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From Minors to the Majors: The Continuing Journey of Chadwick Fischer

This interview is presented to you by the University of Nebraska — Lincoln Master of Arts in Business with a Specialization in Intercollegiate Athletics Administration

By: Chase Kostellic, @kostellic

Chadwick Fischer, Social Media Coordinator for MLBAM

Front Office Sports is proud to have sat down with Chadwick Fischer, an in-game social media coordinator at Major League Baseball Advanced Media. Fischer is a Louisville native who graduated from the University of Louisville with a B.S. in Communication in 2009. His journey is one that includes a substantial amount of willpower and perseverance, both of which are still being put into full force as he continues to build his young career.

After graduation, he began his journey with an attempt to work in advertising or public relations. He interned briefly with Doe-Anderson, an advertising agency in Louisville, but after struggling to find a job, Fischer took a chance in a new field and began an internship in 2011 with the Louisville Bats, the Triple-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. As an unpaid media relations intern, he worked home games and a handful of road games. During his time with the Bats, he realized working in sports was where he wanted to be.

In 2012, the Bats invited him back as a paid media relations assistant. Not only did he focus on just the media relations aspect of the organization, he was able to work in the office and assist with sales. Following the 2012 season, his superior moved on from his role to a position with another company. After interning for two years, his hard work combined with some luck landed him an offer from the team to take over as the director of media and public relations. Within this role, he held numerous responsibilities, such as managing the team’s social media accounts, serving as a media liaison, writing content for the media and the team website, maintaining statistics during games, editing photographs and videos, managing interns, assisting the team coaching staff and even selling tickets.

As the 2013 season came to a close, Fischer reached out to the University of Louisville. Looking to continue gaining experience during the Bats’ offseason, a slow time of year, he shared his resume with his connection and soon after was offered the opportunity to assist with Twitter content during men’s basketball games. Although it was unpaid, he spent two seasons helping out by tweeting as “Louie The Card,” the mascot for the University of Louisville. All of this was done while maintaining his role with the Bats.

After holding his director of media and public relations position with the Bats for three years, he decided it was time to take the next step in his career. Fischer accepted a position with MLB Advanced Media as an in-game social media coordinator, working exclusively with the Cincinnati Reds. Knowing that his ultimate career goal was to work in MLB, he jumped at the opportunity. Even though it was a tough decision to leave the Bats, he is happy with his current situation.

“I love what I do for them. It’s pretty awesome. There are only 30 people out there that cover an MLB team on the official club accounts. You get to be the voice of the club. It’s pretty amazing.”

Although he thoroughly enjoys the work he does now, we learned that his new position came with a big risk, yet the risk is crucial for him to get to where he wants to be.

“It was definitely a gamble leaving the Bats to do this. I’m not full-time anymore. I left a full-time job to reach my goal of being in Major League Baseball. Ideally, at the end of the season, I’ll be a candidate for a full-time position, if not with the Reds, than with another club or with MLB Advanced Media.”

With his aspirations in place and experience continuing to grow, he feels confident that he will find the right advancement opportunity.

“Now I’m in a good position to where I’ll be set up pretty well to get a social media job, or possibly a media relations job, with a major league club after the season.”

While continuing to learn and progress, working in sports business has given Fischer a lot of rewarding experiences that he shared, including aspects that very few outside of the field have the opportunity to be a part of.

“Last summer, we helped out with the All-Star Game and Home Run Derby in Cincinnati. A couple of my assistants and my old boss from the Bats helped MLB by serving as photo runners. It was just an amazing experience being there. “

Being able to work at the Home Run Derby also gave him one of the most memorable experiences of his journey thus far.

“I was standing on the field when Todd Frazier hit the last home run of the Home Run Derby to win it. It was pretty incredible. Those kinds of things, the things that don’t happen every day, they are pretty special.”

Amidst many rewarding experiences, Fischer has an aspect of his work that he values more than anything.

“There’s just the general idea of getting up to go to work and you go to a Major League Baseball park every day. It’s not like going to an office. That’s enjoyable in and of itself. “

Although there are a lot of perks to working in sports, it can be challenging, especially when it comes to progressing into a desired role. Fischer has been embracing the challenges and is actively working to overcome them.

“The biggest challenge so far is getting that full-time Major League spot. If you asked that question before I took my current position, I would have said getting my full-time job with the Bats. I think it’s still kind of tough to find these full-time jobs and it’s such a competitive field because everybody wants to work in sports. Trying to stand out above other candidates and showing your work, who you are, and what you can do, it’s tough. That’s what I’m still trying to do right now, find my full-time place in Major League Baseball.”

Throughout all of his experiences, networking and interning has played a crucial role in Fischer’s progression. These experiences, as well as the work he has seen from others have been pivotal in his development.

“I got noticed by folks with the Reds for what I was doing with the Bats and maintaining that connection was what ultimately led to the position I’m in now. Networking, obviously, is extremely important, the more people that you meet, different places, the better you stay in touch with them. Whether it’s exchanging an email every couple months or tweeting them all the time, staying in front of those people is a good thing for when opportunities arise.”

As for interning, Fischer stated, “This is something I was more or less taught by people that I was interviewing at the Bats than when I was seeking an internship. They taught me that you can’t wait for an internship posting to pop up online to apply for it. Pick somewhere where you want to work and find the right person to contact and say ‘Hey, I’m willing to work as an unpaid intern. I’ll do whatever you want for a few months, no pay or anything. I’m looking for that experience to put on my resume.’”

In conjunction with putting both feet forward, drive and determination will take you a long way. This is something Fischer witnessed through one of his past interns.

“When I was working for the Bats, we were hiring interns and I had met a student who worked for the U of L soccer program without a wealth of knowledge for the game. With the drive and dedication he showed to getting and making the best of that position with soccer team I knew I had to hire him. He started as an intern for me before becoming my assistant and now works for the Washington Wizards.”

With all that Fischer has learned and experienced, he concluded that perseverance is a major key in getting to where you want to be.

“Don’t wait for that opportunity to come into your email inbox. Put your name in somebody else’s inbox. The thing to do is just persevere. It’s not easy. You’re probably not going to get that big internship you want on the first try. Do everything you can to make sure you’re on top of your work, being noticed, making your bosses happy, and putting yourself in a good position for your next opportunity.”

Some worthwhile advice for aspiring sports business professionals that Fischer left us with emphasizes staying positive and motivated.

“When you’re in a slump, just stay with it, keep doing what you’re doing, and eventually you’ll bust out of it. When you’re looking for an internship or a job, you have got to keep going because you’re going to send out a ton of resumes and letters, and maybe 8% of them are going to reply back to you, and maybe 2% will write back asking you for an interview. The sports field is kind of flooded, but if you stick with it, you’ll eventually find an opportunity that is right for you.”

We would like to extend a huge thank you to Chadwick for taking some time to share his story and advice with us. We wish him the best in meeting all of his goals.

Chadwick is happy to connect with everyone and share conversation/answer any questions!

You can follow him on Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn.

This interview is presented to you by the University of Nebraska — Lincoln Master of Arts in Business with a Specialization in Intercollegiate Athletics Administration

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