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Job-seeker Journal: Meetings Day 3
Four candidates navigate competitive Meetings job fair setting
12/11/2013 4:04 PM ET
Look out for journals from Kasey Decker, Ian Fontenot, Meredith Perri and Alex Reiner (left to right).
Look out for journals from Kasey Decker, Ian Fontenot, Meredith Perri and Alex Reiner (left to right). 

Throughout this year's Baseball Winter Meetings in Orlando, four attendees of the PBEO Job Fair have agreed to keep a journal chronicling their employment-seeking experiences. (Meet them here.) Check back throughout the week for more from our four job-seekers.

Alex Reiner: Calm, cool, not-so collected
Dec. 10

Today was a big day for me. After arriving at the job fair nice and early, I was pleasantly surprised to see that I had two interviews. Since the other two jobs had not yet been posted, I was 2-for-2. This also meant that I had my FIRST REAL INTERVIEW EVER today. As everyone knows, nerves can cause some major, and sometimes dangerous side effects. I'll cut to the chase; I managed to sweat through three layers of clothes, I lost my appetite (if you knew how much I usually eat, you would be in shock), I now know what it feels like when your heart contracts to about the size of a peanut, then detonates like a grenade. The weirdest feeling though was this sensation in the back of my throat. It felt as if there was a planet with an orbiting moon in there, and the moon kept orbiting faster and faster to the point where the moon was on the brink of misaligning and flying out in to the depths of outer space. Read the rest of the entry »


Ian Fontenot: No rest for the wicked
Dec. 10

Its 5:30 a.m. on Tuesday, and my bed in the Best Western is extremely comfortable. With only a few hours of sleep to refuel me, I struggled to get out of bed, but this morning will be a critical networking opportunity. I got the chance to volunteer for the Baseball Industry Network Baseball Winter Meetings Morning Meet-up, where some of the best in the business will be available to chat. Just by sitting at a table and signing people in, I was able to strike up some great and useful conversations. There were plenty of guys who work in baseball operations hanging around, which made getting up so early 100 percent worth it. Read the rest of the entry »


Kasey Decker: 'Day goes down in the books as a success'
Dec. 10

Tuesday was definitely a completely different animal than Monday. Everyone has realized the odds of any interviews being posted promptly at 9:00 am are slim and the workroom is a little more relaxed. Relaxed enough even for the group I was with to knock out the USA Today crossword puzzle while we're waiting to hear about postings or for interviews. The lack of readily available WiFi for those of us not staying in the hotel has caused us to be more creative. Read the rest of the entry »


Meredith Perri: Wrapping up in the sky
Dec. 10

While Monday was about networking and organized chaos, Tuesday was about finishing up strong. I was exhausted after only getting a couple hours of sleep the night before, but, as I mentioned yesterday, it was completely worth it.

Rather than go to the Job Fair first thing in the morning, I went up to the media area to see what I could do for SportsNet New York. Then, around 10:00, after I ran into fellow Job-Seeking Journaler Ian Fontenot, I had my third interview of the week - one set up because a team reached out to me after reading the introductory post for these journals. Unfortunately, since I am graduating in May, I couldn't fill the position. Although this was established in the first few minutes, the conversation went on for 20 minutes or so, as we discussed new ways to produce content about teams. Read the rest of the entry »


Ian Fontenot: The magic kingdom
Dec. 9

If you've ever done any research or watched ESPN during the Winter Meetings, you'd know that the place is crawling with familiar faces. But that isn't exactly what makes this event so special. Getting to apply for your dream job is what makes you feel the "magic," regardless of whether you even get an interview. With a flood of new job postings up first thing on Monday morning, there were plenty new positions to apply to. I won't say any names yet, but my dream position was tacked to the board in front of me, and I could barely contain my excitement. Do I think I'll get a shot to sell myself to the club? Eh, we'll see. But the fact that the position was even posted was enough for me. It's opportunities like this that make this trip worth it. Read the rest of the entry »


Kasey Decker: Reconnecting
Dec. 9

The second day of the Job Fair, in my opinion, is the oddest of the whole trip. It's this "hurry up and wait" day, constantly checking the interview boards. I knew the interviews wouldn't be posted promptly at 9:30 am, but I had a feeling that I needed to be at the hotel by that time. I just had a gut feeling that Monday was going to be a good day for me.

