Chris Garmon and Megan Jacobsen started their careers as agriculture students who took on internships. Megan was a 2008 graduate from Fresno State in Agricultural Communications and Chris was an Agricultural Science major at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Chris and Megan both used their strong education in agriculture and a good work ethic during their internships to launch their agricultural careers and land their dream job.
Chris discovered early on that he wanted to work for a fair, so he focused his internships doing just that. He started at the Ventura County Fair, his hometown fair, interning there all four summers during his time at Cal Poly. He also interned at the California Mid-State Fair in Paso Robles for one summer. Chris said that interning at these fairs opened his eyes to the opportunities in event planning and management of fairs.
“It gives you a three-month summer experience being out in the field,” said Chris.
In his time at Cal Poly, Chris also invested four years in the Western Bonanza Junior Livestock Show, which is put on entirely by Cal Poly students. He said that his advisor, Wendy Hall, was an asset who taught him what it takes to put on such a large event.
When Megan started her college career, she first became the Agriculture Intern with University Communications, the hub for all advertising, public relations, and marketing for Fresno State. Megan interned part-time with University Communications for three and a half years, and spent most of her time gaining experience writing agriculture articles.
In the summers, Megan continued working various internships, both volunteer and paid. Her paid summer internships included Fresno County Farm Bureau and serving as the Publications Intern at the California Agricultural Technology Institute. Between these paid internships, she spent much time serving as a volunteer intern when the opportunity presented itself.
“Any time I could get my hands dirty and become a volunteer intern, I went after it,” said Megan.
Megan credits her mentors and supervisors during her internships for teaching her the skills she uses every day in her career. She said it is important to be challenged by those who have stronger skills, so that you don’t lose what you learn in the classroom.
“There is only so much you can learn from a classroom, so get hands on and learn what it’s like in the real-life industry,” said Megan.
Chris began his professional career at the Ventura County Fair in 2002. He became a permanent employee with the fair in 2009 and worked there until April of 2016. Then, he took a promotion in Bakersfield at the Kern County Fair and became the Deputy Manager. Chris said he is grateful to have been given more responsibilities and opportunities, and credits his many years of internships that got him where he is today.
After working in public policy, public relations, membership associations, and the Fresno Chamber of Commerce, Megan is now doing what she set out to do when she graduated from Fresno State. Megan is the National Marketing Manager for Solutions 4Earth, a soil and environmental science company that specializes in nutrients to help farmers improve crop growth and yield.
“The job I do today is every decision, internship, job, career move I made when I was younger that led me to my goal, which was to be the head of marketing for an agriculture company. I am finally doing what I set out to do,” said Megan.
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