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A Blog Break

February 12, 2010

Hey everyone. Yeah, it’s been awhile, I know. I’m ashamed!

I have missed writing. And often times I want to run to my blog and share what’s going on in my life. But the truth is, right now, there’s way too much going on!

My life has changed. I moved out. I left Chicago. I moved to New York! I’m working for a Minor League ballclub. And I’m on my “own” for the first time. So my life is definitely in a bit of a transition right now.

Things are changing, and being the new media geek that I am, I feel like my blog needs to change with it. So I’m saying goodbye to this blog and developing the plans for a new one. I want to be able to share my stories, experiences, and life with you guys, but it doesn’t seem right on this blog.

New beginnings. New blog. New me.

I’m not sure when it’ll all come about, but I promise you I’ll be blogging again.

Until then, you can find me Tweeting and blogging away for the Hudson Valley Renegades. :)

Thanks everyone! See you again soooon.

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So guess what?

December 23, 2009

I got a job…

………..No, really! I did. I got a job! And not just any job..It’s a job in baseball! Yes! In baseball! Believe me, I can’t believe it either! You remember all of those blog posts I wrote a few months ago about not settling for anything less than my dream?? Well, I did it. I made it happen. After everything I’m finally going to be working in the sport that has been and always will be my true love. I’m going to be working in baseball. Wow.

Now, I’m sure you’re all asking, “Cool Megan! How’d it happen?!” Well, let me tell you! Back in December I attended the Major League Baseball Winter Meetings. During the Meetings there are a ton of, well, meetings, trades are made, business is done, you know. In addition to Major League meetings, there is also the Professional Baseball Employment Opportunities (PBEO) Job Fair. I attended the job fair, had a few interviews, and ended up with an offer for a Social Networking Internship with the Hudson Valley Renegades. Social Media in baseball? Count me in! I was pretty excited, but I still had big internships with two great PR agencies in Chicago the next week. So for a while anyway, my dream to work in baseball had to be put on hold.

When I got back home from the Winter Meetings the excitement of it all started to fade and I began to think more realistically about things. With bills, college loans, and general expenses could I afford living in New York on just an interns pay? Plus, I like commitment. I like knowing I’m secure and somewhere longer than 6 months. One of the PR opportunities I was interviewing for was a full-time position working with an INCREDIBLE client. And yes, that deserved all caps. The opportunity would be once in a lifetime, plus I’d have that security. There was so much going through my head and I was beginning to worry that my dream of working in sports might not be so realistic after all.

But then everything changed..The Friday after I returned from the Winter Meetings I got a call from the Renegades GM. He asked me a few questions, we chatted, and then he said, “Well, the reason I’m asking these questions is because rather than an internship, we’d like to offer you a full-time position.” A full-time position? Excuse me?! I was speechless, which for me is a huge feat. And that’s when everything changed for me. I was being given the opportunity to work full-time in baseball and doing Social Media nonetheless! Perfect.

I continued to interview with the other PR agencies, but the truth is my mind was made up as soon as I got off the phone with the GM. Baseball was where I needed to be. Baseball was where I belonged. And so it is :) Beginning after the new year I will be joining the Hudson Valley Renegades as the Manager of New Media. I will be in charge of the creation and growth of Renegades marketing from the grassroots level in regards to social media and other unexplored outlets. In addition, I will be working closely with other departments to create a unified marketing message. Of course, I will have to put my cell phone down from time to time as pulling the tarp is part of everyone’s duties in the Minor Leagues. Ha. But I’m excited about that. I’m excited to learn about every department and truly immerse myself in baseball.

The Hudson Valley Renegades are an incredible organization and I have been blown away by the kindness they have shown me already. I look forward to the experiences I will have in New York and the growth it will provide me. I’m finally going to be living my dream and there’s nothing to stop you from living yours.

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Please check out the Hudson Valley Renegades and follow them on Twitter :)

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PBEO Business of Baseball Workshop Part 2

December 14, 2009

Hello everyone! I hope you’ve enjoyed the Business of Baseball Workshop notes so far! Here are some more :)

Sam Bernabe, GM, Iowa Cubs
Mike Tamburro, President, Pawtucket Red Sox
Ken Young, President, Norfolk Tides

-Sam: Take the job as it’s offered to you. Don’t wait around.
-Mike: Sales is a perfect way to learn and get in the industry. Don’t be afraid of sales.
-Ken: Learn to accept rejection.
-Sam: Sales experience makes you more marketable. We don’t care how big a baseball fan you are, we want to know you’ll work hard.
-Ken: You’ve gotta do every job that’s there.
-Mike: As young people in the industry we want to see your creativity!

