I Got My Dream Job and So Can You
7 Steps to Creating Your Ideal Career After College
Author: Pete Leibman
Pub Date: March 2012
Print Edition: $15.95
Print ISBN: 9780814420201
Page Count: 256
Format: Paper or Softback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814420218
Buy the book:
My Story and Why You Should Read This Book
January 31, 1989: at Madison Square Garden (six minutes before
tip-off for Knicks vs. Pacers):
A ball bounced over to us, so I grabbed it and looked up. My father
and I were standing right next to the scorer’s table at MSG. There
were no security concerns at that time about fans being next to the
Chuck Person, a player on the Pacers, ran over to me and put
his hands up. He looked like he was 12 feet tall.
I gave him the best chest-pass of my life. He caught the ball
and said, “Hey, little man, thanks for grabbing that. What’s your
I smiled, and in my high-pitched, meek, seven-year-old voice
said, “My name’s Pete.”
Chuck smiled back and said, “Well, Pete, this one’s for you.”
Then he turned around and launched a shot from where he was
standing, 25 feet from the basket. It zipped through the net.
He turned his head back to me, smiled, winked, and ran over to
his team’s bench.
That was the first time I said to myself that I was going to make
it to the NBA when I grew up.
April 8, 2003: at Johns Hopkins University (in my dorm room):
I was freaking out. How had I gotten into this position?
I had done everything that you are supposed to do as a student
to prepare for your career, but it had gotten me nowhere. In one
month, I was going to be graduating from college, and I had no idea
where I was going to live or work. Not exactly the reward I expected
after busting my butt for four years.
Ever since I had been a little kid, basketball had been my obses-
When I got to college at Johns Hopkins University and
learned that I could combine my love of basketball with my passion
for business, I knew exactly what my dream job would be: a
marketing and sales position with an NBA franchise.
Unfortunately, it looked like that dream would never become a
I had spent four years maintaining a high GPA, paying my dues
in internships, and scraping by with part-time jobs that barely paid
minimum wage. I also spent my entire senior year applying to
advertised jobs, participating in on-campus recruiting, and attending
career fairs all over Baltimore and Washington, D.C. However,
I still had no leads on a job with an NBA team or with any organiza-
tion connected to sports.
I had come close the summer before my senior year, when I
landed an interview for an internship position with the NBA’s
Washington Wizards. However, the Wizards had rejected me and
selected another candidate, one who I assumed was more qualified
Now the pressure was starting to mount, and I was really getting
tired of friends and family asking what I was going to do after
college. I didn’t know the answer.
As I checked my email that afternoon, I noticed that the Baltimore
chapter of the American Marketing Association was going to
have a career workshop for local students in four days, on Satur-
day, April 12, 2003. I also noticed that one of the featured speak-
ers was going to be a man named Howe Burch. At the time, Howe
was a senior executive for Fila, the sports marketing company.
A light bulb went off in my head as I thought to myself: “Well, he
works in sports. Nothing else has worked for me, so why don’t I go
to the event and ask him for some advice. What do I have to
Little did I know that simple decision would change my life
Six weeks later, I found myself in a private interview with Susan
O’Malley, the team president for the Washington Wizards at the
time. (In Chapter 6, I’ll fill in the blanks on how I got the interview.)
The following week, the Wizards offered me a full-time position
in their front office, even though I was only 21 years old and
had no industry experience. I didn’t want to appear too eager when
they made their offer, so I waited three seconds before accepting
Over the next five years, the Washington Wizards actually paid
me (very well, in fact) to brainstorm and execute strategies that
would increase attendance at their home games. I also got to:
* Watch games from courtside (a slight upgrade from my usual
seat locations as a fan in college).
* Fly on an NBA team plane (a slight upgrade from my usual
modes of transportation as a student in college).
* Mingle with political leaders, TV personalities, and multimillion-
aire CEOs. (It is absurd how much money these people
* Dunk on an NBA court before a game. (Some white guys can
jump, thank you very much.)
* Shake hands with an ex-NBA player who was 7'7" tall. (His
fingers were like bananas.)
* Scrimmage against WNBA All-Stars, including Chamique
Holdsclaw and Alana Beard. (I’m still trying to catch my breath
six years later.)
* Attend an NBA All-Star Game after-party with the players. (I
have never felt so short in my life.)
* Have my own private office inside the Verizon Center in Washing-
ton, D.C. (Well, I started in a cubicle the size of a closet, but
I got my own office eventually!)
While the perks were great, they were not the best part of my
position. More important, my job gave me a platform to create pro-
grams that made dreams come true for other sports fans, and my
job enabled me to fulfill my lifelong dream to make it to the NBA
(even though I didn’t make it as a player).
I got my dream job and so can you!
• • •
This book will teach you everything you need to know to get your
dream job and create your ideal career as a young professional.
While this book features a number of sports analogies and stories
from my life, this book is the blueprint for getting any job you
want in any industry.
Search the full text of this book
Search Full Text of
For single copy purchases of any AMACOM title, you can connect directly to the online retailer of your choice, from the list below, to buy the title you have selected. Most of our links will take you directly to that title on the site, making your shopping experience easier. You can also visit your local retailer, and if the book is not on their shelves they can special order it for you.
Retailers: Please contact us to change or add a listing.
Buying in Bulk?
We have very competitive discounts starting at 5 copies, as well as personal service, for bulk orders. Simply contact our Special Sales Department. Call 800-250-5308 or 212-903-8420 and ask for Special Sales. You can also email: SpecSlsWeb@amanet.org