Elon students attend MLB Winter Meetings in Orlando

Led by Assistant Professor Mark Cryan, seven students attended the four-day event that drew representatives from all 30 Major League Baseball teams and their 160 minor league affiliates. Among those on hand were several Elon alumni now working in professional baseball.

The Winter Meetings are the pinnacle of the Major League Baseball offseason and, for a second straight year, a group of Elon students participated in the annual gathering, rubbing shoulders with top MLB representatives and soliciting advice from Elon alumni currently working in the industry.

At the conclusion of his Transitions Strategy: Sport Management class, Assistant Professor Mark Cryan led seven students to the Winter Meetings – held Dec. 10-14 in Orlando – to participate in the event’s seminars, trade show and job fair.

As part of the course and in preparation for the trip, students sharpened their resumes, conducted mock interviews through the Student Professional Development Center, and prepared to network with baseball executives. Additionally, students spoke with Elon alumnus Matt Mallian ’17, a communications intern with the Texas Rangers. Mallian first connected with the Rangers while attending the 2016 Winter Meetings with Cryan’s class.

According to Cryan, nearly 500 jobs and internships were posted at the job fair, and approximately 500 students and job seekers were in attendance. The Elon contingent’s preparation paid off with several students securing internship offers, and one was offered a full-time position.

The students on hand were Ben Bean, Matt Cotton, Michael Gerbasi, Kristina Grigos, Caroline McGranahan, Evan Piercy and Mark Scola.

Additionally, Cryan arranged for several informal Q&A sessions with event attendees, including several Elon alumni. Students spoke with Ryan Moore ’06, general manager of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans; Mike Dunn ’91, vice president of Florida operations for the Atlanta Braves; Bryan Holland ’09, general manager of sales for the Potomac Nationals; and John Lopez ’17, a member of scouting operations for MLB’s Commissioner’s Office.

Students also chatted with Bill Smith, former general manager of the Minnesota Twins, who currently serves as an assistant to Pat O'Conner, president of Minor League Baseball. Lastly, the Elon group visited with Grant Flick '17, who works for the Kansas City Royals at the franchise’s Dominican Republic academy.

“It was a successful trip for the students, facilitated by many cooperative professors who helped the students work out their exam schedules so they could get the benefits of this great event,” Cryan said.

While the trip is centered around professional development, Cryan noted the event’s festivities and star sightings are entertaining. “The meetings themselves are a lot of fun for the students, with MLB.TV broadcasting from the hotel lobby, and lots of media and industry figures walking around," Cryan said. "For example, we saw Jack Morris right after the announcement of his election to the Hall of Fame.”