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Job-seeker Journal: Last impressions

Four candidates navigate competitive Meetings job fair setting
December 7, 2012
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 here.) Check back throughout the week for more from our four job-seekers.

Linda Le: Goodbye Music City
Dec. 5

There was a calmness in the Gaylord Opryland Convention Centre as the PBEO job fair was nearing to a close on Wednesday afternoon. Most job seekers were packing up and heading home if they had not done so already.

My day actually started with finishing up my journal entry from the day before (better late than never right Ben?) I then decided to reach out to Bill Wanless, VP of Public Relations with the Pawtucket Red Sox to have lunch that afternoon. I had met Wanless and other members of the Pawtucket Red Sox front office staff the drunken night before. I like to think I had a power lunch with Wanless where we discussed and strategized about revamping the current PR practices for the PawSox but Wanless might say otherwise. He might just recall me conversing in a Bostonian accent if anything. Read the rest of the entry »

Eric Schmitz: Great expectations
Dec. 5

Wednesday was a very interesting day. I had brilliantly decided to stay up and write my journal entry after I got back from the bar and before I went to bed, so I slept through my first alarm and scrambled to get over to Opryland. I had an 8:30 follow-up interview with the team I had met with Monday, which had been scheduled by a late phone call Tuesday evening I received while at The Falls. [one of the Gaylord Opryland's many drinking spots]

Over the course of later Monday and Tuesday, I had sold myself on this position being the one that had the strongest scores in both likelihood of being selected and being the best opportunity. So it was on my mind most of the day Tuesday, and whereas in past Job Fairs, when I had multitudes of interviews to distract me, it wasn't so much the case this time around. Read the rest of the entry »

Chris Miller: A lasting impression
Dec. 5

I started the morning out as usual, looking at the interview postings. When I found none of the jobs I had applied for had posted interviews, I briefly talked to people I had worked with in the past and wished them well, as I had a meeting with a team right before lunch, then was taking off.

As I began to walk to the main lobby of the hotel, I ran into Matt Underwood who handles the Cleveland Indians play-by-play on SportsTime Ohio. This is the second time we have met, and this time he came up to me, remembered my name and asked how my job search was going. He gave me an update on any possible moves the Indians were going to make, and we talked about the Ohio Athletic Conference. (Underwood went to Baldwin Wallace University and I went to Marietta, both members of the OAC). Underwood was without a doubt the friendliest member of the media I had a chance to talk with over the week.

When I arrived in the main lobby I met with a front office member of a team that had already offered me a position. We chatted more about why I should consider the position and the benefits the team had to offer me. Read the rest of the entry »

Clint Belau: The lobby of baseball heaven
Dec. 5

When I arrived in the posting room for my morning check, there wasn't much for me. In fact, there was nothing again, but who cares? By this point, I was a little bit over the process. I had checked the posting room probably 30 times in the past three days, and it had yielded two interviews. It had become somewhat apparent that this wasn't working for me. Admittedly, it was partially my fault, given that I hadn't saturated the resume boxes applying for anything and everything. However, I did apply for every job I considered myself a reasonable candidate for (27 total, if you're keeping track), and it was relatively obvious that a 35-year old with no four-year degree and a mixed bag of tricks experience-wise wasn't what the majority of the teams were looking for. If my resume was a child, its parents would probably try to lose it in the mall.

My main goals today were to make myself available whenever my previous interviewer wanted to meet for my third-round interview, and to see as many baseball people as I could. So I set up camp outside of the main press conference room and kept my head on a swivel. Believe me, that was absolutely necessary. The stars of the industry were appearing fast and furious, and naming all of the people I saw would require a completely different blog. I know I've mentioned it many times in past entries, but the Winter Meetings truly are baseball nerd heaven. Read the rest of the entry »

Linda Le: Beyond the fair
Dec. 4

Upon arriving to the interview schedule room to check up on any of the postings I had applied to, the same organized chaos ensued, the same disappointed faces appeared and the pacing back and forth from room to room continued.

Most of the positions I had applied to at this point were still not posted for scheduled interviews with the exception of one. I was disappointed to not see my name listed, but I still proceeded to email the contact for the team to send my regards.

There was actually one posting that I didn't apply to originally and instead of going through the process of submitting my resume I decided to email the contact listed on the posting, which happened to be the GM for the team. This paid off as I got a quick turnaround time of a response in regards to setting up an interview for the next day. Read the rest of the entry »

Clint Belau: Back on the horse
Dec. 4

As I woke up still riding the high of having a beer bought for me by the manager of my favorite team, I prepared for a rainy morning hike to Opryland. Although yesterday was slow overall, I remained hopeful that today would be different. Upon arrival at the ever popular interview room around 10 o'clock (calm down, I'm not that much of a slacker. I got there at 9, I just got caught up on the lobby talking to a few folks), my hopes were a bit dashed. My name was non-existent on every list, and the new job postings were minimal. On this day, it wasn't due to a lack of lists ... there were plenty of interview schedules posted. I just apparently had not made the cut.

