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Spring/Summer 2012 Newsletter Extended: Austrailia

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By Eric Duarte (RPTA '13), Staff Writer

Dudek (left) poses with Blue Sox mascotThe term "chase your passion" is one that we hear often around graduation time, and one RPTA alumna has taken that message to heart. Jess Dudek (pictured, left of mascot), who graduated Cal Poly in December of 2009 with a concentration in sport management, has taken that slogan to heart in chasing her passion for baseball all the way around the globe and back. Dudek recently returned to the United States after an incredible experience working "down under" for professional baseball teams in Australia.

With that passion for America's favorite pastime, Dudek first started working in baseball for the San Luis Obispo Blues in 2008. While still at Cal Poly, she also worked for Mustang Athletics as a Marketing & Special Events intern. At the end of her senior year, she used these experiences as a springboard to land an internship with the Sacramento River Cats, the Triple-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. She was later brought on full time by the River Cats before moving to Australia.

Dudek said she had always wanted to visit Australia but was unable to study abroad in college. Because of her many roles within professional sports from marketing and sales to promotions to managing employees and volunteers, she knew she was capable and wanted to pursue a career doing it abroad. When she heard about the Australian Baseball League (ABL), she sent an email to every single team expressing interest and her qualifications, hoping to gain employment from a team in any way possible.

All of her tenacious networking paid off, as Dudek was given the opportunity to live in Melbourne, Australia and work for the Melbourne Aces. She later moved to Sydney to join the professional staff of the Sydney Blue Sox. Both teams are part of the ABL, which is backed by Major League Baseball.

Dudek helps "grounds crew" sweep water

Contrasting working in America versus Australia, Dudek says, "It's interesting to see the similarities and differences between working in the two countries. You have to learn to be very open minded and able to adjust to constant change while taking on many roles."

Dudek's advice to RPTA students on the fence about going abroad is: "Just go for it! At first it may seem very scary leaving all your friends and family behind to move to a country where you don't know anyone, but don't worry, you will make friends and have an experience you will always remember."

Dudek in team picture with Blue Sox

This past month, Dudek was on the move again; this time to one of the more coveted jobs in Minor League Baseball in working for the Pawtucket Red Sox ("Paw Sox"), the Triple-A affiliate for the venerable Boston Red Sox.

The future is indeed bright for this RPTA alumna, as she continues to "chase her passion" for baseball!

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