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Part 2: Expectation vs. Reality

Hi friends,

We're back! So, as I was saying, Salem definitely wasn't where I thought I would end up after college, but it turned out to be one of the best summers of my life. Isn't that ironic? I never envisioned myself working in baseball, let alone for a Single-A team in Salem, Virginia (which felt like the middle of nowhere), but I cherished every moment of it.

You see, working for a minor league team allowed me to get a taste of what it was like to work in a front office with less pressure. Since a minor league baseball front office isn't exactly overflowing with employees, I had a hand in every department, from marketing and broadcasting to social media, mascot coordination, and field management. And yes, I pulled the tarp more times than I can count – ha! Now, I understand that what I'm describing may not sound as glamorous as my original plan of becoming the next Erin Andrews straight out of college (and believe me, it wasn't glamorous at all). However, let me explain why my reality ultimately surpassed my unrealistic high hopes.

Let's begin with the culture. The work culture in that office was phenomenal and I was incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by hard-working and fun people. When you work in minor-league baseball, you practically live at the ballpark, so you're spending a ton of time with your colleagues. We became like a family that summer. To this day, I'd still label it as the best work culture I've ever experienced. Without the amazing people I worked alongside, my summer wouldn't have been the same.

Then there's the experience. There were moments that summer when juggling a million responsibilities felt overwhelming and stressful, and the exhaustion would set in. However, having all of that real-life experience in the sports world was a pivotal point in my career. I initially joined as Salem's on-field host and social media manager, but in such a small office, I ended up pitching in on everything.

Having that experience and added responsibilities was truly a blessing in disguise. It allowed me to immerse myself in every department and facet of working within a front office. Remember how I initially thought I wanted to be an on-field host? Well, it was during my time with the Salem Red Sox that I discovered my genuine passion for managing our team's social channels. I was the sole person responsible for all the graphics, videos, and coverage across our team's platforms. Sound overwhelming? It definitely was, but I absolutely loved it! Taking on this role with the Salem Sox enabled me to explore every aspect of the job, experience both the highs and lows, experiment with new strategies and platforms, and yes, even make mistakes – all in a role with significantly less pressure.

It was this experience that led me to a job opening with the Boston Red Sox, and I was eventually "called up" to join the social media team in Boston. I share all of this to emphasize that, regardless of where you are in your sports career (even if it's nothing like what you initially expected or imagined), it's crucial to remain open and never say never. You never know where your journey will take you, but it's essential to trust the process, maintain confidence in yourself, and remember that you're awesome and you belong here!

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