LAS VEGAS – Erin Dwyer has delivered many home-run performances in her academic and athletic endeavors during her lifetime.
She went through a grand-slam type of experience during a trip to this year’s professional baseball meetings.
Dwyer joined three other University of Iowa graduate students at the annual Baseball Winter Meetings in Las Vegas. Executives and employees of all major and minor league baseball teams traveled to the event for five days of work. Dwyer said she was ecstatic about having the opportunity to meet many of the top faces in the baseball world.
“It was awesome,” Dwyer said. “I wanted to learn a little bit about what it takes to run an event like that someday, and I got a lot out of it. There were over 3,000 people at the convention center, so it was a great chance to network and grow my professional resume. It was everything I had hoped it would be.”
The Elmwood-Murdock grad was one of 13 students from Iowa to work in a separate industry-only event in Des Moines in September. Minor League Baseball leaders attended the seminar and identified four students who showed immediate promise in the industry. They invited Dwyer, Nick Winker, Devyn Kelly and T.K. Al-Amin to attend the winter meetings in Nevada in December.
The University of Iowa Health and Human Physiology Department and the university’s Sport and Recreation Management Program helped all four students with expenses. This allowed them to enjoy the experience without worrying about major financial obligations for the trip.
Everyone who works in professional baseball took part in the Baseball Winter Meetings. Major League Baseball owners made decisions on corporate policies and general managers were able to conduct trades and sign free agents. People were also able to attend educational seminars, participate in job fairs and enjoy networking opportunities at banquets.
Dwyer said one of the highlights was taking part in a seminar led by women who currently work in baseball operations. Their jobs included public relations, management, marketing and financial operations.
“It was really great to hear from different women who are a part of the industry,” Dwyer said. “That was one of the best seminars I went to because it was really interesting to hear about their experiences.”
Dwyer met members of the MLB Network and spoke with several executives of Minor League Baseball teams. Representatives from more than 160 baseball organizations attended the meetings. She said their conversations sparked additional awareness about the possibility of joining a baseball staff.
“It’s definitely one of the areas I’m looking at,” Dwyer said. “I’m open to all types of fields. Going to this really piqued my interest in professional baseball though.”
Dwyer will graduate from the University of Iowa in May and is exploring the fields of sports marketing, public relations and advertising. She said she will use her experience in Las Vegas to try to move to the top of the lineup in her chosen career.
“I think it’s definitely a huge step to be able to get the opportunity to go to the meetings,” Dwyer said. “Even if I don’t end up going into baseball it was worth it just to see the management side of things and how people run an event like this. I don’t think you can put a number on how valuable this was. I feel very fortunate to have been able to have attended this.”