Job Seeker Journals: An Update from Katie Carlson
I am currently recruiting PBEO Job Fair attendees to write about their Winter Meetings job-seeking experience (but not for much longer!) With that in mind, throughout the week I’m running guest posts from last year’s crop of Job Seeker Journal writers. Today we hear from Katie Carlson, who is now on the East Coast after a stint on the West.
What a year it has been! Memories come flooding back as I recall my first Winter Meetings experience; the friends I made, and the lessons I learned. I loved attending the Winter Meetings, and had every intention of packing my bag for Nashville come December. But, to quote the great Yogi Berra, “If you come to a fork in the road, take it.” I did just that.
Instead of heading to Nashville for more networking and job seeking, I packed up my life in San Francisco and moved cross country to New York City, where I recently began a job as a National Team Coordinator for the World Baseball Classic. My office is in the Commissioner’s Office, and I am fortunate to be working with Major League Baseball, the Player’s Association and the World Baseball-Softball Confederation to prepare for the 2016 Qualifiers and 2017 World Baseball Classic. I am absolutely loving my job and all my coworkers, and starting to settle in to the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple.
But let me backtrack a little bit. If you remember, last year I was a senior at Stanford who left the Winter Meetings with a lot of uncertainty about the future. The only thing I knew was that I was even more certain that I wanted to have a career in baseball. Though I did not leave the Winter Meetings with a job in hand, I still believe the experience was 100% worth it. What was valuable to me about the Winter Meetings was the panels, presentations and networking. In fact, some of the people who spoke on panels last year, and who I admired so much, are now my superiors. Funny how things come full circle. Knowing that I wanted to work in Baseball Ops, the Job Fair was not very helpful for me, since it mainly deals with Minor League jobs. My best advice for someone attending this year who wants to work in Baseball Ops is to proactively set up meetings with people in various organizations. Even if these meetings are just informational, you never know where they may lead.
In January of last year, I was approached by the San Francisco Giants to interview for a position in their Baseball Ops department. The reason they remembered me? I had networked with several people in the department over the course of the last year. After several rounds of interviews, I was hired as the Baseball Operations Intern for the 2015 season! It was a dream come true and I treasured every day that I got to walk to 24 Willie Mays Plaza for work. I began my internship in April, while I was still at Stanford, working from 9 to 6 while taking classes from 7 to 9. It was a grind, but I had never been happier. From Opening Day, when all Giants employees were given orange carnations to wear, to bowling with the scouts before the Draft to calling in some of the Giants’ picks on Draft Day, I had the most amazing experience. I am so grateful to everyone in the Giants organization who welcomed me and took me under their wing. I learned more in my seven months with the team than I would have ever imagined.
But all good things come to an end. Since 2015 is an odd year, the Giants did not make the playoffs and the season ended in early October. I began preparing myself for more job applications and interviews and for a trip to the 2015 Winter Meetings. But just before my internship was about to end, one of my supervisors advised me to apply for this opportunity with Major League Baseball. I was so excited about the opportunity that I applied that night. And here, one month later, I am writing to you from New York!
You never know where this crazy baseball life is going to take you. A year ago, I never would’ve guessed that my life would go on this trajectory, but I am so grateful that I have been guided along this path. I have met the most wonderful people and I feel so fortunate that baseball brought these people into my life. I have gotten to live in Cape Cod, Los Angeles, San Francisco and now New York. And now I will get to travel the world (Mexicali here I come!) while doing what I love. Good luck to all those attending the Winter Meetings and the Job Fair — it truly is an incredible journey. Thank you to Ben Hill and all of you who have taken the time to read along.