In April, 1993, when he was six years old, Tony Valdes (BBA ’09) attended his first Florida Marlins game. It also was the first game for the newest team in Major League Baseball’s National League.
A graduate of G. Holmes Braddock Senior High School in Miami, he has cheered at many Marlins games since.
Now, equipped with a marketing degree from the College of Business Administration at Florida International University (FIU), Valdes is in the press box at Sun Life Stadium as a media relations intern for the team.
“I’ve always dreamed of working for a pro sports team, and the Florida Marlins are my favorite,” he said.
Valdes’ first day on the job was in March; his internship continues until the end of the 2010 season, which he hopes culminates with a World Series victory.
Doing “real marketing” is one reason this energetic FIU grad is benefiting from the extraordinary experience.
“During each game, we make sure the print media people in the press box with us have the statistics and information needed to write their magazine and newspaper articles,” he said, adding that often reporters’ questions necessitate on-the-spot research.
Interacting with the Marlins on a daily basis is another big plus of Valdes’ job.
“Being in the club house, talking to players every day, that’s quite a life,” he said.
Studies and a job in the business school prepared Valdes for major league responsibilities.
“Everything we give the press is a way of marketing the team,” he said. “At FIU, I learned marketing skills that I’m using every day.”
He particularly credits his courses in consumer behavior and statistical marketing as valuable preparation.
He also learned important skills as a student assistant in the college’s Office of Advancement, Alumni and Corporate Relations.
“We were a tight-knit team and learned to work together,” he said. “The experience I gained in events planning helped me learn to handle stress and to manage my time.”
His career plans?
“I’d love to stay with the Florida Marlins,” he said. “It’s a terrific organization.”