NAF Student Reflection: An Unforgettable Day at loanDepot park
Photo credit: Miami Marlins
As a junior at Hialeah Gardens High, I’ve reached the point of my high school career where I am seriously considering the kind of pathway I want to pursue in the future and how to get on track to do so. While my classmates seem to have concrete plans, like pursuing engineering, nursing, law, or another specific field of interest, I’ve not been able to settle on one area that I want to focus on. I’ve explored financial analysis, marketing, journalism, publishing, event planning, just to name a few, and have found that it has become difficult to process my options and consider what I would like to do for the rest of my life. The idea of finding one thing and sticking with it has become increasingly difficult, but I’ve always known that it is part of growing up. This motivated me to take every opportunity I can to learn from others who were recently in the same position as me. I’ve become very involved in many areas of Career & Technical Education (CTE), joining the Academy of International Finance (AOIF) and the Academy of Hospitality & Tourism (AOHT), as well as becoming a member of DECA and FBLA.
After hearing about the opportunity to participate in the Miami Marlins Job Shadow event for National Girls & Women in Sports Day, I instantly knew it would be something I was interested in! Throughout my life, baseball has always been a reoccurring motif, whether it was going to my cousins’ games as a child, watching MLB reruns with my dad, or occasionally attending Marlins games when we could. I immediately signed up for the event and hoped to learn about new careers in a field I had grown up around but had not yet considered.
I never thought I would come home raving about the impact it had on my vision for next steps after high school. I was able to listen to the stories of multiple women who followed many different paths to get to where they are today and even got the opportunity to ask for advice when it came to my situation of not knowing what I want to do. The panelists were extremely helpful, and I was able to visualize myself having a career like those I spoke with. Many aspects of the work are unique and breaks the mold of a typical 9-5 job, which has never interested me — providing a constantly moving and exciting experience. These were the characteristics that stood out to me and allowed me to add a career in sports to my list of potential careers. The conversations and connections I shared with many of the women inspired me to reach out and do something I loved, as they each spoke passionately about their work and the paths that brought them there. What inspired me the most, however, was that many did not have a one-track route and were also unsure about what field they would enter, until they were presented with the opportunity to work in sports management or related fields.
Not only did I learn so much from the panelists, but we were also granted the opportunity to take a behind-the-scenes tour of loanDepot park, where we saw the locker rooms, kitchen areas, and even got to step out onto the field, as they prepared for a convention. We discovered some interesting facts about the stadium as well, such as its history and the evolution of the Marlins organization. It was a very intimate experience that I found to be surreal; having gone from sitting in the stands watching the Marlins play, to being out on the field with a vision for my future!
After this experience, I am able to take away with me the amazing lessons and memories that I made, as well as a newfound insight and appreciation for the business side of sports, which seems like a great fit for me. As I am currently preparing for my summer internship, I hope to have the opportunity to apply to work with the Miami Marlins this year. I am also extremely grateful to the panelists for reaching out and being available, as well as making the experience an extremely memorable one — which has changed my outlook on the world of work, in hopes of finding something I will love to do, while knowing that I still have time to figure out what is right for me.