Student Internship Spotlight: Esteban Garcia
Even though he is taking his first semester of classes at Fresno State this fall, viticulture junior Esteban Garcia is on pace career-wise after an internship last summer working with the director of operations at Sea Smoke Vineyards in Lompoc.
The Allan Hancock College transfer has a unique background since he is 27 years old and has two kids and is working full-time. The first generation college student and DACA recipient thanks his spouse and parents for all their support and encouraging him to go back to college and get two associate degrees and an academic certificate.
Learn more about with the campus viticulture club member's internship experience and career path in this recent interview.
Q: Talk about your internship and what types of jobs you did generally.
Garcia: "Many of my tasks were related to data collection or checking payroll and making potential corrections. Another responsibility was to teach supervisors and foremen how to enter the employee’s time into the payroll system (AgCode). I was also in charge of collecting data in the vineyard. This would range from scouting, block mapping, crop estimation and more. The people that I worked for are really great. They really know their stuff.
Garcia: "This position was the first that I ever had that wasn’t general laborer. It gave me the first insight of how it feels to be part of a vineyard management team. This was important because I was exposed to what happens in the office instead of working outside."
Q: What skills or experiences did you gain from the internship that they can apply to your potential career options?
Garcia: "This internship gave me the opportunity that most students dream of and knowledge
that is very important to my career. I gained experience related to teamwork, time
management, communication, problem solving, how to work independently, and multi-tasking."
Q: Have you receive any college scholarships?
Garcia: "I haven’t receive any Fresno State scholarships, but I did receive few scholarships from my Community College, including one from The Vineyard Team in Atascadero."
Q: What is your background in agriculture before you started at Fresno State?
Garcia: "I have worked in a variety of areas in agriculture, ranging from cutting broccoli, picking strawberries, cutting lettuce and more. The most memorable job that I had was working with my dad in the vineyards. He has been working in Kendall Jackson’s vineyards in Santa Maria for over 13 years. I’ve only worked there for three years before I decided to go back to school. Once I was enrolled at Allan Hancock College, I started to work at the student vineyard. I was in charge of any tractor work that needed to be done. Some of the tasks I had were discing, French plowing, spraying for weed control and more."
Q: What's your potential next career step?
Garcia: "I plan to graduate in the year 2022 and work for either E & J Gallo or Constellation Brands. The job that I will be seeking after graduation is an Assistant Vineyard Manager, and then hoping moving up to be a vineyard manager, and later a director of vineyard operations."