As soon as I walked into the job posting room, I noticed the position I had been hoping to find here was posted, and nearly tackled a few job seekers rushing to turn in my resume. Of course the jobs I applied for didn't post their interview sheets the entire day, so the waiting continues on Tuesday. Read the rest of the entry »


Alex Reiner: Hurry up and wait
Dec. 9

I was standing in front of the new job postings at exactly nine o'clock sharp this morning. I was surprised; there were only two other people within five feet of where I was standing. I was looking at a job post that wasn't too long - about a page in length. I just stood there and read it over and over. There were two main reasons for this: 1. NO PHOTOGRAPHY PLEASE. 2. I wanted the job bad, so I thought if I just stood there and looked at it for a while it could improve my chances by the slightest percent. Then at about 9:05, I suddenly snapped out of my meditated focus to find about 50 other people pushing and shoving, trying to read the new job postings. I was stuck between a bunch of bodies and a corkboard. Welcome to the PBEO Job Fair. Read the rest of the entry »


Meredith Perri: Organized chaos
Dec. 9

I honestly did not know what to expect when I got to the Swan on Tuesday, but by the end of the day, it seemed like one phrase accurately depicted my experience from start to finish: organized chaos.

Now, that isn't a bad thing, it's just what happens when a few hundred job seekers sit in one room anxiously waiting for someone to post a new position or an interview schedule on one of the boards. Read the rest of the entry »


Kasey Decker: High expectations
Dec. 8

I'm not going to lie to you: I had really high expectations for the first day of Winter Meetings. The last time I was in Orlando, I was that bright-eyed job seeker, weeks from my college graduation, and eager to please. I arrived a day early to Orlando so I could get my bearings and be my best self for the "first day of the rest of my life." I hung on every word each individual speaker gave us and took notes like I was preparing for a final exam. My experience this year has, so far, been the polar opposite.

Being that I've now been "financially independent" for the past three years, I had to budget a little more carefully for my trip down here. Knowing that you do more networking in after-hours situations, I decided to save money by flying in early Sunday morning instead of Saturday. I would come to regret the decision to fly out at 6:30 am -- you live, you learn. Read the rest of the entry »


Ian Fontenot: Play ball!
Dec. 8

Sunday marks the opening day of the 2013 Baseball Winter Meetings, or as emcee Rob Crain put it, "the first day of the rest of our lives". Crain, the president of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, was nothing short of an outstanding host, seamlessly transitioning from speaker to speaker while keeping the 300-plus member crowd alert. I don't think I've ever kept my attention on something as long as I did for the Business of Baseball Workshop. I fully anticipated being too eager to really grasp everything our speakers were saying, but it was quite the contrary. From the very beginning, Crain grabbed our attention with a story of his first Winter Meetings experience which involved a late night with his future wife, New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, and David Wells' phone number. Immediately, you could tell Crain was a relatable person as this was a story you'd expect to hear from a friend rather than a Triple-A club president. He also touched on something I hope to find here in Orlando: finding a mentor.

Our first speaker Baseball America's Minor League Executive of the Year and Louisiana native (represent!), Martie Cordaro of the Omaha Storm Chasers. Cordaro brought up many subjects, such as things to ask potential employers and something I've studied for the past four years - building mutually beneficial relationships. The rest of the day was filled with speakers reminding us of the importance of networking, hard work, passion and taking risks.Read the rest of the entry »


Meredith Perri: "Working" in baseball
Dec. 8

About 12 hours after I first stepped into the Dolphin Resort, I stood in the lobby and looked on as Ron Darling finished taping a show for MLB Network. He had walked by me a few minutes earlier, and it became my goal to talk to him before I left for the night. I had met him once while interning for SportsNet New York, and while I figured he didn't remember me, it seemed like a decent way to start up a conversation.

After the show wrapped, I walked over to where Darling stood signing autographs and practiced my introduction in my head. ... As I waited to speak with Darling, a fan made the comment to him that the next few days would probably be very busy. Darling smiled a bit and agreed, but responded that when it's baseball it isn't really work. Read the rest of the entry »


Alex Reiner: And so it begins
Dec. 8

My situation is a little different than most other job seekers here. I'm a college baseball player at a small NCAA Division II school called Lynn University. As a 20-year-old junior in college, the number one goal on my agenda right now is to get good grades in school, and to play baseball. I really think it's a blessing that I get to wake up every day and spend hours on the field. It's a luxury not many people have. The only thing I do know is that one day, that luxury will end. It could be tomorrow, it could be after I graduate, or it could be in fifteen years.

After a three-hour drive up from Boca Raton, I headed in to the Dolphin Resort and I found a quiet room and did three hours of homework. Not exactly the most exciting start to what I like to think is a promising week, but I'm here and my exams are taking place back at Lynn, and it's hard to be in two places at once. I have four exams and three essays to finish before Wednesday night. So if you ever want to find me, I'll probably sitting at a table alone behind the Lynn University booth in the Trade Show doing one of those seven assignments. Read the rest of the entry »

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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