I remember the day I hung up my cleats for the last time thinking, now what? What am I going to do with my life? I had spent my first year at college, and my life, playing baseball and planning to make a career out of it. Sure, I was in school to get my degree, but the focus at the time was still baseball (sorry Mom and Dad). It was difficult to adjust to not prioritizing the sport after spending more time at practice than in class each week.
It was a unique experience for my then 20-year-old self to be going through an existential crisis. My vision of the future, while far-fetched, had kept me grounded and motivated. Nonetheless, I could no longer avoid the necessary and realistic discussion I needed to have with myself about my future.
This internal discussion led to many conversations with advisors and academic services to evaluate my interests and hone in on what my future would look like, with each meeting covering a different avenue that I could pursue.
Finance? Economics? General Business? Human Resources? Every option had appealing aspects, but none stood out to me at the time.
I had just started Writing for Business that semester, a class where I developed messaging, branding, and a business plan for a made-up company that I had to pitch to my classmates. This class piqued my interest; I was fascinated by the different ideas and types of messaging that my classmates created. Listening to them present their ideas, I could see how important it was to get the audience engaged and on board with the pitch. This course led me to choose communications as my major. At the risk of sounding cheesy, I like to say that I didn’t find my major, my major found me.
Now, as an account coordinator for a purpose-driven communications firm (with a degree in communications and a specialization in public relations), I can say that the unpredictable journey was worth it. I often reflect on how important the process was for molding me into who I am today. Would I be the same person if I continued to prioritize baseball over school? It’s impossible to know, but the fact is that the experience made me reevaluate who I am as a person and who I wanted to be, which motivated me to find the answer.
Going from an athlete to an account coordinator might not be a typical progression, but I am constantly finding similarities between the two. I can still use my competitiveness to challenge myself to create the highest-quality work possible. Team chemistry is essential in sports. I can translate my relationship-building experiences to my current position where I coordinate and project manage teams on different accounts while also understanding that it takes an entire team working together cohesively to produce the best work possible. Because of baseball, I realize the importance of practice and how asking questions and refining skills will improve my overall capabilities and quality of work.
I’m early into my career at Taft, and I’ve been able to work with nonprofits, foundations, and many different types of organizations with unique objectives to create and contribute to work that’s making a difference. It’s an incredible experience to see an idea in a meeting turn into to a fully developed deliverable, and to see the clients’ satisfaction with the work and the results it garners.
Finding my purpose and reinvigorating my motivation was not a straightforward task, but it was worth the ride. I’ll never know if I would be the same person in the same position if I kept playing baseball, but my work at Taft has allowed me to appreciate my decision and the many different experiences that molded me into where and who I am today.