North Johnson, GM, Myrtle Beach Pelicans
“How to get a baseball job.”

-A is for attitude.
-B is for business.
-C is for crying: There’s no crying in baseball!; Also, Creative.
-D is for diginity: Leave it at the door!
-E is for effort: Show up ready to work!
-F is for focus.
-G is for grounds crew.
-H is for hours: Be prepared to work A LOT of hours!
-I is for intense.
-J is for just do what you’re told!
-K is for Kool-Aid: Just drink it!
-L is for loyalty.
-M is for mascot.
-N is for never comment on the weather or the length of the game.
-O is for overtime.
-P is for pocket schedules; Promotions; Passion.
-Q is for quitters.
-R is for rain.
-S is for slump buster.
-T is for taxi.
-U is for utility.
-V is for vacation.
-W is for wallet.
-X is for x-cellence.
-Y is for YouTube.
-Z is for zoo keeper.

Pat O’Conner, President & CEO, Minor League Baseball
“Positioning yourself for success.”

-”Luck is the residue of design.”
Prospects vs. Projects (You want to be a prospect!)
-Prospects understand the game; What it takes.
-Works hard.
-No job is too big or small.
-Projects take time to develop; Lack of get-up and go.
-”If you’re going to eat at the table, make sure you’re going to bring something to the table.”
-Within every problem there an opportunity.

-You have to be willing to work hard.
-Never take shortcuts.
-Peserverance, persistance & hard work.
-Create reputation as go-to person.
-Be honest; Size up abilities in terms of job requirements.
-Fully invest time & energy to organization & baseball.
-”The will to win is importance, the will to prepare is vital.”
-Ethics: Even the great are prone to fall. Ethics matter, listen to that little voice in your head when a decision needs to be made.
-Is it fair to all concerned? Is it the right thing to do? –> Ask yourself when making decisions.
-Listening is an art & acquired skill. “You have two ears & one mouth for a reason.”

Develop a Network
-Single most effective tool for career growth.
-Do not abuse network.
-Work with your network & cultivate the relationships.
-Be honest with yourself & those in your network.
-Respect profession.
-Invest in development of network.
-Keep quality people & be a quality person.
-If you are not known to listen to your network, then your network will stop talking to you.
-Develop listening skills.

Pat O’Conner’s Pearls of Wisdom
-Don’t dance on tables.
-Know who your friends are.
-It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
-Act like you know what you’re doing & they won’t know the difference.

Manny Colon, Assistant, Player Development, Florida Marlins
“Player Development & Minor League Baseball.”

-Be willing to do whatever it takes to finish all tasks set forth your way.
-Realize the patience & dedication needed to advance in this industry.
-Be able to communicate.
-Have passion.
-Network, network!
-Have fun :)

Katie Dannemiller, VP Baseball Operations, Greensboro Grasshoppers
“Baseball as a Career: Become a Front Office Five-Tool Player.”

What you need to succeed:
-Understanding
-Passion
-Teamwork
-Be humble
-Hoppin fun

Steps to help make baseball your career:
-Don’t let technology get in your way.
-Don’t forget the beauty of a handwritten note.
-Proofread.

“Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.” -Erich Fromm

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PBEO Business of Baseball Workshop

December 7, 2009

Hello….I know, I know, I haven’t written in awhile. Was waiting for inspiration to strike as always :) Anyway, here I am. As many of you know one of my interests is sports. Well this week I am lucky to be attending the MLB Winter Meetings in Indianapolis, IN. As part of the Winter Meetings I am attending the Professional Business Employment Opportunities (PBEO) Job Fair.

Today was the first day of the PBEO Job Fair. The Business of Baseball Workshop gave us a wonderful look into the real life experiences of Minor League Baseball. While it was a long day, I left filled with information about Minor League Baseball and hope to share it with you here.

This won’t be a normal blog post, but I think many of you, particularly those searching for jobs in sports, will find this information very valuable. I apologize for the length, but they shared plenty of information with us. Later in the week I will add some links and contact information for your reference. Also, some of the information may not make sense as it only pertains to the PBEO Job Fair. Enjoy :)

Business of Baseball Workshop

Dr. Susan Foster, Professor Saint Leo University & President of Sport Business Consulting, Inc.
So you want to work in the sports industry?”

