Miami Marlins’ Sarah Garcia On What It Takes To Go From Intern To Director While Doing What You Love

Estimated reading time ~ 5 min
content block

cc: Marlins Sarah Garcia

Work ethic, determination, and confidence are skills often needed for a successful professional journey, especially when you are climbing the internal ladder within a company. For over four years, Sarah Garcia has been committed to her work ethic and a work community that allows her to explore her interests in engagement and marketing—that community is the Miami Marlins. Sarah Garcia is the Director of Foundation and Community Initiatives at Miami Marlins, L.P. She was recently promoted after years of dedicated work. Although she’s at a point in her career where she can see how all of her hard work has paid off, her resilience hasn’t stopped.

Like many senior-level professionals, Sarah had to start somewhere. In 2012, she was intrigued by the potential to use her marketing degree and her love for sports in a single role. After the internship program, Sarah had plans to join the team full time but unfortunately there were no open roles in her department. This resulted with her briefly taking a role outside of the organization to eventually return to the MLB in 2015. Fast-forward four years later, Sarah has used that same tenacity to earn herself a promotion with an organization that has become her home and a place that has completely transformed her career.

In such a competitive working climate, it’s challenging for anyone to land a role doing something that they love. We spoke with the inspiring Latinx professional to discuss what she’s learned from her most challenging experiences, her upbringing being raised by two Cuban immigrant parents, and what keeps her dream job with the Marlins exciting.

Tell us about yourself and how you got your start in your career.

SG: I was born in Miami and raised by two Cuban immigrants. My parents instilled the value of hard work in me very early on. I started playing softball at 6-years-old and it eventually lead to several successful years as a collegiate athlete. I learned some valuable lessons from the sport: The value of teamwork, time management, and commitment. Most importantly, I learned how to cope with failure, get back in the game, and continue to persevere in spite of losing. After my college softball career came to an end due to family circumstances, I ended up moving back to Miami, where I graduated from Florida International University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a concentration in marketing. I started my career working at a law firm to help pay my last year of college and support my family. In January 2012, I started with the Miami Marlins as an intern in the marketing department. For me, this was a dream job that combined my passion for the sport with my degree.

How did you land your first role with the Marlins team?

SG: Knowing that I was interested in working in baseball, I attended the Miami Marlins job fair in October of 2011. I interviewed alongside 200 other applicants for the internship. Following the interview, I reached out to the hiring managers and continued to express my interest and passion, while highlighting my skills and work ethic. My persistence is the reason I was offered one of the six internship position slots.

What was the most valuable lesson you learned from your first job with the Marlins?

SG: When I started my internship at the Miami Marlins, I quickly learned the amount of work required to be successful working with a sports team and how to balance long hours during the season with other responsibilities at home. Once I completed my internship, there were no job openings at the Marlins so I continued my career at a marketing agency. I never knew it would be the key to my success later on in my career with the Miami Marlins.

How did your experience influence your career interests? SG: Since I can remember, I’ve dreamed of working at a job where I could explore multiple avenues that I am passionate about. I’ve loved softball since I was younger, and now I have the opportunity to experience lessons I’ve learned playing sports and incorporate them into my career. It’s an amazing feeling. Although I was unable to pursue playing softball on the field as a career, being able to work for my home team off the field has been extremely rewarding.

Tell us about your current role on the Marlins team and how long you’ve been with the company?

SG: Today, I find myself with a recent promotion as the Director of Foundation and Community Initiatives. I have been working with the Marlins full time since 2015, and the past four years have been an incredible journey. I am so proud to be able to say I started as an intern, I grew to a manager, and now I’m a director. It’s a true testament that the organization has recognized and rewarded my rigor.

What made you want to stay with the Marlins and what are your future goals with the company?

SG: I’ve stayed with the Marlins because I enjoy the work that I have done and the impact we’ve had on our local community. My work has been personally and professionally rewarding, and I have enjoyed the organization’s culture. I value and respect the people I work with. I grew up watching the Marlins, so landing a job with them was truly a dream. With hard work, anything is possible. As we continue to expand our programming, I am confident that there will be new and exciting opportunities to grow.

To what do you attribute your growth with the company?

SG: Hard work and commitment combined with my love of the game have been key factors. Also, my ability to adapt to change has played a role. Lastly, the support of my supervisors and mentors who have provided invaluable insights and growth opportunities while on my path to success.

What are some of the best lessons you’ve learned from your most challenging failures?

SG: I completed my internship, there was not a job available at the Marlins, but I did not give up. I learned new skills at a marketing agency and was able to come back to the Marlins. When you fail or hit a bump in the road, don’t give up. Shift, learn new things, and keep trying.

What is the best advice you received from a Marlins colleague or a colleague in general?

SG: “It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. So don’t forget to enjoy the game.” We can get so wrapped up in what’s next that we don’t stop to enjoy the moment. I come to work every day at a beautiful ballpark and I work on programs that enrich our community. We are making a difference and helping others. I am grateful for that and I have learned that if I focus on the milestones in my life, I will achieve my goals.

What advice would you give to other people of color getting hired in a junior-level role?

SG: Believe in yourself! You can accomplish anything you set your mind to. Baseball season is a long season, so pace yourself. If you love what you do and you work to become better at your craft every day, others will notice and recognize you for your dedication. Also, listen to feedback and don’t take it personally. Feedback can only help you grow and learn.

The Marlins have a large amount of openings that can be found here.

Jopwell helps America's leading companies connect with and recruit Black, Latinx, and Native American professionals and students at scale. Sign up to find your dream job.