One of the best things about the location of the University of La Verne campus, aside from the small size and Mayberry-esque surroundings is its incredibly close proximity to the Pomona Fairplex. And the connections between the two institutions go beyond the geographic type: ULV President Stephen Morgan is also chairman of the board for the Los Angeles County Fair Association. With these intertwined existences in mind, as well as the high demand for part time workers during the fair itself, it should come as no surprise that working at the fair is a perfect opportunity for ULV students looking for some extra money and job experience.
Senior broadcast major Erica Pembleton is earning some of that money and experience as a public address announcer for the fair. Pembleton and the other announcers work in shifts, informing fairgoers about special events, exhibits and some of the fair’s sponsors. Though she applied for the job on a bit of a whim, Pembleton said that this minor risk has paid major dividends.
“You get to look down and see all the booths and rides” from the announcer’s booth atop the grandstand, she said. She has also been able to enjoy some of the performances featured in the fair’s End of Summer Concert Series from one of the best seats in the house.
Jay Aguila, a senior who is majoring in communications with an emphasis on public affairs, is working as a public relations intern. Aguila said his primary job has been writing press releases for the fair, but he has also done clerical work such as labeling, filing and envelope-stuffing typically associated with interning. Despite these somewhat menial tasks, Aguila was quick to add that the experience has remained enjoyable throughout.
“There really isn’t anything I like least,” he said. “Every experience brings forth a new understanding that will help me in the future.”
Supervisors are also very accommodating of the students’ schedules for class and other activities.
“It helps that the fair is open on weekends,” Aguila said. “I do a lot of my hours then.”
Pembleton also works most of her hours on the weekends and agrees that fair management understands that she and other students have another, more important job in attending college.
But when they are on the job, fair officials are always pleased with the work of student employees.
“We love to work with students from the University of La Verne,” said Wendy Talarico, spokeswoman for the Fairplex. “We’ve had great luck and some really talented students here.”
Both Pembleton and Aguila said that the pay is nice and, like every fair employee, they received free tickets to the fair to share with family and friends. But the main thing they gained from working at the fair is experience in a professional environment and possible future contacts.
“I’d recommend it to some radio and broadcast majors for next year,” said Pembleton of her position.
“I would recommend this job opportunity to anyone who is in journalism or public relations fields,” Aguila said. “It is a great opportunity and you gain so much experience for the future.”
Tom Anderson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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