By Alana Meraz
My first job in the sports industry was with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The little girl who rocked purple and teal t-shirts and grew up going to Bank One Ballpark/Chase Field was screaming. I joined the street team during the 2017 season and came back the following season as a game operations assistant. Whether it was how to draw the logo on a poster or how to make the mascot meet and greet line move faster. With every game that I worked, I would learn something new.
These are five things I learned while working for the D-backs:
- How to be more professional – I hadn’t had a corporate or regular office job before and while this job didn’t have me sitting behind a desk, I automatically felt like I had to “grow up.” I was working at the major league level, so I had to put on my A-game every day I stepped into the building. I represented the team to the fans that I interacted with every game and at all our team events that took place outside of the ballpark. I didn’t want to do anything that would make the Diamondbacks as an organization look bad or make myself look bad to my colleagues.
- To not take any job opportunity for granted – When I applied for the internship, I told myself “it wasn’t a big deal if I didn’t get it” because I haven’t heard from them until almost two months after my interview. I didn’t realize the impact the people I met during my time with the Diamondbacks would have on my life. I still talk to a few of my old coworkers and don’t know where my life would be if I hadn’t met them. It was a great experience to work for a professional team but don’t take the people you meet during the internship/job for granted because they could end up being some of your very best friends.
- How to talk to strangers – Interacting with strangers in this way was new to me. Sure, I had worked in the ticket office but always interacted with fans over the phone. Convincing someone to participate in an in-game promotion was a whole different ball game. The number of times I was given weird looks or turned down are far too many to count. Since I knew it wasn’t anything against me, it helped me practice my communication skills and how to be more personable with every person I encounter.
- Flexibility – This can be taken in two ways:
- Time: Sometimes commitments come up that make your availability limited but it’s important to strive to make that up down the road.
- Responsibilities: Maybe the marketing or community relations department needs extra help. Be willing to be that help, you may learn something new, make new friends and it could even open a door for a future job opportunity. Flexibility is key when it comes to working in sports
- Try and learn something new every day – Oftentimes, it is easy to get caught up in your work routine. Every game you have the same responsibilities and soon enough it’s like writing your name, you don’t pay attention anymore, you’re on autopilot. But I believe it’s important to go in each day striving to learn something new. Whether it’s a new fact about a player, or learning a new skill from a colleague, it is crucial to better ourselves day-in and day-out.