I’ve just completed my fourth season with the Durham Bulls.
It’s hard to fathom that I began my journey with the best sports organization in the country – okay, maybe I’m a tad biased – four years ago. I was fresh out of college and knew I wanted to work in local sports. I went into the Bulls’ job fair on one Saturday morning in early Spring, nervous as hell. Turns out I was nervous for no reason at all as I walked in, did a quick interview, and was invited to join the staff soon after.
I’ll also never forget the first game I worked. A soggy, windy, and cold night in early-April. I went into it not knowing a soul. However, there was a select group of coworkers in my department – you know who you are – who took me in and treated me like I had been working there forever. All the while showing me the ropes and how to provide top notch service to our fans.
Of course, I’ve learned a lot along the way and have grown both personally and professionally during the past few years. Perhaps the biggest thing for me has been social skills. I come into contact with thousands of people during a season at the Durham Bulls, so it has wiped away almost any social issues I’ve had. I’ve also gotten thrown into the fire rather quick, which is a good thing. After just a little bit of hands on training from my coworkers during my first year, I was entrusted to run the guest services desk myself on one of the busiest days of the season. I did fine, by the way, thanks in large part to customer service skills I picked up at my internship and guidance from my coworkers.
There have been so many memories made and moments I’ll never forget experiencing while working for the Bulls. At the top of that list is winning back-to-back Governors’ Cup Championships, a first for me as a fan and employee, as well as the 2017 Triple-A National Championship. Right up there, too, is being recognized as Employee of the Year in 2018 and Employee of the Homestand in 2019.
Plus, how can I forget meeting players’ parents, families, and friends, like Rays’ top prospect, Brent Honeywell’s, mom and dad when they made a stop at Guest Services during a game. Developing relationships with some of our longtime season ticket holders, who attend just about every game during the season.
Getting to meet special folks like the Goodmon’s and front office staff from other Triple-A clubs. Being put up to asking ACC Broadcaster, Tom Werme, to “relinquish the popcorn” as a joke by his broadcasting buddies while working the media area during the ACC Championship. Chatting it up with (now) former Carolina Hurricane Calvin deHaan – and having a clearly inebriated deHaan exclaim “You’re the tits!” to me as a showing of gratitude for making his and his friends’ visit to the ballpark awesome. Seeing Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton play in a rehab stint with the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Railriders. Oh, and I can’t forget to mention the countless fireworks shows, especially the Fourth of July ones.
It’s truly been a crazy ride. As the sun has set on another season, I’m continually grateful to the Durham Bulls organization for giving me this opportunity. Here’s to what the future has in store!