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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Dierkes: GMs Advise Students With Front Office Aspirations

Duke, Daniels, DiPoto, and a cast of undiscovereds.

It’s an email that lands in the MLBTR inbox often: an ambitious high school student dreams of being a Major League GM one day, and asks us for advice.  I decided to ask a bunch of people who would know: current GMs and assistant GMs.  Top execs from 17 teams responded to MLBTR’s query: What one piece of advice would you give to a high school student who hopes to work in baseball operations one day?

Marlins baseball ops guy Michael Wickham comes up with one word: plastics. Er, analytics:

I would tell them to develop their analytical skills as much as they can.  One of the main front office skills is analyzing the never-ending flow of information.  This consists of scouting reports, medical, performance, agents, etc.  Analytical skills are used in every aspect of the operation, from payroll management to breaking down a pitcher’s delivery or a hitter’s swing.  They further can educate themselves on statistical analysis and the valuation of players.

Greg Franklin Posted: February 26, 2013 at 07:03 PM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: advice, general managers, high school

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 27, 2013 at 09:36 AM (#4376913)
Be different. Have a unique skill or talent that could potentially be useful, but not a lot of people do. That's my advice for any job you really want.
   2. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 27, 2013 at 10:20 AM (#4376937)
Be different. Have a unique skill or talent that could potentially be useful, but not a lot of people do. That's my advice for any job you really want.

My advice is to develop as many different skills as possible, and not fixate on any one particular job or industry.

In today's corporate environment, the "dream job" or even "dream career" that you will have for 10, 20, 30 years is pretty much a dinosaur. Better to be prepared to switch roles and industries every 3-5 years
   3. catomi01 Posted: February 27, 2013 at 12:06 PM (#4377018)
Didn't read the article yet - so it my be mentioned...but from my own past experience...the best chance to land a job and start advancing, is to know someone already involved...might not seem fair, but its how the baseball world works. My first job came because I got the name of the GM from my uncle...the next one came because I was recommended by a former pitching coach when his new team had an opening. If you don't have someone helping to grease the wheels for you, you really are just 1 of thousands - the year I went to the winter meetings and the job fair there, every job posted had hundreds of applications...don't know if the market is the same now as it was then, but the employers in the sports world have a lot more leverage than prospective employees - if anything I would imagine the higher unemployment rate has made that worse, not better.
   4. Mark Edward Posted: February 27, 2013 at 12:25 PM (#4377033)
Didn't read the article yet - so it my be mentioned...but from my own past experience...the best chance to land a job and start advancing, is to know someone already involved...might not seem fair, but its how the baseball world works

Isn't this how almost all professions work, especially these days?
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 27, 2013 at 12:30 PM (#4377036)
Isn't this how almost all professions work, especially these days?

It's how all professions have always worked.

Getting a reccomendation from someone you trust is the best way to avoid true disaster hires. Most people won't put their rep on the line for a terrible candidate, but terrible candidates can often do very well in interview processes.
   6. Steve Sparks Flying Everywhere Posted: February 27, 2013 at 01:12 PM (#4377069)
Like #3 mentioned it's all about who you know. If you don't know anyone, then you put yourself in a position to get to know those people. You work for a minor league team and get to know the area scouts who come to the games. If you're lucky one might start to recommend you. Of course that depends on your social skills and how you communicate with people. Be friendly, smile, ask good questions, get the other person to talk about themselves. Basically it's the blueprint on how to be successful in life.

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