-It’s not who you know, but who knows you!
-Sell your SPORT experience vs. just your work experience.
-Even if you don’t have sport experience, SELL IT! i.e. If you work at a bank you probably have good customer service skills, deal with clients, sales, etc.
Networking & Using Connections
-Invite someone to lunch for informational interview
-Socials and dinners –>Introduce yourself!
The Interview
-Treat each one as THE most important position. Even if it’s not your dream position.
-Answer questions fully, but don’t ramble.
-Always have at least 2 good questions.
-Study their website.
Phone Interviews
-Treat as if interviewer is in the room with you.
-Some say still dress the part.
-Prepare, prepare, prepare.
All Interviews
-Send an e-mail & drop a personalized note to interviewer(s).
The Cover Letter
-Tell them the exact position you are applying for.
-You are APPLYING, not inquiring or other words.
-Eliminate the flowery stuff.
-Don’t tell them you’re a fan. Teams want you to work hard, not get distracted by your favorite ball player.
-Skills, sell yourself.
4 P’s of Marketing
-Product
-Promote
-Price: Unpaid, minimum wage,housing, parking??
-Place: Where are you willing to go? What price are you willing to pay?

Martie Cordaro, General Manager, Omaha Royals
“It’s about passion and effort.”

-”I don’t have a job, I don’t have a career, I have a passion!”
-You should be willing to do anything.
-Ask the direct question: Will I be learning while I’m working or will I be just another body?
-It’s about effort! Believing in what your organization is doing. Put yourself out there!

Rob Crain, Assistant GM, Marketing, Omaha Royals
“Expect the unexpected!”

-Find a mentor!
Monday:
-Get to love the Job Postings Room.
-Don’t get caught up in your “fan-hood.” For example, if you’re a die-hard Cubs fan, don’t be opposed to applying with the White Sox.
-Come with an openmind. Apply for jobs outside your home town.
-Apply for a lot of jobs.
-You must be willing to sell.
-Relax. Don’t stress. Hard decisions come later.
-Go out tonight.
Tuesday:
-Get to love the Interview Posting Room.
-Keep an eye on Interview Posting Room.
-Not your normal interview.
-This is a “get to know you” discussion.
-Get to know people, both other job seekers & the employers.
-Go out again!
Wednesday: “Today is the Day”
-Second interviews & second guesses.
-Go to the Gala!
-Go to the bar after the gala, you never know who you’re going to meet!
Thursday:
-Don’t be afraid to take a risk.
-Make the best decision for YOU.
-Take a look back & reflect.

Rob Zerjav, General Manager, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
“Working in sports: How can I make that happen?

L.E.A.D.
Long range planning
-Decide what you want to be
-Research careers
-Map out your path
-Degree
Experience
-Internship is of utmost importance
-Be familiar with team, venue, product
-Start as a game day employee
Attitude
-Positive, positive, positive
-Outgoing
-Go above and beyond
-Strong work ethic
Desire
-Don’t give up on your dream
-Continuous learning
-Be passionate
-Dedication

So that’s a lot so far and I still have 5 pages of notes to type up! I’ll post the rest tomorrow or throughout the week :)

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Parents Meet GenY

September 18, 2009

Last night I got home after a night out with friends. My mom was still awake and decided that 11pm was the best time to talk about my future.

During our late night conversation, besides the fact that my parents want me out of the house (ha), I learned that parents may not necessarily understand what makes up GenY.

At this point in my job search I’m being pushed to accept any job offer that comes my way. And while my wallet is more easily persuaded to do so, something in me just can’t do it.

You see, I’ve never seen GenY as entitled. We don’t expect things to be handed to us. We don’t think we deserve more than others. On the contrary, it’s that we have high expectations of ourselves.

The thing I’ve learned about GenY is that we refuse to settle. We’ve been taught to set goals, to reach those goals, and to follow our dreams. Its engraved in us to be the absolute best we can be. So the idea of settling leaves a horrible taste in my mouth.

So where do I go from here? How do we explain to our parents who GenY is?

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Lessons Learned From Cheering On MLBs Most Lovable Losers

September 16, 2009

This is the 3rd and final guest post in my series for Chandlee Bryan’s Emerging Professional site. Here I discuss some finals lessons I’ve learned from sports and how I relate them to the job search. Best of thank to everyone!

