March 2, 2024

Alum Encourages Students to Take Risks, Build Relationships

Jin Wong '97

Jin Wong ’97

When Jin Wong ’97 was applying for an internship with the Atlanta Braves during his senior year at Mary Washington, he was given a choice. Did he want to interview with baseball legend Hank Aaron over the phone or in person?

“I told them, ‘Tell me where and when,’” said Wong, who flew south to meet the Baseball Hall of Famer, spending some time getting to know the player who held onto the record for most career homeruns for 33 years. “It’s all about making connections and building relationships.”

Now a Major League Baseball executive himself, Wong shared those words of wisdom when he returned to the University of Mary Washington earlier this month to speak with College of Business students, student-athletes and the UMW baseball team. The Alumni Association Board of Directors also presented an evening Q&A for alumni with board member Karmel James ’13 as host.

Wong, a business administration major and Division-III All-American outfielder at Mary Washington, shared insights from his 24 years with the Kansas City Royals and his recent decision to move to the Chicago White Sox. Named to the University’s inaugural Alumni of Distinction class, he also had a chance to visit his plaque in the first-floor gallery in George Washington Hall.

“The best advice he gave was to take risks and jump headfirst into any position in sports you can find,” said junior Thomas Martinez, who plays third base for UMW and aspires to work in sports marketing. Read more.