A Field of Opportunities

Meredith Jarvis ’22 poses for a photo on top of the Oakland A's front office in Jack London Square.

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Meredith Jarvis, a four-year Cairn athletics student worker, graduated in May 2022 with a job in hand with the Phillies organization. By August, she was living in California and coordinating social media for the Oakland A’s. Her journey from Cairn to California is one that some people may characterize as a combination of hard work and well-timed coincidences, but Meredith will be the first to tell you that her journey so far has been nothing short of a “total God thing.”

Strangely, Meredith began working for Cairn athletics before she even began her career as a student. After transferring out of Geneva College, Meredith returned home to Medford, NJ, to complete a semester of community college before starting at Cairn the following fall. She was friends with several members of the men’s baseball team already, so she and her mom (Joy [DeSilver] Jarvis ’96) decided to spend Spring Break watching the men start their season in Florida.

As they were packing for the trip, Meredith’s mom added a camera to her bag, saying “I’m not one of the baseball moms, so I’ll just keep to myself and take pictures.” But it didn’t take very long for Meredith to be the one picking up the camera instead. She didn’t know it yet, but this trip would set a pattern for the next four years at Cairn. From her first semester on campus, Meredith worked for the athletics department, taking game day photos, creating graphics for Instagram, and writing articles for the website.

While baseball was the start for her career with Cairn Athletics, her career in baseball started in the Cairn classroom. Meredith took a sports management class at Geneva, but it transferred into the University as a blank elective. So when the opportunity arose to take sports management (again) at Cairn, she seized the opportunity. This course was taught by Phil Feather, who worked as the director of ticket sales for over 30 years at the Phillies. Phil took his class to the Phillies’ College Series, and Meredith struck up a conversation with the man who would soon be her boss. He asked Phil if he could hire Meredith to work in ticket sales, but his response was “only if she passes my class.” That December, Meredith finished with an A in the class, and the offer to work at the Phillies came just a few days later.

Meredith had only been working for three months when COVID-19 shuttered game day operations across the country. She was laid off shortly after and assumed it was the end of her career in professional sports—“nothing but a cool thing on my resume.” But as the country slowly began to open back up, she was one of four employees, and the only woman, invited to restart the ticket department. She continued to work, sometimes five or six days a week, at Citizens Bank Park alongside maintaining responsibilities in Cairn athletics and being a full-time student. And when a job in the social media department opened up, she was quick to jump on the opportunity.

The summer following graduation was nothing short of a dream. But as much as she loved working for the Phillies organization, it was unclear how long her role would last. So when she heard of a social media coordinator opportunity across the country with the Oakland Athletics, she took it.

“I’ve always been interested in traveling and living on the West Coast, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity. I basically lived out of my car for the first month while I tried to find an apartment. But I have one now!”

Her job in Oakland is the “big leagues” of what she had done for the past four years at Cairn: managing multiple social media platforms, taking photos of walk-offs, capturing content during batting practices and warm-ups, and interacting with players and coaches day after day.

Meredith’s career has had an impressive start. From the one unexpected
moment of casually taking photos to becoming a professional social media coordinator, she has seen the rewards of her growing experience and hard work. Through receiving and continually pursuing these unique opportunities, Meredith has even made Cairn alumni history:

“I am, as far as I know, the only Cairn alum working in professional sports. If that’s the case, I’m honored to be so, and I hope more alumni join me in the future. I’ve been extremely blessed with the opportunities that God has put in my path and all the ‘coincidences’ that have lined up to me being here.”