We had the good fortune of connecting with Gabriella Garcia and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gabriella, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
Born in Sweden, raised in San Diego, California I have extensive experiences in both the U.S. and Sweden, which taught me how to build relationships with diverse communities. When reflecting on my experiences abroad I recognize how much that time played a huge factor in my successes today. Having dual citizenship allowed me to attend high school in Stockholm. While studying abroad, I enjoyed skiing, traveling throughout Europe, interning at Universal Music Sweden, and competing in flatwater sprint kayaking.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Athletics have impacted me in more ways than imaginable. From a young age, I have always loved the competitive atmosphere, team dynamic, and passion for both playing and watching sports. Growing up at the beach provided a lifestyle I love with opportunities to attend surf summer camps, be a junior lifeguard and take up flat water sprint kayaking.
While attending San Diego State University to obtain my Communication Studies degree, I also found my love for working in sports with the SDSU Athletic Department, which confirmed the career path I wanted to pursue.
Graduating in a pandemic while sports were canceled, I knew that I had to use these unprecedented times to grow and learn as much as possible to be ready for the sports industry when things would return to a somewhat kind of normal. I believe that my work ethic and drive paid off as I sharpened my skills, put my head down and worked, and learned so much during that time. Once the opportunity presented itself, I was confident that I was ready. I continued to believe that if I keep my dreams on the forefront, work hard, put in the time, that will prepare me for my next steps to reach my goal. I was ecstatic to join the San Diego Gulls Hockey Club as an Inside Sales Representative last year. To work with America’s finest hockey fans in America’s finest city, it doesn’t get any better than this.
Growing up being a part of the fan base myself, to now working with them, it is truly an honor to get to be on the other side of the magic with the best fans out there. It makes what I do all the more fun and fulfilling. They are so passionate and committed to the team. Not only at home, but away as well. From my experiences at away games cheering on our Gulls, our crowd will outdo the home team. They definitely bring the energy and when you’re among them it’s impossible to not experience that electric feel. They are one of the main reasons that game days are the best days.
I truly believe that grit and trusting the process would bring me to where I am now. In just under two years since graduating from SDSU, I have a full AHL hockey season under my belt with a dream team and already earned a promotion to Account Executive in our Group Sales department. I know that I still have a long way to go in my career and am still paving my way there. I am truly grateful for the people and friends created along the way as they are fundamental to where I am today.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Growing up in San Diego there are so many great places but to name a couple, La Jolla for the cove, sea lions, kayaking, snorkeling, swimming, hiking, sunsets, shopping, dining and of course OB Noodle House 1502 for their food, drinks, sports always on TV, and fun atmosphere.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I currently work for the San Diego Gulls Hockey Club as a Group Sales Account Executive, and I cannot express enough the love I have for my team and position. The Gulls provide an amazing front office culture to be part of and learn from. Everyone, from the sales staff to the marketing team and everything in between, is so supportive and quick to provide guidance as we all push to be one of the most successful franchises in the American Hockey League. As I continue in my career, I’m so grateful for my mentors here who have taught me brilliant sales tactics, strategies, and skills. In my short time with the Gulls, I’ve increased my knowledge on project management and how to be my own boss and stay organized amongst a large number of clients and accounts, network and introduce me to many others in the industry and to not sweat the small stuff. I’m so thankful for the opportunities I have had with a team that I love, to live out my passions and make it into a fulfilling career. But it has truly been the people that I interacted with daily at each place that made every experience so special. Those are the moments that have turned into long-lasting friendships and an entire network of support, and for that I am most grateful. And I can’t forget learning the importance of team culture! Not every job allows you to build comradery with your coworkers by playing hockey together on game days!
The organization has been part of my life long before I was onboard with them. With family roots in Sweden and being raised in San Diego, hockey has always been something my whole family really bonds over. For those unfamiliar, hockey is huge in Sweden and my whole family loves it. My brother and mother both skate as well. I grew up going to San Diego Gulls and Anaheim Ducks games to cheer on our Swedes on the ice! I cherish those family memories growing up and am thrilled that I’m seeing our love for the game come full circle with my position with the Gulls.