Results tagged ‘ Job-seeker Journals ’

Winter Meetings Job-Seeker Journal: Ian Fontenot, the Exciting Conclusion

Throughout the 2013 Winter Meetings in Orlando, four attendees of the PBEO Job Fair kept a journal chronicling their employment-seeking experiences (meet them all HERE). The last time we heard from Ian Fontenot was on December 11, when he expressed a cautious optimism in regard to landing a “full-time marketing opportunity” with an unidentified Minor League club. Now, two months later, he has checked in one final time. Read on to find out where Ian will be working in 2014, and how it all came about. 

Ian Fontenot- HeadshotBig Risk, Big Reward

Hello, all. When I last created a journal entry two months ago, I left you with a bit of a cliff hanger as to where I’d end up after an exciting and stressful Winter Meetings experience. I took a big risk and gave up a great internship opportunity to pursue what I deemed to be a perfect fit for what I was looking for when I arrived in Orlando: a full time position.

Since declining my two internship offers from the Winter Meetings, I graduated from LSU and moved back home to Port Barre, LA to wait out the decision-making process and sell myself to more organizations. As I continued the interviews with my prospective full time job, I got more calls and emails for more internships. I got a few more offers, which added to the risk of waiting for a final answer from the job I wanted. I basically reached the point of no return as I turned down another perfect internship to continue the wait. (I won’t name any teams, but let’s just say I’d be living on the beach for the next several months.) Then, I got the call I had been waiting for.

Exactly two months from the date of my first interview with the team, I received an offer to become the newly created Marketing Manager for the Staten Island Yankees. And of course, I accepted…after a grand total of seven interviews and a trip to Richmond County Bank Ballpark, which has the absolute best view of the Manhattan skyline. In less than two weeks, I’ll be starting a chapter of my life in New York. Coming from the smallest of towns in Louisiana, I know this is going to be one hell of a transition, but I couldn’t be more excited for the challenge. More than anything, I’m relieved that the numerous risks I’ve taken since leaving Orlando have paid off, because if not, I’d be writing to you explaining the opportunity cost of taking risks with your future.

If I have any advice for future job seekers in professional baseball, it would be to always keep your head up during your search. When I signed up to attend the Job Fair, I was hoping for the best, but certainly didn’t expect to be offered the opportunities I was presented. At the Winter Meetings, anything can become possible if you’re prepared for it.

Congrats to Ian on landing the job! I’ll make sure to visit him in Staten Island this summer. 

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

twitter.com/bensbiz

Winter Meetings Job-Seeker Journals: Kasey Decker Finds the Silver Linings

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, Kasey Decker (@KDSmoove) provides a post-Meetings update.

Kasey Decker

I was not excited about going to the Winter Meetings this year in a job-seeker capacity, but I was definitely going to make the best of it. I had been successful the first time I went and had high hopes for this year. I was completely confident that I would come back to Atlanta with a job offer.

Having worked in baseball in some way for the past eight seasons I had plenty of people to catch up with and I felt like I had a lot of potential for landing that ever-elusive “dream job.” I was not expecting the levels of frustration and disappointment that I encountered this year.

Ever the optimist, I treated it as a learning experience. I made the best of every opportunity, I submitted my resume for jobs outside of my comfort zone, and I caught up with people who had helped me grow in my career. Although I did not have the days full of interviews from my first Job Fair trip, I took it as a sign to build and strengthen professional connections outside of the interview room.

I learned that while the Job Fair is teeming with opportunities for those looking to get started in baseball, it’s very tough for someone with a fair amount of experience looking for more than an internship. If someone were to ask me if I thought the experience was worthwhile for someone trying to start his or her career, I would absolutely recommend it. If that person were to tell me that they were looking for a full time, forever job, I would be more wary.

I wrote about that elusive job I was confident that I was ideal for, that I was doing everything in my power to prove that I was the best candidate for, and I did do everything in my power. It turns out I wasn’t the candidate that they were looking for, but I won’t let that discourage me. I probably would not have received advice on continuing my career and an upfront answer as to why I wasn’t the right candidate had I not gone to the Winter Meetings and found out exactly who to contact regarding that position.

All in all, the PBEO Job Fair gave me access to networking opportunities and a chance to get my name out there. Also, this blogging experience gave me the opportunity to make a friend in fellow job seeker Meredith Perri that I probably otherwise would not have met. I have confidence that I will do well in the baseball world; it’s just going to take patience to find that right fit.

