By: Adam White, @FOSAdam
Front Office Sports is proud to have had Grant Schloesser, a Premium Services Team Leader for the Minnesota Twins sit down with us and offer up his insight. Grant is an alumnus of two institutions of higher learning, Century College where he earned his AAS in Marketing Management and Metropolitan State University in where he earned his BS in Marketing. He was gracious enough to give us insight on his day-to-day activities, how important premium services are and how working in sports is more than just a job.
What were your previous positions to your current position? What valuable things did you learn at those positions that benefit you for what you’re doing now?
I started as an usher at the Metrodome scanning tickets, helping guest find their seat, and also making sure they have a great experience at the ballpark. I was then promoted into a role that handled food along side with our service, and also I took over team leader responsibilities if we were short handed. Now that we moved into Target Field, I was promoted again into a team leader position and I supervise 15-25 ushers on a given night.
What I learned was that a hard work ethic, understanding, persistence, and flexibility were a catalyst that propelled me into the position I’m in today. I love what I do and it shows! Another thing that I learned is how to be patient. Being patient whether it is working with my staff, helping guests, or just within me, patience has been the key to my success.
What are the day to day challenges of your current position?
The day-to-day challenges of my position vary from game to game. Some days go really smooth while other days are a little bumpy. That’s just the nature of the work, but by being flexible and adaptable, you can overcome any challenge.
What is a typical day for you during the season? Outside of the season?
A typical day for me during the season consists of a pre-game meeting and then a meeting with my ushers to explain what is happening on that particular day. I give out the positions for my staff and answer any questions or concerns they may have. I then make sure we’re ready and properly set up before the gates open. Outside of the season, I have opportunities to work non-baseball events such as weddings, receptions, seminars, corporate events, etc. The work consists of set up/tear down, guest services, or aiding in coordination of the event.
If you were to hire a person right now, what traits would the best candidate need to have to be able to succeed in today’s sports industry?
The traits that a candidate should possess for success is a great work ethic, flexibility, responsible, accountable, and a continued learner. Like I said, this industry is a lifestyle and a lot of sacrifice is needed to get to where you want to be.
Being in premium services, what is the most important part of your job?
The most important part of my job is to ensure our guests have the absolute best experience possible when they visit Target Field. We don’t have any control what happens on the field, but we do have full control over our ability to create an experience at the ballpark that is second to none. We create magic moments!
What is the highlight of your career to this point?
To this point, the highlight of my career is just having the opportunity to be involved with so many incredible things. When it was football season, I was on the crew to change the Metrodome field over from baseball to football and vice versa. I witnessed in person Frank Thomas’ 500th career home run, Game 163, Brett Favre’s magical 2009 season with the Vikings, the final game for the Twins and Vikings in the Metrodome, and I was involved with moving the Twins into Target Field in 2010. I can’t forget to mention working the All-Star game and the festivities leading up to it!
What is your ultimate career goal?
My goal is to work in the marketing department for a professional sports team where I can use my creativity.
What is your favorite part about working for the Twins?
The Twins organization is wonderful in every respect. They treat their employees very well whether you’re full time or part time. Their values and principles are aligned with my personal values and principles that make it even better to work for them. Also, I’m grateful to be involved in some way with the many spectacular events that Target Field has allowed us to do.
People think that working in the sports industry is all glitz and glamour. Could you possibly shed some light on why it is not all glitz and glamour and how hard it is and how much work it takes to be successful?
I was star struck at first, I’ll admit it. To think you’re closing working with celebrities and famous sports figures, or just being at the game, can give you butterflies and a rush of adrenaline. All that glitz and glamour quickly fades away because this work is just the opposite. It’s gritty and you need to grind hard! You have to sacrifice a lot. I’m talking about holidays, weekends, and long hours. If this is something you want, go get it. Don’t let anything stop you and work hard. Success will come!
It’s a commitment and there are no shortcuts to success. It’s about working on holidays, long hours, and working weekends. I can’t count on my fingers how many times I’ve worked during Independence Day, Memorial Day, Easter, and Labor Day. Most sectors have these days off; not in professional sports.
What is the best career advice you’ve received?
Ask for what you want, winners work weekends, and if you work to relax you will fail but if you relax to work you will always succeed!
How important is networking in your eyes?
It’s absolute key to get to where you want to be. Meet people! A resume is just a piece of paper. If you don’t have business cards, get some. If you don’t know where to meet people, join a local group on LinkedIn that offers networking opportunities. There are many ways to meet people, you just have to do it.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
Absolutely loving my job and having fun with my colleagues who are incredible to work with! I learn something every day and just…BEING there.