San Diego - Entrepreneurial Opportunity
JP Catholic News, December 1st, 2009
Young people looking into JP Catholic are often attracted by its ideal location in San Diego, California. There’s the beautiful weather all year long, the shopping and entertainment of downtown San Diego—not to mention the beaches. It does not occur to most incoming students, however, that JP Catholic’s location gives them access to many valuable career opportunities as well.
JP Catholic’s president Dr. Derry Connolly did not choose San Diego simply for the pleasant weather. Because the focus of the university is new media, Dr. Connolly knew it would have to be located in southern California, the center of both old and new media. “San Diego has a good concentration in the technology of new media,” he says. QUALCOMM, one of the leaders in new media technology, is based in San Diego. JP Catholic students reap the rewards of a close proximity to this innovative company. “It gives us a pool of people to draw from who can teach at JP Catholic. These people understand the great significance of new media—more importantly, they know how to deliver.” The expertise provided by QUALCOMM gives JP Catholic students access to current, practical knowledge that no other Catholic university can match.
University of California at San Diego also offers many advantages to JP Catholic students. “UCSD has warmly welcomed our students,” say Dr. Connolly. “They’re very open to interacting with us.” He sees this interaction as one of the unique advantages JP Catholic offers. “One of the problems with most Catholic universities,” he says, “is the feeling of a closed community. The students only interact with other students—they never leave the campus.” Not so at JP Catholic. The university’s mission is to impact culture for Christ. Students at JP Catholic begin learning early on what challenges they will face as Catholics in a secular business world.
Students also learn to embrace the advantages offered by the wide world of business. “Here in San Diego, the environment is entrepreneurial,” says Provost Dominic Iocco, an experienced businessman himself. “In a lot of places you’re on your own, but here organizations like CONNECT are here to help entrepreneurs.” San Diego offers an excellent support network for start-ups. “It’s not a good old boy network,” says Provost Iocco. “It isn’t about who you know.”
UCSD also offers events that encourage students to hone their business skills. The monthly networking events hosted there help students refine their business ideas. “A concept might sound good in your head,” Provost Iocco says, “but when you talk to other business people, you start to see the weaknesses. You can start to address those weaknesses.” UCSD also hosts business pitch competitions that offer huge benefits to JP Catholic students. The Tech Host Angels competition gives a number of businesses the opportunity to give a three-minute pitch to a roomful of investors. After the pitches, the entrepreneurs set up booths around the room; the investors then seek out those who gave the most compelling pitches.
An innovative university such as JP Catholic had to be located in San Diego. The hands-on, practical nature of the curriculum could only thrive in the entrepreneurial climate of San Diego. The expertise the university has gathered is only available in a centralized location like southern California. JP Catholic has found the perfect home for budding entrepreneurs.