Shaun Hamilton, Torch 4, Business Administration Major with a concentration in Finance

Last week, I attended a professional development program called “Road to the Show,” hosted by the Red Sox at Fenway Park. The program afforded local college students the opportunity to engage in a moderated dialogue with Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein, and COO Sam Kennedy. Legendary Red Sox radio broadcaster and Northeastern faculty member Joe Castiglione introduced the execs and asked them a selection of previously submitted online questions. The two executives then, graciously, opened up the floor for students to ask their own questions.

From a personal standpoint, as a lifelong Red Sox fan and current Fenway Park employee, this program was almost too good to be true. Despite my obvious excitement, I did my best to maintain my composure and to keep a professional mindset during the session.  After the Q&A, we attended a meet and greet on the Budweiser Roof Deck with some current Red Sox employees while the teams finished up batting practice and prepared for the game. The Red Sox provided all of us with free tickets!

My intention when I applied to attend “Road to the Show” was to increase my social capital and perhaps learn a thing or two about the baseball industry, which is an industry that I would like to work in. The program in its entirety vastly exceeded my expectations. Both Mr. Epstein and Mr. Kennedy told funny stories, relayed relevant and useful experiences, and gave advice that is undoubtedly applicable to not only the baseball industry, but to all business fields.  Baseball is certainly a business and Mr. Epstein and Mr. Kennedy helped show me exactly how delicate and difficult it can be. It requires long hours and dedication – but if you’re having fun and doing what you love, that makes it all worth it.

One particular piece of advice that I took home with me is relevant to all aspects of life, not just baseball or sports. Mr. Epstein talked about a quote that influences him a great deal – one by former Patriots Coach and future Hall of Famer Bill Parcells: “If you listen to the people in the seats, pretty soon you’ll be sitting with them.”

To me, this quote symbolizes staying the course and trusting your judgment. Mr. Epstein made sure to couple it with a mantra of hard work breeds success – which also resonated with me. This is true in life, sports, work, and education – work hard, trust your judgment, and (to quote Patriots coach Bill Belichick) “ignore the noise.”

I had an amazing time and can’t thank the Red Sox enough for this unique opportunity!