The Advancing San Diego (ASD) Internship Program launched in Summer 2020 in a remote-capacity amid the COVID-19 pandemic and aims to provide up to 100 San Diego-based companies with fully subsidized interns. This program targets companies with 100 employees or less, which comprise 98 percent of all businesses in San Diego, employ nearly two thirds of San Diegans, and account for 70 percent of job growth. A key issue for these companies has been a lack of time and resources to recruit the skilled talent necessary to continue their growth.
As students are closing out their Spring business internship experiences, EDC is rolling out this blog series to highlight the innovative local companies that comprise the third cohort of the program, and the interns they hosted. To date, ASD has placed 93 student-interns in local businesses, with $455,000 in total wages and support services paid.
In this feature, we sat down with Ricardo Campos, VP of Operations and General Manager at San Diego Loyal. As part of the third cohort of host companies, San Diego Loyal is a professional soccer club that was founded locally in 2019 and is currently competing in the United Soccer League (USL) Championship.
Read on for more about ASD intern host San Diego Loyal, and hear direct from their student-intern here.
Why was your company founded, and what are your current points of focus?
San Diego Loyal SC is built on four core pillars–independent, authentic, inclusive, and optimistic. San Diego Loyal plays for America’s Finest City and is led by some of the best in sport. The club was founded to bring professional soccer to San Diego and the point of focus is to make this city a better place to work, live, and play through the beautiful game.
What does growth look like over the next few years?
We are currently playing at the University of San Diego’s Torero Stadium, which can seat over 6,100 fans. Over the next few years, our focus is to identify a location within San Diego County to build a soccer-specific stadium.
How has your company pivoted as a result of COVID-19?
We played two games in front of fans in 2020 and took a pause at the onset of the pandemic; however, we returned to playing in July 2020 without fans in attendance. This had a major impact in our ticket revenue for the season but we were blessed to have our corporate partners stay with us during such challenging times.
Tell us about your experience building a small business/startup in San Diego.
Starting a professional soccer club is very challenging but resources within the United Soccer League and an experienced club management team were key factors in our success. Process creation and execution are one of the hardest parts, as you new employees implement standard operating procedures for long-term success.
In your opinion, what is special about San Diego’s business community, and the talent that drives it?
San Diego is special in many ways. The local talent is on par with any major region in the world. We are confident that the San Diego region can deliver quality talent no matter the industry.
Company contact info and additional information:
- Website: sdloyal.com
- Social Media: linkedin.com/company/sandiegoloyal
- Instagram: @sandiegoloyal
- Advancing San Diego Intern Spotlight: Dominique Hernandez, San Diego Loyal
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