First and foremost, thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout this entire process. I’ve had some time now to reflect on the past few days and what it has meant to me to be a Top 30 finalist. Bear with me as this is quite a lengthy post. I also stole some pics…hope y’all don’t mind :D.
On Monday afternoon, I headed to the airport to meet another finalist, Stephe (Yankees rep). It was awesome to chat with her and to have someone to share the excitement with as we flew to Arizona together!
When we arrived at the hotel, we met the rest of the finalists and exchanged hugs. It was quite a sight to see all of us from different parts of the country/continent finally in one spot together. We’ve gotten to know a bit about each other the past few weeks while campaigning online but it was nice to call them by their real name and not just by their Twitter handle.
For our first full day in AZ, we started off by receiving our schedules and a bunch of MLB Fan Cave swag!
We all then headed off to Chase Field where we met the Fan Cave staff and MLB executives. It was incredible to see all of the staff and their commitment to the program. They’ve obviously been following our campaigns as well but it still caught me off guard when they already knew my name as we mingled.
After lunch, I received my first challenge of the day: a remote interview with MLB Network anchor, Greg Amsinger. It was the first time I’ve ever done something like that…staring off into a camera while hearing his voice in my in-ear but it ended up being a lot of fun! Plus we got to hang out in the dugout while we waited for our turn which wasn’t too bad as well ;).
The second challenge was a 60 second elevator pitch. They informed us about this before the trip so it wasn’t a surprise but it was still nerve wracking to say the least. While we took turns going, we waited in a locker room where we bonded over hidden talents and Taylor Swift.
Afterwards, the production team wanted to shoot a Les Mis parody video with us in anticipation for the Oscars this Sunday. I love Les Mis and I love lip-syncing but learning altered lyrics on the spot was a bit trickier than I thought! Check it out here.
To end the night, we played baseball trivia and sang a little bit of karaoke. Just a little.
For our second full day, my trivia team and I woke up to cold, rainy weather (c’mon Phoenix!) and headed out to Salt River fields to do a local Fox morning interview as our prize for winning the night before. The interviewer was super nice and it went pretty smoothly despite the rain.
Back at the hotel, the 30 finalists split up into 3 different groups to head out to some spring training camps (Surprise, Salt River, and Goodyear). I was assigned to Surprise and was super stoked to get a chance to meet some Rangers. Unfortunately they had an early start that day so I didn’t get to see them but the rest of the day made up for it! We also received a team challenge while we were there and ended up making short commercials before it was time for lunch.
In the afternoon, the staff informed us that we would be shooting a video with a couple of Royals players. As we waited, we see a man in a clean white and blue Royals uniform walk towards us. Angalena, our Royals rep, was greeted with a big bear hug by none other than George Brett. He was super friendly and was such a genuine guy. We then went down to shoot our video with Jeff Francoeur and Alex Gordon, who were also really great to meet!
We then headed back to our hotel where I had my final sit-down interview. I think it went pretty well but it made me think that I need a better go-to story for my most embarrassing moment.
To end the festivities, we went to Lucky Strikes for some food and good ole bowling fun.
Throughout this whole process, I met some incredibly talented and super cool people. I’m so glad to have gone through this experience with you all. I know it’s been said before but we truly are like a family. Even though we had a lot of fun, there were some ups and downs and I’m grateful that we are able to support one another because really only about 60 people across the country know what this process really feels like. Love you all.
On a professional side, this experience was also on a new level. Going through business undergrad could only prepare me so much for these challenges. These past few weeks have definitely pushed me creatively and I left very encouraged today knowing that I did the best I could.
Well thanks for reading if you made it this far! Whether I make it in the cave or not, this will go down as one of the most memorable chapters in my life.