Home » Baseball » 2016 MLB Diversity Business Summit – Day 1

2016 MLB Diversity Business Summit – Day 1

***DISCLAIMER: THIS WAS TO BE POSTED AFTER THE FIRST DAY OF THE SUMMIT, BUT DUE TO TIME CONSTRAINTS, I WAS UNABLE TO DO SO. ***

Whew! So the first day has come and gone, and what a day it was! From Opening Remarks to the close of the first day, the day was quite busy and fruitful.

© Pinstripe Princess – Early Morning on the Light Rail

© Pinstripe Princess – Light Rail Riders

The day began with an early morning ride on the Light Rail. It’s so cool! It’s a major mode of transportation for Phoenix residents. It’s a train that runs in the midst of traffic in much the same way a trolley does. Another major mode of transport are bicycles. A majority of Light Rail riders hang their bicycles up on specialized bike hooks located in the middle of the cars.

 

 

 

 

 

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© Pinstripe Princess – Opening Remarks from Commissioner Manfred

During breakfast, a lady came to my table and asked if she could sit in one of the empty spaces. She proceeded to sit down and at the time, little did I know that a friendship would begin. Her name is Vikki and what I learned from her was something else! Now, before I continue, one truth remains clear throughout the summit: NETWORKING IS IMPORTANT. This couldn’t ring truer for the next few days! It turned out that she was an entrepreneur and not a job seeker like me; but I didn’t want to discount a relationship with her since every bond, relationship, or friendship you make at these types of events can prove to be valuable – both personally and professionally. After Vikki sat down, a few minutes later, another girl sat down with us and I formed a great bond with her as well. Her name is Micalyn and she was a job seeker just like me. My friend who also attended the summit, the two ladies, and I had a great starting conversation and we ended up being each other’s support system throughout the summit.

At one point, Vikki gave me tips on strengthening and improving my resume and my confidence. Words aren’t enough to thank her for the tips she gave me! I will carry them with me and I hope that I retain my renewed confidence when I approach the rest of my job seeking journey.

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© Pinstripe Princess – The Infamous CHURRO DOG!

Micalyn introduced our group to someone she met the day before – Walter. Our tribe was certainly growing! We all walked around together and had lunch together. One of the best experiences I had was dessert. We had coupons for a dessert – rationed so that they could have the right amount of dessert for the attendees. I happened to have a coupon for a “churro dog” – ever had one of those??? Two words: HOLY. COW. What’s in it? It’s basically a churro placed like a hot dog in a chocolate frosted donut topped with vanilla frozen yogurt and chocolate and caramel sauces. It was like heaven on earth! My newfound “tribe” was laughing at me because Walter got his churro dog after I did and before he could sit back down, the first words out of my mouth were, “Are you going to eat that?” We all had a good laugh but let me tell you – it was THAT good!

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© Pinstripe Princess – My “Tribe”

After dessert, we wanted a group picture in front of the field by the third base dugout. We were positioning ourselves and asked a lady nearby if she could take our picture. We thanked her and ended up having a great conversation with her. I was particularly interested because she happened to be in broadcasting which is one of the areas I am in interested in. We all got her business card and she turned to me and said “Call me”. What excitement I felt at hearing these words! It turned out she was from Long Island like me and I truly learned a lot from her in the few minutes we spoke with her. I’m hoping she can give me guidance on how I can proceed in my journey.

 

© Pinstripe Princess - Salt River Fields

© Pinstripe Princess – Salt River Fields

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© Pinstripe Princess – The DBacks’ Mascot: DBacksBaxter

The planned activity for the close of the day was a Spring Training game at Salt River Fields between the Arizona Diamondbacks (naturally) and the Los Angeles Angels. What a beautiful stadium! One of the features I really liked was the expanse of lawn where fans can bring a blanket and take in the game. Even the Diamondbacks mascot made an appearance.

