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2016 Baseball Winter Meetings Survival Guide

The 2016 Baseball Winter Meetings will take place in National Harbor, Maryland, Dec. 4-8, at Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center. (Image via milb.com)

By: Austin Weaver, @AustinTWeaver

In less than a week, baseball executives, sports business professionals and hopeful job seekers will take over the Gaylord National Resort & Conference Center in National Harbor, Maryland, just outside of Washington D.C. for the 2016 Baseball Winter Meetings and PBEO Job Fair.

As someone that is making the trip for the first time, I was curious to find out what others had done to get the most out of their experience. Seeking advice, I turned to social media for help. What you see below is a compilation of advice from lawyers, executives, interns, and professionals from all areas of the industry who extended a few words of insight to me.

Mistake-Proof your Resume

The job fair features nearly 400 job postings, and with anywhere between 500–600 job seekers in attendance, a simple mistake on your resume can be a killer when teams start going through the resumes.

Business Cards

You never know who you may run into during the Baseball Winter Meetings and it is important that you have professional business cards on you at all times.

Master Your Pitch

While it may be a bad pun, having a rock solid 10 to 15 second elevator pitch is no joke. You never know when you are going to catch someone’s ear and have an opportunity to explain why you can add value to an organization.

Clean-up your Social Media

Don’t let a dumb tweet or Facebook picture keep you from getting the internship or job of your dreams. Make sure your online presence is that of a professional.

Be a Great Listener

As someone going to the Baseball Winter Meetings for the first time, you have an opportunity to learn from some of the brightest individuals in the business of baseball. Take advantage of every learning opportunity and understand when listening is the best way to learn.

Prepare Questions

If you are pursuing a certain role in the baseball industry, prepare questions that you would like to ask individuals working in those positions. Not only is this an invaluable learning opportunity, it also shows how sincere you are about learning more.

Reach out and Set up Interviews Now

Informational interviews are an amazing opportunity to not only network but a chance to ask the questions you have, and continue learning from those that are already working in the industry.

Business of Baseball Workshop

For first time attendees, attending this event was mentioned by many different individuals which speaks to the importance of attending if possible. The list of speakers is phenomenal and you can find the full day itinerary HERE.

Dress Professionally

You never know when you might be called in for an interview or who you might run into in the lobby.

Act Professional at All Times

While this may seem like common sense, several people made sure to mention how important it is to remain professional at all times, even during late nights at the convention center. Don’t let one night of foolishness ruin a great opportunity.

Attend the Special Events

The Gala held Wednesday night at Nationals Park has been labeled as a must-attend as this is one of the best chances for job seekers to network with others in attendance. With that said, feel free to re-read the topic directly above this.

Tickets for the Gala are $75 and can be purchased on site at the Gaylord Resort.

Network with Peers

You never know who you might meet in the job posting room, so don’t forget to be considerate and build connections with those around you.

Don’t Limit Yourself

There are a wide range of jobs that will be posted, go in with an open mind as you might find an interesting position outside of your area of expertise.

Take Care of Yourself; Relax

Going through the job fair can be a taxing affair. Reading through hundreds of job postings, waiting on interview schedules, interviewing, waiting on offers, and making career decisions, you can easily get wound up over the course of the week. Be sure and take time to catch your breath and just relax.

Be More Than a Fan

You may be asked why you want to work in baseball, and the answer shouldn’t be that you are a fan. Everyone in attendance is a fan of the game. Find a way to differentiate yourself from everyone else.

Ask Questions

You may get lost or confused about a certain process. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! There will be staff available to help with any questions. Your fellow job seekers are also a great resource if you find yourself unsure about something!

There has been some great advice shared and this list will be continuously updated as Baseball Winter Meeting Veterans share their knowledge.

I would like to thank everyone that took the time to reach out through Twitter and LinkedIn to offer their tidbits of knowledge, and I hope this is a helpful guide for anyone preparing to head to the nation’s capital.

I look forward to connecting with as many people as possible at the Baseball Winter Meetings and I would love to continue adding to this list of advice throughout the week so feel free to reach out to me on Twitter or LinkedIn!

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