB Winter Meetings in Dallas, Texas are important. However there are many other events behind the scenes in Dallas that are extremely beneficial to people such as myself. As an intern with the Syracuse Chiefs this past season, I was given advice to take the trip down to Dallas and attend the PBEO Job Fair, which happens annually every year at the meetings. I took the advice the Chiefs had given me, and find myself with the world of baseball at my fingertips. I was asked to describe my experience thus far about how the Job Fair works.
On Sunday December 3 I attended a Business of Baseball Workshop, which gave me an opportunity to listen to many important executives in the industry. The workshop began at 8:30am and continued until around 4:30pm.
Pat O’Connor, the President and CEO of Minor League Baseball spoke about “Positioning Yourself for Success”. He discussed that the Hilton Anatole is a very memorable place for MiLB because in 1992, the constitution and bylaws of MiLB had been written. He told us the easiest way to get far in this industry is to:
1) Outwork others
2) Give your best everyday
3) Develop healthy habits to help you become reliable, and consistent for your organization.
4) Be honest to yourself, others around you, and your network.
5) Have respect for the game
6) Listen more than your speak, you have two ears for a reason
7) “Be a prospect, not a project”
Katie Dannemiller, Vice President of Baseball Operations, Greensboro Grasshoppers talked to us about the importance of enhancing the baseball experience for the fans. Baseball is an entertainment business as much as it is a game. I was able to ask a question in regards to my service in the military. I asked during Q and A, ” Having served the military early on in my career, would you consider service in the military a skill set or a previous job”? Katie responded to me that, “Definitely it is a skill set that many others will not have such as leadership and maturity”.
Lee Folger, President and Publisher of Baseball America discussed the importance of attending baseball games as a fan. He described after being involved at a ballpark and then watch games on TV you appreciate the game more, and the time that is put in to make sure your time at the ballpark is nothing short of spectacular. He explained that there are too many things to plug into for fans, specifically the teenagers, which is why the generation coming up is more football sport driven. Lastly, he talked about how soccer has such a great youth rate but does not have the same production professionally. Soccer has no commercials, and is a very fast game so to speak, so it makes you wonder.
Others who spoke before opening of the Job Posting room were:
Martie Cordaro, President and General Manager, Omaha Storm Chasers
Juliana Paoli, Chief Marketing Officer, San Jose Giants
Sam Bernabe, President and General Manager, Iowa Cubs
Mike Tamburro, President, Pawtucket Red Sox
Ken Young, President, Norfolk Tides
When the Job Posting room opened initially, hundreds of job seekers flocked to the third floor of the Hilton Anatole to find them overwhelmed by the amount of people competing for jobs. Over 200 jobs were posted on Sunday, with many more to follow on Monday. You were asked to take down the job number, team name, and job position. I applied for over fifteen positions on Sunday from sales to team development job titles. You then write the information on your resume, which is then put into the proper container. Each container is labeled 1-50, 51-100, 101-150, and so on. The following day, teams receive resumes from the 500 job seekers and post names on a sheet of paper that is hung up on the wall in a different section of the Job Posting room. When your name is posted on the wall, you are to sign up for interview times and then wait for your slotted time to interview.
This all happens right in the middle of baseball’s mecca for the upcoming week. In a hotel that is literally turned into a massive studio for ESPN, MLB.com, MLB Network, YES, SNY, local Dallas news, and many more. With names like Ron Washington and Ozzie Guillen walking around speaking to anyone, the lobby is a fun place to network and take in everything that is happening. The 2011 Winter Meetings have proved to me why I want to be involved in baseball. The people in the business really are in place to help you get better and get you to where you want to go. I recommend anyone who is passionate about baseball to consider attending the meetings just for the experience alone.
The time I have had thus far has brought motivation and confidence to do the best I can to get ahead in this industry. I have met people from all over the world, and hope to look forward to working with all of them.
From Dallas, Texas this has been Brandon Massey (Syracuse Chiefs Summer Intern 2011), LETS GO GET A JOB!