Thanks to Kasey for sharing her experiences throughout the Winter Meetings. Her knowledge of and passion for Minor League Baseball is made immediately evident through her writing; I (and I’m sure many others) are rooting for her to one day snag that ever-elusive “dream job.”

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

twitter.com/bensbiz 

Winter Meetings Job-Seeker Journals: Alex Reiner, December 11, 2013

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, his fourth and final installment of the week, Alex Reiner creeps ever closer to that most elusive of creatures: a job. 

AlexReinerHeadshot

 

Those Days are Gone

What is that vibe that I got in the halls of the Dolphin Resort on Wednesday of Winter Meetings?

From the baseball executives, it definitively was the sense of getting down to business. From the hundreds of PBEO job seekers, it was mixed: Some attendees were on emotional highs, busy with multiple interviews and endless schmoozing; others were suffering from major buzz kills, aimlessly wandering around hoping for that job-opportunity cell phone call that had not yet come.

And me? I was somewhere in the middle – taking my swings in the cages, ready for my big at-bat.

I went back to the Swan and noticed that one more of the internships I had applied for had been posted. This team was offering eight different jobs and internships on the same listing, but had only placed four names on its interview posting. I viewed this internship as my “reach” so I really wasn’t discouraged when I didn’t see my name on the board. Honestly, I was extremely under-qualified, and viewed my chances of getting an interview with this team similar to Ben Revere hitting a 600-foot bomb off of a Tim Wakefield knuckleball. But like our Little League coaches taught all of us: you cannot get a hit if you don’t swing the bat. In the interview box score, I’m now 2-for-3.

I applied for two other internships. The first had not yet reached out to me. I submitted a resume at the Job Fair and I sent them an email. The organization was from up north, so I wanted to guess that they just got caught in the winter storms and could not fly down. Maybe I will hear from them soon. But in the meantime, we will chalk it up as a foul ball.

The second internship opportunity offered some seriously positive possibilities. I met with those executives in the lobby of the Dolphin and we seemed to really connect. I’m mid at-bat on that one, but it’s looking really good.

After all that, I headed over to our Lynn University Sports Management booth in the Trade Show. As it has done each of the last eight years, my university had arranged for more than a dozen speakers to come to the booth throughout the week and talk about their experiences in the industry. They were terrific!

The absolutely brilliant writer who runs this blog, the genius Ben Hill, spoke superbly about the key business elements of Minor League Baseball – along with the value of learning how to suck up appropriately. Bruce Baldwin, the ever-affable general manger of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, educated us on pimento-and-cheese sandwiches, RC Cola and grits (translation: the importance of knowing your market). Jonathan Maurer, president of Millennium Sports Management, gave an excellent talk, touching on the different responsibilities of a sports agent – he notes that he has two families: one with his wife and kids, and one with 25 ballplayers. Dan Foster, chief executive officer of the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association, broke down his complex and extremely valuable organization, which ranges from memorabilia sales to pension funds to insurance plans.

After our last meeting at our booth, I did a final lap – through the Trade Show, around the Dolphin lobby, into the Swan, a final check of the job boards, and then back to the Dolphin – and totaled up our weekend. Of the seven of us Lynn University Sports Management students who came to the Winter Meetings to actively seek jobs or internships, five of us had offers before the end of the Job Fair. We had all been slashing our way through the baseball employment jungle and we are all a whole lot closer to where we want to be than before we had arrived at this year’s Winter Meetings.

As for me, I’m pretty sure that I just heard that bamboo lemur that I had been searching for ruffling in the bushes.

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

twitter.com/bensbiz

Winter Meetings Job-Seeker Journals: Kasey Decker, December 11, 2013

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, her fourth installment, Kasey Decker overcomes a sluggish start and stays the course amid continued uncertainty. 

Kasey Decker

 

So this blog entry is coming to you directly from gate 105 in the Orlando airport. The down time at the gate gives me plenty of time to collect my thoughts from the last day of my job seeking adventure. I’m a little sad that we have reached the end of this journey.

Wednesday got off to a rocky start because I simply could not get my act together. I blame the hotel’s lack of free coffee and continental breakfast. I somehow managed to make it to the workroom before my interview and even had a chance to grab a cup of coffee. I think it’s safe to say that today was a very frustrating day for most of us who didn’t have finals to get back to (looking at you, Meredith!) because there was very little change in the scheduled interviews. I’d take the “hurry up and wait” day over absolutely no change any day.

