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Derrick Godfrey in his last position was a Vice President at Lehman Brothers Holding Inc. for a year before losing his job – and just before the company declared bankruptcy in 2008.Â In the midst of this economic crisis, he landed his next job in just five months becoming Vice President of International Business Development for Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM). In his new position Godfrey’s team is responsible for expanding international interest in baseball by using technology and the Internet to make it available on demand for countries outside the U.S. — particularly in areas where soccer dominates.
“The goal is bring more of the game to Central and South America,” says Godfrey. “By using that strategy, we hope to bring the game to more people in those regions of the world.”
Godfrey, who began his career as a corporate lawyer for Dewey & LeBoeuf law firm in New York City, admits his only challenge has been learning the technology which he is marketing. But grasping the basic concepts of how the technology of his brands works has been a useful starting point as he cultivates new career skills, which will open a variety of prospects to him in future professional endeavors. He owes the opportunity to work in this new space to his network.
“Having relationships with very senior people over the past 15 years was crucial in my transition both to Lehman and to MLB,” says Godfrey. A friend he met during law school at Georgetown University told him about the MLB position over a series of face-to-face meetings months before he was hired. “It’s crucial to really understand and recognize that the people that you have met in your professional life are the people who are inside organizations and are aware of trends and opportunities, and can then share that information with you so that you can pursue those opportunities.”
Godfrey believes that simply posting resumes online is not enough to find employment in this current economic environment. “[Online job searching] is a very tough road,” says Godfrey. “A number of the opportunities that I took a look at before landing at MLB never even made it to the Internet.”