Below is the results of an interview between Ben Baker, an Entertainment Management student at Missouri State University and Brad Eldridge, General Manager for the Ozark Mountain Ducks. The interview was conducted in the fall of 2001.
Q: What is a typical day like for you?
A: Constantly involved with customers, vendors, and city officials. Involved in the financial, budgeting, and personnel aspect of the organization. Lots of travel, whether for promotional reasons such as radio talk shows, or TV shows; or for business meetings. Always trying to put off a positive impression no matter what I’m involved in.
Q: What are the employment opportunities like?
A: For our organization they are very limited, and there is high competition. Many connections are made internally, not many open applications are taken.
Q: What would you say the average salary for a General Manager is?
A: A club about our size would probably be in the area of between $25,000 and $40,000. Of course this will vary from club though. The larger clubs will make more, or the smaller ones not quite as much.
Q: What are the advancement opportunities like for this position?
A: Usually you will begin somewhere as an intern, and have the chance to move up from there based on your work ethic and how well you do your job. From there you have the opportunity to move from team to team, based on what position is open and what you can do. Teams will look at people already in the industry, not outside. > Q: What do you consider are essential skills and appropriate personalities?
A: You must have people skills. I can’t stress how important it is to be able to communicate effectively. You have to be able to make people feel comfortable, be a “people person.” You should be motivated and have goals that you want to achieve, individually or with the company. Need to be willing to work, to do whatever is necessary to make sure the job is done well. One thing you don’t want to have is a big ego, which can definitely hold you back.
Q: What are some of the changes you’ve noticed in the past decade?
A: The teams now are so much more sophisticated. They have put much more emphasis toward the business practice instead of just being concerned with how well the team does. Behind every team there has to be someone with the knowledge to run and understand what is going on. Staffing has changed that you want someone to be in charge of accounting, advertising, marketing; not just one person in charge of everything.
Q: What would be some insider tips on getting a job?
A: You want something on your resume, which needs to be legitimate of course, that will stand out; whether it’s something you’ve done or experience that you’ve had. A lot of it has to do with your personality, how much are you willing to do and what is your work ethic.
Q: What are some of the pros and cons of your job?
A: The experience with people is a big thing for me, to interact with so many different people and personalities. I also enjoy the fan interaction quite a bit, talking to people during games to see what they like or dislike. Satisfying the customers is something that I find rewarding. The negatives would be the long hours during the season, we are they from around 7:30, that’s AM, until about 12:00 PM, so it’s a long day. You have to be willing to sacrifice your time for this job.
Ben Baker: Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule today for this interview. I really appreciate it.
Brad Eldridge: You’re welcome, I always enjoy trying to help out students when I can.