I was born bleeding Cubbie blue. Cheering on the Yankees or Dodgers was never an option. It was embedded in me likeMegO2 DNA. I had brown hair, green eyes and I was a Cubs fan. At a young age the charm and personality of the Cubs got me and I watched more Cubs games than I did cartoons. The first time I entered Wrigley Field, my fate was sealed. The atmosphere, the sounds, the tastes and smells, the ivy covered walls and the old-school scoreboard. It was enchanting and my heart still skips a beat every time I return. The Chicago Cubs have a power over me that words can’t describe. It’s a love, a passion, a union that only Cubs fans can understand. They can give me the ultimate high, but have the power to bring me to indescribable lows.Cubs

I was sitting in section 205 on October 14, 2003 as the Cubs were 5 outs away from making it to the World Series for the first time since 1945. In my face paint, handmade Cubs shirt and Cubs print pants; I hid behind my hands too nervous to watch. Hiding was a good idea. With 5 outs to go, Moises Alou lost a foul ball to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, Alex Gonzalez let a ball go through his legs, Mark Prior imploded, and the Florida Marlins went on to score 8 runs. All with 5 outs to go! This wasn’t the only time the Cubs were the reason I cried for hours. Being a Cubs fan means enjoying the highs, but expecting the lows. People ask me constantly, “Why are you a Cubs fan?” Why? Why do I cheer on a team that hasn’t won a World Series since 1908? Why do I support an effort that is 101 years in the making? Why do I constantly set myself up for disappointment? I had no choice. I was destined to be a Cubs fan. And while my mom constantly reminds me “Why do you love them so much? They don’t give anything back to you!” I know that’s not true. The Cubs have taught me the importance of loyalty, dedication and persistence. Being a Cubs fan has prepared me for anything and given me invaluable skills I use daily. Sure I’d like a World Series ring, but a few, good life lessons will do for now.

“If at first you don’t succeed..”

We’ve all heard the saying, “Practice makes perfect.” The great thing about this saying is that it can be applied to anything we do in life from playing sports to landing that perfect job. Practice is the key to success and is something that even the most talented athlete does daily. After an 8-game winning streak the Cubs won’t cancel drills just because they’re doing well and a player won’t just hang out in the clubhouse during practice if he’s batting .380 in June. The best keep going. They keep practicing. They keep honing their skills. They try each and every day to better the athlete they were yesterday. Texas Ranger pitcher CJ Wilson said, “We practice every day despite having played the same basic game for over 20 years…Think about how weird that is!”

The same applies to the job search. It is rare to find someone who wakes up one morning and is just naturally good at interviewing. It’s a skill and something we need to practice. Rehearse answering important questions in the mirror, set up mock interviews with family or educators, research keys to successful interviews and go on actual interviews as often as you can. My friend Sarah recently went on an interview with a company that she didn’t know much about. While she was apprehensive at first she saw it as an opportunity for practice. The interview only lasted two minutes, but the point was that she gained more experience and knowledge through it. No harm there, right? You can’t win every game, nor can you knock every interview out of the park, it takes practice, dedication, and persistence. Someday I will have the home run of all interviews and land that perfect job, but until then practice makes perfect.

Perseverance “Yet we still believe it’s gonna happen. Maybe this year, maybe next year, maybe in 50 years. We’ll wait.”- No Love Lost, ESPN

Sports have taught me some important life lessons including, dedication, preparation, practice, experience, and persistence. However, I feel this last lesson is truly the most important; perseverance. It was Wednesday, October 14, 1908 the last time the Chicago Cubs won a World Series. 101 years ago. Chicago fans are constantly reminded of it and the players are too. Yet at every Chicago Cubs home game you’ll be pressed to find an empty seat, the crowd will be cheering louder than even the day before and the players will sprint out there with one goal in mind; win. The Chicago Cubs understand the definition of perseverance. They eat, sleep and breathe it. Regardless of any obstacles, the cynics or their history, the Cubs know that one day they will win the World Series and until then the only thing they can do is put everything they have into every game they play.

The truth is, the job search can be exhausting. Constantly being told “no” by companies can take its toll. And being turned down for positions you’ve dreamed about can be heart breaking. I know, because the Cubs still haven’t offered me an interview. Regardless, the important thing is to keep going. Never take no for an answer and never accept failure. My dream is to work in sports and I won’t stop until that dream becomes a reality. A baseball player doesn’t quit after going 0-for-4 in an important game and neither will I. Now, let’s play ball!

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But The Media Made Me Do it!

August 27, 2009

6c3ce29ca09136ad38e8a853bf9368f7-grandeIf you’re a Cubs fan, live in Chicago, or simply watch ESPN, then you know today is quickly becoming “Controversial Thursday.” Michael Vick is appearing in court regarding bankruptcy before joining the Eagles today-Brett Favre’s arrival is creating a “schism” in the Vikings locker room-More allegations are being made in the Rick Pitino sexual assault case-Oh, and Milton Bradley is accusing Chicago Cubs fans of being racist.

