Courtney Jacobson is an Orfalea College of Business senior from the Bay Area with a passion for social and environmental justice, food, business and — more recently — politics. Just last year, Jacobson was selected to participate in the Panetta Congressional Internship Program which sparked her continued interest in government.
Before she heard about the program, Jacobson earned a lot of experience in business — working for Chevron, The Federal Reserve and EY as an advisory intern — but she had essentially no experience in politics. Through the connections she made in Orfalea’s Executive Partners Program, Jacobson reached out to the city manager of Pismo Beach, Jim Lewis, and began working as his intern. Lewis gave Jacobson the encouragement, experience, and advice she needed to apply for the Panetta program.
After being accepted to the Panetta Congressional Internship Program, Jacobson spent two weeks at California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) where she participated in a political science “boot camp.” There, she learned about the political process and contemporary policy issues that would help her succeed as she started her work as a congressional intern. Jacobson was placed in the office of Congressman Scott Peters for her internship, where she did everything from clerical work to researching policy issues and preparing memos.
“My time in D.C. really altered my perception of the federal government and has inspired me to pursue politics in the future,” Jacobson said about her experience in the Panetta program.
Back at Cal Poly, Jacobson excelled in her information systems courses, making the Dean’s List for eleven quarters. She was also an active member in the Alpha Kappa Psi professional business fraternity, where she served as the new member leadership training coordinator and was a part of the all-academic team for maintaining a GPA over 3.5 while also making positive contributions to the chapter and to Cal Poly. Jacobson was also a member of the Cal Poly Women in Business Association, serving as a founding executive board member and the vice president of professional engagement and development.
Jacobson will earn her bachelor of science degree in business administration, with a concentration in information systems and a minor in sustainable agriculture. In the future, Jacobson hopes to use her passion for technology, politics and agriculture to make healthy living accessible to all socioeconomic backgrounds and improve the agricultural industry as a whole. She hopes to one day own her own farm where she can demonstrate sustainable agricultural practices.