Graham Partners launched a new program Tuesday for professional soccer players and coaches who volunteer with The SWAG soccer program.
The Newtown Square-based private equity firm has created a six-week internship for 10 SWAG volunteers.
The SWAG program, launched in 2018, is a free inner-city soccer program in Philadelphia that aims to help vulnerable youth develop a passion for the sport. Over the past three years, professional athletes and coaches volunteering with SWAG have served as mentors, coaches and role models to more than 2,000 at-risk children.
Graham Partners developed its six-week internship program to provide soccer players and coaches with an opportunity to get exposure to the business world.
“These athletes will work with a mentor on deal sourcing and live deals, getting exposure to everyday processes in private equity, while adding our company name to their resume,” said Steve Graham, CEO of Graham Partners. “We want these individuals to gain valuable experience outside of athletics, and an early foothold for future ambitions as they prepare to step into the business world.”
Graham said selected interns have all shown “tremendous dedication to seeding growth in the sport of soccer,” especially in Philadelphia with The SWAG.
“This is our way of helping them prepare for the next phase of their career and acknowledging their dedication to growing the game, serving as role models to children in our city’s most vulnerable neighborhoods,” he said.
The Graham family has a strong connection to soccer as an investor in the Philadelphia Union as well as a supporter of youth soccer programs.
Participants in the Graham Partners internship program will learn about private equity financial modeling from Training The Street, a corporate training provider for Wall Street firms and top-tier business schools. The course is designed to serve as a foundation for future business plans, both inside and outside of the private equity industry. The sessions will be held for approximately two hours per day, three days a week, from Nov. 22 to Jan. 3.
The inaugural class of SWAG interns includes professional soccer athletes Auston Trusty of the Colorado Rapids (who was formerly with the Philadelphia Union), Amobi Okugo of the Austin Bold FC, and Lamine Conte of the New York Red Bulls II.
Landry is the co-founder, head coach, manager, and a board member of the AC Fairhill soccer club in North Philadelphia. He is also co-founder of and senior relationship manager at Common Ground Management, a Philadelphia-based business services provider.
Landry said he considered the internship program “an opportunity I shouldn’t pass up.” He set a goal for himself to become a licensed investment advisor and to assist minority business owners in managing their investments.
“Understanding economics and the financial sector is sort of like the final frontier for minority business people,” Landry said. “And for this reason, I made it a major goal in 2021 to become more fluent as I begin the next chapter of my entrepreneurial career.”