Job-Seeker Journal: Clint Belau, 12/3/12
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, Clint Belau finds himself becoming part of “one big semi-functional family.” Clint’s first entry can be found HERE.
Monday, 12/3/12: Hurry Up and Wait
The word of the day was patience. The interview scheduling room didn’t open until 9AM, which is late when you’re someone who woke up at 5 due to uncontrollable excitement. I took the opportunity to check out the MLBTV sets first thing in the morning. The madness has begun, and the overall action in the hotel’s various lobbies has increased tenfold since yesterday. Essentially, everyone who is anyone in baseball is here, and they’re all now roaming amongst the commoners. Trying to keep my head from spinning as I attempt to keep up with all of the baseball celebrities around me has become a concern.
As the bell struck 9, the interview scheduling room was flooded with eager baseball wannabes, all assuming the posting boards would be full of lists with their name on them. Well, they couldn’t have been more wrong. In fact, there were three jobs that had interview lists posted. You could almost hear the collective inner thought of “um…what?” running through everyone’s mind. It became immediately apparent that today would be a day of waiting.
As the morning progressed, more lists were posted. At 10:39, I saw my name on a list for the first time. Was it the greatest feeling of elation ever? No, but it was quite a relief. The “team name that shall remain anonymous” wanted to speak with me. I penned my name in the 11:15 interview slot, and with that, had secured my first interview of the week. At 11:07, I nervously stood in the interview room, waiting for the previous interviewee to wrap it up, so I could meet with my prospective employer. At 11:15 sharp, I began what would be the best first round interview of my life. Within seconds, it was confirmed. I’ve finally chosen the right path for my life. I’m very rarely more comfortable than when I’m around baseball…and that has obviously carried over into my professional pursuit. A twenty minute interview felt like two seconds. And in seemingly an instant, it was over. The gentlemen who had interviewed me were now handing me their cards and offering to buy me a beer at the bar later. And, being from Wisconsin, it’s deeply embedded in my DNA to never, ever, turn down a free beer.
Back to the majority of the day, which was spent hanging out in the workroom area, then checking, then re-checking, then checking again, then borderline obsessing over the job posting and interview scheduling boards. That was typically followed by conversations with other job seekers about how there didn’t seem to be much movement. However, it was a great time to trade stories with fellow attendees. Calling it a friendly group is comparable to calling the the Opryland Hotel mid-sized. Everyone was bouncing around from table to table, getting to know each other. It was as unstuffy as unstuffy could possibly be. Occasionally, veterans of the business would pop in to offer their advice, encouragement and general well wishes. One thing that stood out for me is how much everyone in the business seems to look out for each other. It really does appear to be one big semi-functional family.
During the afternoon, the posting boards picked up. I had another interview during which I was so relaxed it was suspicious. Having two interviews seemed to be the overall average for the day. As the 5 o’clock posting room closure hour drew near, talk shifted from “how has your day gone” to “where are we drinking tonight?” After all, networking is key. And the opportunity to be rubbing elbows with such a ridiculous number of baseball greatest minds is not to be passed up.
And this brings us to the most completely awesome story of the day – After meeting the creator himself, Benjamin Hill, for a couple drinks at the bar, I bellied up to close out my tab. As I was doing so, I looked over my shoulder and saw none other than Eric Wedge. Between checking to see if I was having a heart attack, and assuring myself that my bladder remained under control, I mustered up enough courage to offer to buy him a drink. Not only did he pull a complete reversal and buy ME a drink, but we proceeded to have a lengthy chat about the Mariners, my current situation, and the Winter Meetings in general. As a devoted Mariners fan, I cannot imagine there will be a bigger highlight for me this week. If I can say that there was one specific experience that made this entire trip “worth it”, that was it. Yes, jobs are fantastic, and I certainly hope I leave here with one, but I believe life is about experiences, and that was an experience that will remain with me forever.