I had a high school history teacher who was also the varsity baseball coach, and he asked me to help keep score and compile statistics. In those three years, I learned baseball and grew to love the sport. When the time came for me to attend college, baseball was one thing that truly interested me, so I continued working with the sport at a collegiate level, and now at a professional level. Believe it or not, I have never played sports; I prefer to stay behind the scenes.
What is your education?
I earned a Bachelor of Science from the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Iowa in Sports, Health, Leisure and Physical Studies, with an emphasis in Sports Studies, and double minor in Communication Studies and Business Administration.
How did you acquire a position with the Oakland Athletics?
My interest in baseball led me to work in the Iowa Sports Information Department, where I interned for four years serving as the primary baseball and cross country contact while assisting with football and basketball, among other sports. By my junior year in college, I hadn't chosen a specific career, but loved baseball and wanted to incorporate that into a career.
After graduating, I held a season-long public relations internship with the Chicago White Sox and gained valuable experience at the professional baseball level. In 2002, I moved to Arizona and interned during Spring Training with the A's PR staff and then worked part-time in the sports department for the Arizona Republic newspaper. In February of 2003, I was hired on full-time as the A's Media Relations Coordinator, and my role has grown exponentially since then.
Give us a glimpse of what you do.
The A's public relations department, which is comprised of four full-timers and two interns, serves as the liaison between media outlets and the team. In addition to assisting with daily media requests and day of game duties, I organize and publicize work associated with various community and charitable initiatives and coordinate all player appearances related to marketing or special events.
In my position, I do a little bit of everything, which includes traveling with the team to Spring Training and for a minimum of two regular season road trips, writing game notes, assisting with the production of the media guide, coordinating features for Comcast SportsNet CA's "All A's" show and assisting players with their charitable work. When the team is in town during the season, our typical day begins at 9:30 a.m. and concludes about an hour after the last out of the game, and during the off-season we work more of a typical 9-5 schedule.
What is your advice on starting a career in the sports industry?
A sports background does help when looking for an internship, similar to my experience at the University of Iowa, however it is not mandatory as long as one shows knowledge and interest in gaining experience. Internships are imperative to move up in this line of work as they give you the experience necessary to earn an entry level position. My advice to aspiring students looking to gain an edge over other candidates is to work in either the sports information department or school newspaper to gain an understanding of media relations.
What do you enjoy about your current position?
I love baseball and the experiences that come with working with a Major League baseball team, such as traveling to other cities and countries, building relationships with local and national writers, producers, reporters and photographers, and working with a number of players and coaches. I would have to say that my favorite part of my position is using the resources to get out into the community and help make a difference. When I take a player to visit a school or children's hospital or to host a clinic or meet and greet - it's all about that look in a child's eye and knowing that you made a difference.
For more information, visit www.oaklandathletics.com.
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