Ryan Piser '22 assumed he had done something wrong when his professor, Soyoung Joo, Ph.D., assistant professor of marketing, uttered the dreaded, "See me after class." Turns out, he had done nothing wrong at all. He was just unusually specific.
At the start of the semester, Joo had her students fill out a questionnaire which included the question, "What's your dream job?" Piser answered the question honestly, and boldly: general manager of the New York Yankees.
Joo and Ryan talked about his ambition, and coincidentally, Ryan was in a room with the general manager of the Tri-City ValleyCats a couple of months later (the GM was speaking on campus as part of a panel). Piser made the connection, and then scored an internship for the following season.
"I'm not looking for the money, just the experience. I was born into a Yankees family, and as much as I love the sport, I've always been fascinated by what goes on behind the scenes. I'm really interested in how front offices build a roster."
With the ValleyCats, an independent professional baseball team in Troy, NY, Ryan's not only gotten a glimpse into the roster building process, but he's also been a part of it.
The ValleyCats general manager has trusted Ryan with player visas and contract extensions. He learned how to use an old school fax machine to send out contracts to other countries. Ryan was also given a list of free agent ball players some 2,000 names long. He's currently pouring through the list, player-by-player, looking at their stats, and watching their film. He's identifying talent that may be a good fit, at the right price, for the ValleyCats.
Next, Ryan hopes to make the leap into affiliated baseball. He'll likely start as an administrative assistant, with plans to work his way up. Brian Cashman has been the general manager of the Yankees since 1998. He can't hold onto the job forever.