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© Pinstripe Princess – The DBacks’ Mascot: DBacksBaxter

© Pinstripe Princess - view from The Lawn at Salt River Field

© Pinstripe Princess – view from The Lawn at Salt River Field

At the end of the game the shuttles took us back to the stadium. On this bus ride, I sat next to a lady who looked just as tired as I felt. It certainly was quite a day! I didn’t want to bother her so I had a conversation for most of the ride with my friend. I couldn’t help the nagging feeling that I should be talking her to her anyway, but I was so torn…bother her for one last opportunity to make a connection? I heard some stories of how some connections were made by a simple conversation on the bus. When the bus started dropping people off at the hotels allotted for the summit, I began to question if the bus was going back to the stadium…I used this as an opportunity to ask the lady next to me since we were closing in…. on our respective destinations. What happened was the forging of a new connection. It turned out she was the Director of Accounting for the Milwaukee Brewers. We started to talk about her family in New York and we just had such a nice conversation. I started to ask her for advice and she told me to speak with the Vice President of Human Resources for the Brewers who happened to be sitting in one of the seats across from me…what a happy set of circumstances! Naturally, I made a mental note to do just that – to speak with the VP of HR – the next day. Back to Chase Field and onto the Light Rail to go back to my hotel …

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© Pinstripe Princess – Chase Field at Night

 

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© Pinstripe Princess – Chase Field at Night

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© Pinstripe Princess – Chase Field at Night

By the time I got to the hotel room, I had every intention of getting started on my newfound knowledge to plan my change of strategy. Unfortunately, my body had other ideas and I just felt asleep on my laptop – after all, I had a lot of information to process!

 

MLB DBS – PROFESSIONAL SIDE

Lessons learned during the first day:

  1. Never underestimate the power of making connections. It doesn’t matter the role of the person, increasing your network can only help you in your journey. Place high value on whomever you speak with, for these are the people who may one day be essential to your pathway to the job you seek. Being personable and approachable can potentially open up vast opportunities. Added bonus: greeting EVERYONE from the VP’s to directors to heads of departments to elevator operators and catering staff, greeting EVERYONE with a smile simply makes you feel better!
  2.  A functional resume is another option that should be considered – especially if you’re an individual who has a spotty employment history or you are trying to switch careers. Since I have been typing up my resumes, I have always relied on the use of the more traditional chronological format. Unfortunately, in trying to switch careers, my original resume practically SCREAMS one industry so transferable skills can get muddled by work experience. Other options for resumes that can highlight other aspects of who you are as a person are available. At the risk of sounding like I’m downplaying their value, work experience and education are pieces to the COMPLETE puzzle.
  3.  On the topic of resumes: some say one page should be the max and other say two pages are fine. What’s important is getting the most critical information across QUICKLY. What do I mean by this? Human resources personnel have A LOT of resumes to go through – especially after an event like this. Some argue that you should capture that person’s attention almost instantly, say, within the first 15 seconds of glancing at your resume. So you want the top items to be the parts of your resume that really “pop”.
  4.  Like I learned in NYU when I took the Sports Business Operations course, “EVERYTHING YOU DO IS PR (public relations) FOR YOURSELF”. This couldn’t ring truer for an event like this! Having this background knowledge, I was sure to conduct myself in such a way that would leave positive impressions on those around. This advice proved to be worth its weight in gold. Why? Everywhere we turned, there were industry leaders and professionals all around having casual conversations with all the attendees. How could I NOT conduct myself professionally? You never know who’s around that’s holding the keys to the kingdom (see #1).
  5.  Build up the courage and confidence to approach (in a professional way – see #4) people and speak with them. Have a regular conversation and engage them. ALWAYS make sure to be polite and courteous. At the end of the conversation, make sure to exchange information, or at the very least, get a business card. It is important to stay in constant contact to maintain the connections you have made. There were many underlying themes expressed during this summit that were repeated – let’s call them the “take home messages”. Getting a business card after a brief conversation is “take home message #1”.

If I think of anything else, I will let you know….but I’ll just let this all sink in!

 

Your Pinstripe Princess,

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