Around 3:30 we officially learned that there would be no more interviews scheduled, aside from those that were currently posted. Taking that as a sign, we headed back into the Dolphin portion of the hotel for some prime people watching and reminiscing before going our separate ways. Today felt like the very last day of summer camp where everyone exchanges hugs and friendship bracelets, promises to stay in touch, and we all laugh over the ridiculous stories we’re heading home with.

I hate to disappoint anyone hoping to read about how I arrived to find that I had landed the interview for the dream job and rocked that interview – but that just wasn’t the case. I monitored the interview boards, shot off a couple of e-mails, and tried everything in my control to find out the status of this position. I am operating 100% under the cliché “no news is good news.” As long as I haven’t heard that the position has been filled with another candidate, I will continue to work towards it.

I may not be heading back to Atlanta giddy with the promise of a new adventure and my dream job, but I’m not boarding this plane empty-handed either. I made new friends, reconnected with former friends and colleagues, and gained an incredibly detailed understanding of exactly how rental cars work (there are a lot of tricks that you should know about…) I wouldn’t trade my experiences at the PBEO Job Fairs and Winter Meetings for anything. I feel that I should probably stop here before I get too nostalgic and sappy.

And stop here she did. We’ll hear from Kasey one more time, later in the month, with an update on how this has all panned out. In the meantime, on behalf of all who read her journals this week: thank you!

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

twitter.com/bensbiz

Winter Meetings Job-Seeker Journals: Ian Fontenot, December 11, 2013

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, Ian Fontenot weighs his options, takes a calculated risk, and leaves Orlando on a high note. 

Ian Fontenot- Headshot

Last, But Not Least

The final day of the Winter Meetings for job seekers was upon us. After a long night of enjoying what was left of my time at Walt Disney World, I was drained, but excited about my final interview of the week. This was the first full-time position I’d be interviewing for, so naturally I was pumped. What was more exciting was the fact that this job was in a BIG market (more about that later). The second that the team’s CEO described what he was looking for in the position, I knew I had to have it. My demeanor went from sluggish and dragging to elated instantly. This interview was the first time I’ve came right out and told the interviewer I was exactly what he was looking for…or so I hope. With a great offer from a great club already in my back pocket, I knew this would throw a new wrinkle into the equation. As per usual, my gut feeling was right. My previous offer needed a decision by the end of the week, while my new prospect wouldn’t be making an offer until after Christmas. Talk about a sticky situation, but if there’s one thing I learned this week, you have to take risks in this industry to get what you want. I’ve never been more positive that an interview went swimmingly, but what happens if I don’t get the job? I’ll go from being in a near perfect situation to having nothing. Challenge accepted!

Everything around the Job Fair was now winding down. New job postings came to a screeching halt, and interview schedules were slowly pulled down. Talking to several fellow job seekers, I got a mix of sentiments toward the process. While there were many who were excited about getting tons of interviews and accepting offers that will potentially alter their lives, there were also many who not only went the last few days without getting contacted by any clubs, but didn’t see an interview list for their positions altogether. According to PBEO [Professional Baseball Employment Opportunities], there were 503 jobs posted with 506 job seekers in attendance. In theory, there should be a job available for nearly every person here. However, it appeared that less than half of those postings came with an interview schedule. That’s most likely due to the fact that lots of clubs contacted interviewees directly, which was the case for me in a few instances. Regardless of my situation, I couldn’t help but feel bad for those who weren’t as fortunate as myself. Making the trip to the Winter Meetings and putting yourself out there is no small feat.

In closing, I have to say that this week has been the most rewarding and exciting experience ever. I’ve made friends and connections that will last a lifetime. I may not know what the future holds for me just yet, but that’s okay. I’m a firm believer in the saying, “Everything happens for a reason.” I’ve never been more positive that I’m pursuing the right thing, and I know I’ll end up where I’m meant to be. To all my fellow job seekers/new professional baseball employees, good luck! To all those who will be pursuing jobs in the industry in the future, work hard and prepare yourself for when opportunity knocks. And lastly, a HUGE thanks to Ben Hill for allowing me to share my experience with you all! I can’t wait to fill you guys in on where this journey takes me.

As Ian intimated in the above paragraph, he will be contributing one final blog post once his new employment situation — whatever it may be — becomes final. In the meantime, a big thanks to Ian for contributing journal entries throughout the week.

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

twitter.com/bensbiz 

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