In recognition of Women's History Month, the Chargers are highlighting an employee each week in the month of March. Today's spotlight is on Maria Garcia, who is the Senior Director of Events & Stadium Operations for the Chargers. Maria grew up in Huntington Park, CA and studied at Cal State Long Beach.
Did you always have a desire to work in sports?
Short answer, yes ! I had the opportunity to intern for a few sports teams while attending my last year at Cal State Long Beach. Being exposed to the behind the scenes of those organizations really fueled my desire to continue my career in this industry.
How'd you get your start?
When I graduated with my Bachelor's Degree, I took a position as an Assistant to the General Manager at Dignity Health Sports Park. I took every opportunity to learn and get involved with events. After many years of being an Assistant to the General Manager, an Event Manager role became available. That was my window and I took it! During my 11 years at that stadium I ran major events like MLS, Boxing, PBR and the CrossFit Games.
What is the most rewarding part of your job and why?
The most rewarding part of my job is seeing our game days come together. Working with our internal teams and our stadium partners to put together this amazing experience and atmosphere for our fans at SoFi every game day is very exciting!
Tell us about a woman that has inspired you and/or impacted your career in today.
A woman that has inspired me in my career and really in life is my older sister. Our parents immigrated to this country from Mexico with very little education. My sisters desire to excel in her academics really pushed me to do the same. She was the first in our family to go to college. She earned her Bachelor's Degree and then her Master's Degree in College Counseling. There was no question that I would go to college because of the example she set!
What advice do you have for those trying to get into sports/starting their career in the sports industry?
My biggest piece of advice to anyone trying to get into this industry is to make the most out of every opportunity you get and always keep a positive attitude. Often times when you are starting out in your career you may find yourself working on things that aren't that exciting. But every task is an opportunity to learn something, as well as an opportunity to put your best foot forward.
Bolt Up for 2023!
Secure your 2023 Season Ticket Memberships today! Click here to learn more.