But far be it for this Debby to get down. I decided to get back on the horse by heading down to the trade show for a bit. A larger mecca of sports-related vendors I had never seen. If my eyes manage to remain in my head this entire week, it'll be a miracle. Bats, turf, mascot outfits, fan engagement technology (nice new term usage CB!), shirts, hats, uniforms, bobbleheads, golf carts, hitting instruction tools and yes, even free hot dogs, filled the various booths. Oh, and Miss Florida was there too. I had the opportunity to speak with a couple of the vendors that were kind enough to put up with me and my questions about what their business relationship is like with a given team. In the matter of the hour, I not only learned a lot, but developed a small brainful (I have limited space available) of ideas to implement with (caution: egotistical statement upcoming) whatever team is fortunate enough to employ me. Read the rest of the entry »

Eric Schmitz: Speed interviewing
Dec. 4

Let me tell you about interviewing at the PBEO Job Fair. Usually, when you have a job interview outside of this week at this event, you have days if not weeks to prepare, and it's a very formal event. Here, there's no time for that. This is professional speed dating. You get a table number to meet at, and you go introduce yourself to people you usually have never met before. You have 10-15 minutes (maybe even 30 if you're lucky to meet with people you could spend the next summer to the next few years of your life with) and convince them why you're the best candidate for the position. If you get really nervous for interviews, good luck finding the time to do that here. If you're fortunate enough to get multiple interviews, you have plenty of chances to shake it off. Everyone's gonna have a horrible interview, you can't kill them all. If you happen to be the type that can kill in every interview, then odds are you're not the type that's attending this.

So I had my first interview (I'm going to keep teams and positions vague to protect the innocent and increase the allure of my skills, if you don't mind) and it went quite well. It was for a full time position, a Triple-A franchise in a great situation but a little above my qualifications, and I felt I did a solid job convincing the interviewee I was up for the challenge. But you don't really know, and in 15 minutes, most often you're not gonna get a vibe that says "I have this locked up" so there's no sense over-analyzing your performance. Read the rest of the entry »

Chris Miller: A day on the move
Dec. 4

My day started like most others with a decent walking commute from a nearby parking lot outside of the hotel-the walk is worth saving the $20, even if it was raining on the way on. I proceeded to the interview postings room, slowly making my way past the MLB Network set to see if I noticed anybody noteworthy (Just like job seeker Clint Belau, who I met with as well as the famous Ben Hill, I also bumped into Mariners Manager Eric Wedge last night while networking at the bar).

After checking the interview schedule, I made my way to investigate the Trade Show a little more before an early afternoon interview I had. After loading up on free stuff galore, I met a couple front office folks for an interview. We searched lobby after lobby for a place to sit down, something that has been a common occurrence to me thus far. All of the interviews I have had up until this point have not actually been in the interviewing room. I have met members of front offices in coffee shops, a lobby next to a live radio broadcast and on a bench next to the river that runs through the Opryland where we were interrupted a couple of times by the person giving the tour. Read the rest of the entry »

Clint Belau: Hurry up and wait
Dec. 3

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. Read the rest of the entry »

Eric Schmitz: Smooth moves and surprises
Dec. 2-3

It took a long journey to get to Nashville, but I can't say there's a city I'd rather have this year's event in regards to my current situation. For me personally, being able to reconnect with my colleagues locally and throughout MiLB while trying to make my way into the industry makes things so much easier. I'm familiar with the area, and this being my third Winter Meetings, I know the ropes heading in. It's almost like home-field advantage. While having an advantage is nice, the results are what matters.

The whole shindig got under way at Sunday's Business of Baseball Workshop, which is probably the best reality check most job seekers are going to get prior to the PBEO Job Fair. This year's was great -- Rob Crain and the speakers did a fantastic job of being entertaining while getting the message across (which is basically the entire concept of Minor League Baseball). Being my third trip to the event but having a year away from the game, it was a good refresher to attend ... Read the rest of the entry »

Chris Miller: Getting the job done
Dec. 2-3

After getting a meal and seeing some sights of the city on Saturday evening, Sunday brought the first official day and a chance to see the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. There are few words that can really describe The Gaylord Opryland but if I had to pick one, it would be stunning. It's just an unreal facility.

The personal highlight of the Baseball of Business Workshop on Sunday was listening to President of Minor League Baseball Pat O' Conner, who touched on his career in MiLB (where he started as in intern out of college making less than desirable wages). He mentioned something that I have found to be prevalent in my three years in baseball: "Getting the job done." At the end of the day, regardless of your position, skills, or anything else, you have to pitch in to get the job done to have the game go on. Read the rest of the entry »

Linda Le: Let's play the waiting game
Dec. 2-3

I was hopeful to walk into the interview schedule room to see if my name was listed on any of the postings I had applied to in the previous evening. Of course, I was not the only one there and it was overwhelming to see the faces of disappointed individuals who either did not see their names listed or even the posting itself.

I circulated around the room, which by 11 a.m. only had about 20-30 lists for scheduled interviews. None of the postings I had applied to were up yet for scheduling interviews. Not a big deal, I thought -- it was early in the day. I didn't want to be like most of the attendees there who were nervously checking every 30 minutes for any new information, so I decided to wander off and explore the rest of the Winter Meetings. If I learned anything from the previous day, it was to build on my network and to foster new connections. Read the rest of the entry »

Clint Belau: Business of Baseball workshop
Dec. 2

The day was emceed by the recently appointed President of the Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRiders, Rob Crain (sidenote: that dude really knows how to emcee a workshop). The morning session began at 8:15 sharp and included an impressive roster of Minor League executives, all of whom had helpful hints about the interview process, tips for what to do/what not to do during the upcoming week, and most importantly, offered incredibly blunt insights as to what life in Minor League Baseball is all about.

At points, it seemed as if they were trying to talk us all out of our respective pursuits. In reality, their candor was greatly appreciated. With a room made up of 95-percent bright-eyed, ready-to-conquer-the-world 20-somethings, the reality check-themed speeches were a bit predictable. If anyone in the room was surprised to hear that Minor League Baseball is made up of understaffed, overworked, minimally paid people who are in it for all the right reasons, they neglected to do their research. Read the rest of the entry »