Ian Graham (’13) Coordinates HR for the New York Mets

How has this internship/job helped you learn more about your major? Management is a great course of study because it offers a broad range of quantitative/qualitative, analytic and strategic learning for the students to fully optimize their intellectual capabilities. Having the opportunity to intern with the Charlotte Bobcats (Hornets) allowed me to utilize the skills I had learned in Dr. Micheal Stratton‘s Human Resource Management course, which eventually paved the way for my current position as Human Resources Coordinator with the New York Mets.

What was a typical day like in your position?

The most exciting part about my position/industry is that there’s never a day that’s the same as the day before. As the Coordinator in the HR Department, I have the opportunity to complete an array of special projects. Some of the projeGraham,-Ian---Citi-cropcts include conducting interviews with prospective job candidates, attending Career Fairs at local universities and leading meetings with the internship classes. I thoroughly enjoy going to work everyday because of the various experiences I get to learn from, along with the incredibly talented people I get to work alongside. Working inside the most beautiful ballpark in the country isn’t so bad either.

Did you learn any interesting or unexpected insights into your major or career path?

Honestly, if I were to answer this question accurately, I would spend the next several days elaborating on all of the unexpected, interesting experiences I learn from each and every day. In my opinion, when you’re in an entry-level position, it’s important to embrace new ideas and concepts because you are learning new processes and procedures everyday. Constantly asking questions and learning from your mistakes is a practice that will set you apart from your peers. Being adaptable and adjusting to the workplace culture is a crucial mindset for young [and new] employees to embrace.

What did you wish you had known going into the experience?

In terms of my major, I NYMwish I would have known how important the little things are in the classroom and in your study habits. Taking detailed notes and asking questions is something I did differently toward the end of my academic career. When one is truly engaged in the material, it’s noticeable to the professor and in your overall academic achievements.

What advice do you have for current students who are pursuing your major?

Time management. Time management, especially as a student athlete (and this can apply to those who are working full-time), is the major difference between being a mediocre or an outstanding, overachieving student in the classroom.

What did you learn about yourself while you were working or interning?

I learned how much I value relationships with my classmates/teachers and co-workers/supervisors. It’s important to establish a healthy relationship with your colleagues in order for there to be an effective, shared organizational culture. Everyone on the team must work productively/efficiently together, and that occurs most often when the team members are cohesive.

What influenced you to apply for this position?Graham-Ian-batting

It’s always been a life-long dream/career aspiration of mine to work in the front office of a Major League Baseball organization. Having the opportunity to work on this team is something I will be forever grateful for.

What would you do differently if you could go back?

If I could go back, I would try to achieve the level of focus I had in my final semester at UNCA, throughout my entire time. Growing over the course of four and a half years allowed me to develop a sense of intellectual maturity with regard to my study habits. Has your internship or job impacted your future? [Hopefully] it has paved the way for a bright and prosperous future in the field of Human Resources and in Major League Baseball.

What were your biggest challenges and how did you overcome them?

My biggest challenges were learning the ins and outs of resume building and becoming comfortable in my interviews. To understand the important features of a successful resume I took the initiative to reach out to various resources I had, including several HR professionals (Dr. Stratton) and my supervisor at the Charlotte Bobcats (currently HR Manager), for feedback/recommendations.

(Photos taken from https://www.unca.edu/features/reaching-major-leagues with permission of Ian Graham)