If you’re listening to Chicago sports radio, I’m sure you’ve heard your fill of Bradley’s recent lash-out. In a post-game interview on Tuesday, Bradley mentioned that he looks forward to time with his family where he can avoid the hatred. The hatred? When asked about it Bradley said the hatred is everywhere, even when he’s eating at a restaurant. He then went on to accuse Cubs fans of being rascist, but was unable to provide specific examples. But it was this line that really got me, “All I’m saying is I pray the game is nine innings, so I can go out there the least amount of time possible and go home.” (Carrie Muskat, Cubs.com) That’s it Milton. That’s how you’ll gain the respect of Chicago. That’s how you’ll stop the so-called “hatred.” Make the least possible effort, and complain while you’re doing it.

As a life-long Cubs fan, I take offense to players being disrespectful, not making an effort, complaining, or talking trash about the team or fans. If you want respect, you have to GIVE respect. I’m tired of punks putting on the uniform and making a spectacle of it. With that being said, these personal opinions were exactly what started an interesting discussion with @MikeProper during last night’s Cubs-Nationals game. Below are the comments from both of us..

@MOgulnick: I don’t care how often he gets on base. He’s disrespectful and he doesn’t deserve to wear that jersey. Ugh.
@MikeProper: Disrespectful? When, since the day he was signed, did ANYONE in Chicago show him any respect? Why should he show any in return?
@MikeProper: As someone who’s interested in sports PR, I thought you’d understand that Bradley’s “persona” is a creation of the media.
@MikeProper: He was a scapegoat from Day 1.
@MOgulnick: Ok, has that been the case everywhere he’s gone? Is that why he’s been on 7 teams? Has the “Them against me” theme ever changed?
@MikeProper: Has any media market let it change or have they constantly pushed for it happen?
@MikeProper: As SOON as he arrived there were dozens of articles about how he’s a cancer.
@MOgulnick: And I won’t deny that, but bc that’s his history! They’re just reporting the truth. It was up to HIM to dispel it, not them.
@MikeProper:You can’t dispel something when you are never given a chance. He’s in an endless cycle.
@MOgulnick: Well then we’ll agree to disagree. Milton created this. Not the media. He can dispel it whenever he wants.
@MOgulnick: He’s only reinforced everything the media has ever said about him.
@MikeProper: Is he mature? Of course not. Does that mean he deserves all the negativity? Definitely not.
@MikeProper: I’m sorry but I can’t accept the notion that “the ends justify the means” when it comes to this kind of irresponsible journalism
@MikeProper: The media is a powerful tool, and it was used to bring a man down from his first day in Chicago, and I think that’s sick.
@MOgulnick: And in Montreal? And Cleveland? And Los Angeles? And Oakland? And San Diego? And Texas?
@MikeProper: So he got a bad reputation early in his career (and that didn’t even come out until L.A.) ….
@MikeProper: and then he was given zero chance to live it down…. yeah very fair

So, where do we stand on this? Was he given a chance to live it down? I will agree with Mike’s points that the media is a powerful tool and often focuses on the negative. But as a friend of mine said, in this case I believe it was Milton who created his “persona,” the media only magnified it. And this isn’t only the case in Chicago. Milton has had issues with the media and fans before. Yes, Chicago media is magnifying his reputation and has been since day 1. However, just because the papers say he’s a “cancer” doesn’t mean he HAS to be one. By making disrespectful comments, rude hand gestures to the fans, and generally not caring, he’s only perpetuating everything the media has ever said about him.

Yes, I agree that it’s disrespectful of the fans to boo Bradley even when he gets a base hit, but I also know that Cubs fans are unwavering in their devotion to their team. We want nothing more than to embrace our players, but at the same time will take it personally if a player doesn’t show respect. If you’re playing well, we’ll support you. If you’re not, then you might get booed. But that’s baseball. That’s how it is for professional athletes. You can’t take it personally. Personally, I think his behavior over the past few days has all but written his ticket out of here, but I look forward to seeing his reactions in the future.

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So what do you think? Does a player create his persona, or does the media? Can an athlete change his reputation, or is he stuck in an endless cycle? How do you feel about Bradley? How do you feel about the conversation above? Does respect have to be earned? Is an athlete with weak character worth having on a team? Would love your thoughts!

Thank you to BleacherNation.com for the above image.

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