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May 17, 2011
Hayes, who graduated from Northwest in 2007 with his bachelor's degree in journalism and a minor in political science, is an editorial production manager at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. Hayes took the position in October 2008, after working a series of internships with media companies and the Kansas City Royals.
"When I got to the Hall of Fame, they said, ‘So your position is a graphic designer,'" Hayes said. "Because I was able to go to a place like Northwest that gave me opportunities to do all of these different things, I was able to get a job that allowed me to use some of that small bit of training and expand on it further."
Hayes chose to attend Northwest, in part, because students may begin working publications during their freshman year, an advantage many larger journalism schools don't offer. He joined the Tower yearbook staff as a photographer almost immediately and was promoted to be the yearbook's sports editor just two weeks into his college career. Hayes later became the photography director and was editor in chief of the 2007 Tower.
"The biggest thing at Northwest was I was able to do a lot of things," Hayes said. "I could also have been on the student radio station, and that's not an opportunity you can get at another school."
But Hayes actively sought hands-on experiences away from the Northwest campus as well. He worked internships that included stints at the Independence Examiner newspaper, radio station KY 99.7 and The Washington Center in Washington, D.C.
During the summer of 2007, he landed a spot on the K-Crew, which provides fan entertainment for Royals baseball games at Kauffman Stadium. Hayes used that experience to build a relationship with public relations staff and became a media relations assistant for the Royals after graduating from Northwest. During the summer of 2008, he worked in the stadium press box for all of the Royals' home games.
Hayes knew then that he wanted to build a career in the sports arena.
"I saw how stable the industry of sports is, and it wasn't very different from what I was learning to do in college," Hayes said. "It didn't take me long after getting that job to realize that's where I wanted to be."
Hayes' connections with the Royals helped him acquire the job at the Baseball Hall of Fame, where he is responsible for producing and designing print publications and advertising. Using social media skills he learned at Northwest, he also is the voice of the Hall of Fame's Twitter accounts, @baseballhall and @baseballrecords, and its Facebook page.
Working at the Hall of Fame, Hayes has chatted with baseball greats including Bob Feller, Yogi Berra and Ozzie Smith. He's held jerseys worn by Lou Gehrig and George Brett and bats swung by Mickey Mantle and Ted Williams. "All you have to do is take a quick trip through the museum and it reminds you of where you are," he said.
Today, Hayes credits opportunities he had at Northwest for helping him learn a multitude of skills that helped him succeed in his career. Hayes also returns to Northwest when he can, offering advice to students about resume-building and networking."The best advice I got in high school, and then I got it reinforced while I was at Northwest, is to be as well-rounded as possible," Hayes said. "You've got to have things that you're good at, but it's also an incredible benefit to you to be good at so many things. That's something that Northwest really provided for me."
Mark Hornickel, Media Relations Specialist
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468