On September 27, Diana Parker (COM ’18) was sat at a California airport, about to depart for Arizona, where she would volunteer as a caddy for the Hemophilia Foundation’s Junior National Championships.
Parker’s plane was about to take off when she got an email from the vice president of an advertising agency. It said only “Call me right now!”
Parker had emailed this woman–the mother of a Boston University softball teammate–a few weeks prior. However, she hadn’t heard back until now. She waited anxiously, counting the minutes until she could turn her phone off of airplane mode and find out what was in store.
The moment the plane touched down in Arizona, she made the call. Little did she know that her next phone conversation would result in the experience of a lifetime.
It turned out that the woman who had reached out knew a public relations coordinator for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the team was looking for extra people to hire. Parker reached out immediately, and because of her impressive background in both COM and softball, the team hired her.
“When I was hired, I had no idea how long the job was going to last,” Parker said. “It could have been a week, could have been two, but I ended up getting to go to the World Series.”
Parker played on the softball team during her four years at BU, but her softball career actually started when she was only eight years old.
“I give credit to my brother,” Parker said. “I went to his baseball tryout, and I remember asking my mom ‘So…can girls play baseball?’ and she said, ‘Yeah, did you want to try out?’ to which I replied ‘No, I just wanted to make sure I could,’ and I have been playing softball ever since.”
Parker and her BU softball team would have 6 a.m. workouts during weekdays, in addition to practice after class. Every weekend from February to the end of March, the team would travel for away games.
Fortunately, hard work paid off. Parker’s team won two championships.
“It’s pretty unbelievable how much work we put in during a season,” Parker said. “At times, it seemed like this crazy endless process, but when it turned into something like a championship, I understood it. I realized what I put all of this time and energy into. That moment of being with your teammates, knowing you accomplished something, is so rewarding.”
Originally an Angels fan from California, Parker was infatuated by the sports culture in Boston and loved the Fenway atmosphere. “I would definitely call myself a bandwagon Red Sox fan,” Parker said.
However, Parker’s newfound Boston pride would have to be put on hold.
While working for Los Angeles Dodgers, Parker reported directly to the PR director and the PR coordinator. Her team worked every Dodgers home game.
The environment was fast paced and thrilling. The PR team was responsible for providing the pregame notes from the opposing team, acquiring the local and out-of-town news, and delivering statistics and interviews to make sure the news sources were set in the press box before the game.
In addition, Parker was able to be in the interview room with players and coaches, interact with the journalists and media, and handle any and all situations that arose.
“The experience was unbelievable,” Parker said. “I obviously love the sport, but I never got to see how the operations behind it happened. There was such a crossover between working so closely on a team during my athletic career and then being a part of putting something on during these events. It was a team sport in itself.”
Parker considers herself a competitive person but admitted it was exciting to see the Red Sox win. “Boston pride came through me, even though I would have liked to see the Dodgers win that game,” she said. “If anyone was going to win against the Dodgers, I’m glad it was the Red Sox.”
As for her next adventure, Parker believes she could end up anywhere. She is confident that her interests will continue to grow and that she will gain more experience. She is currently looking for a job at an advertising agency but is also open to working for a sports team or PR department.
“I would be open to anything that interests me or any company I like.” she said. “I am excited. Any situation can unfold.”
Shira Levin, Staff Writer
Shira Levin is a senior majoring in advertising. Born and raised in the City of Angeles, Shira is your typical West Coast native attempting to make it through another East Coast winter. Spot her around campus in oversized sunglasses, exercise leggings, and blacked-out Nikes.