Play Ball: My Summer with MLB

Emma Segerman, WH ’24, Bexley, OH

This summer, I found myself at times in a dugout in San Diego, and others running through a hospital in Manhattan. I worked as a Baseball Operations intern for Major League Baseball, concentrating in a broad department with focuses ranging from the Amateur Draft to medical operations to international operations. This internship was a personal and professional dream and would not have been possible without the generous support of the career services funding grant.

Hitting the ground running, my first major assignment was to work MLB’s Draft Combine. In the event’s second year, MLB invited 300 high school and college players to San Diego to participate in performance evaluations, on-field showcases, and media sessions in advance of MLB’s Amateur Draft. With all hands on deck, my assignments varied from coordinating transportation for players to collecting data on the Combine’s classic performance tests (like the 30-yard dash). Working alongside scouts, team doctors, and former Major League players, I learned nuances of the industry I never could have learned otherwise.

Returning to MLB’s Manhattan headquarters, I shifted my focus to support in advance of the Draft. I was trusted with a variety of assignments to polish and deliver player data to all 30 teams, and to finalize logistics for the League. It was an incredible feeling to watch the Draft on television and know that my hard work had paid off.

Throughout my internship program, I had the opportunity to sit in on small speaker sessions with a variety of leaders in the Baseball Operations department. We discussed the future of the sport, the government-like legal structure underlaying the League’s relationship with its teams and players, and the real-life experience of working in a non-stop game. Knowing that I aspire to work in this sport when I graduate, getting advice from professionals in the roles I would like to be in was invaluable. In such a small industry, I know that these relationships I developed will be rewarding, as I run into these same friendly faces in the future.

Finally, to cap off my summer in the Commissioner’s Office, our 12 Baseball Operations interns were split into teams to prepare a mock arbitration case. In MLB’s salary structure, players must negotiate their salaries for several seasons before they reach free agency and hit the open market. If negotiations reach an impasse, players and their teams must present before an arbitrator to determine the player’s pay for the next season. After working on our cases for several weeks, we presented our arguments to a panel of MLB’s arbitration experts. While our panel ruled on a winner (I am proud to say our team secured a generous salary for our mock player), I was most excited to receive feedback from industry leaders.

After having the most rewarding (and eventful) summer I could have asked for, I am deeply thankful to Career Services for making my experience possible. I have discovered a place for myself in an industry I love and cannot wait to find my way back upon graduation.

This is part of a series of posts by recipients of the 2022 Career Services Summer Funding Grant. We’ve asked funding recipients to reflect on their summer experiences and talk about the industries in which they spent their summer. You can read the entire series here.

By Career Services
Career Services