She thought she wanted a career in medicine though her professional life took a Major League about face.
But Ronda Sedillo (’94, accounting) is happy about the change. She is living the dream of many sports fans by working as an executive – in this case, the senior vice president/chief financial officer (CFO) – of her favorite baseball team, the San Diego Padres.
After high school, Sedillo entered college as a pre-med student, but eventually realized this wasn’t what she ultimately wanted to do. While working in the retail sector and at the San Diego Unified School District, she also took various college courses toward earning her bachelor’s degree. “As a mother of two young children, I thought I would like to start my own bookkeeping business and work from home,” recalled Sedillo. “After completing some accounting courses, I wanted to pursue it as a profession. I knew I wanted a career with a firm in the Big 8 (now the Big 4) and that I wanted that on my resume.”
She enrolled in SDSU’s accounting program and never looked back.
Sedillo completed her studies at SDSU and earned her bachelor’s degree in 1994. Shortly thereafter, she landed a job in the tax department of PwC and that first step ultimately changed the course of her career.
One of her clients, Arrowhead General Insurance, hired her away from PwC to be their controller. She eventually moved up the ladder into the chief accounting officer position. But this was not her dream job.
Go for it and don’t give up! There are a finite number of positions available and an infinite number of candidates to fill them, so be sure to reach out to people in the industry and stay connected.
“As a San Diego native, I have always been a Padres fan and even interviewed for a couple of accounting positions with them,” said Sedillo. “After the team was sold in 2012, I was introduced to Ron Fowler (the Padres’ executive chairman) who told me they would be looking for a CFO to replace the retiring CFO and the rest is history.”
Sedillo joined the Padres organization in January of 2013 and currently manages a staff of 12.
Of course, it’s not easy to get your foot in the door, but to other SDSU students aspiring to be sports industry executives, Sedillo offers these words of advice: “Go for it and don’t give up! There are a finite number of positions available and an infinite number of candidates to fill them, so be sure to reach out to people in the industry and stay connected.”