Tell us about yourself: What made you join Alpha Zeta? Are you from the Central Valley? Have you always had a passion for agriculture?
Bienvenue: "No, I did not grow up in the Central Valley. To put it simply, I'm a city girl passionate about food! Originally from the heart of Los Angeles, I moved to Fresno to pursue a degree in Equine Science. About a semester into my freshman year, however, I discovered my love for food and writing! I was fascinated with the farm-to-fork movement, and decided to change my major to Ag Comm to help better tell the farmer's story to those living in urbanized areas. I eventually joined Alpha Zeta because my mentors spoke very highly about the fraternity, and I knew it would act as a great networking platform for someone looking to expand her social and professional circle."
Since graduation, what have you been up to? Do you have a small business? Are you working for a Valley business or corporation?
Bienvenue: "Upon graduation, I took on the full time position of Director of Communications at Bee Sweet Citrus, and have been there ever since. Since I took the position, I've helped to create a department that focuses on consumer relations and establishing relationships with large retailers. From package design to trade show management, I get to experience the day-to-day tasks of all aspects of communications. In addition, I'm the PR Task Force Director for the California Women for Ag, and was recently recognized for work on American Agri-Women's #AgDay365 Campaign. I'm also a competitive runner and recently qualified for the Boston Marathon in August of 2017."
What is your advice to students approaching graduation? How can they prepare for life outside of college?
Bienvenue: "The best thing any under-grad can do for him or herself is to work on branding themselves. That means, working on ways to market themselves; their talents, skill-sets, etc. This can include participating in professional development events, creating an online portfolio, building a LinkedIn profile, finding a mentor, etc. To put it simply, students should be working on creating an image for themselves that employers would be happy to include in their professional circle."
What are some of the things you learned or gained in Alpha Zeta that helped you make it to where you are today?
Bienvenue: "Networking is a vital component to professional development. Had it not been for the contacts I made through Alpha Zeta, I would not be where I am today."
We loved hearing how Alpha Zeta helped Monique Bienvenue get where she is today. Thank you for your time, Monique! We can't wait to see what you will do next.
Stay tuned for more alumni highlights!