Department of Economics

Sam Wright

  • Graduated: 2014
  • Field: Management/Entrepreneurship

Sam Wright, who graduated with a BA in Economics with the Environmental option in 2014, is a project engineer at McMahon Steel Co in Chula Vista, California.  He also earned a BA in Social Sciences in 2014.  While attending Chico State he helped support himself with a job as a certified paperhanger for Heidi Mead Wallcovering, and even found time to volunteer at Habitat for Humanity Restore of Butte County

During his last semester at Chico State, Sam worked as a research intern for the Sustainability Department where he assisted with research and data entry under Fletcher Alexander. He also volunteered his time to plant trees in downtown Chico, along with helping coordinate the Diversion Excursion: an effort to reduce waste created at freshman dorms when they move-out by reusing, recycling, and donating as many goods as possible.

Sam participated in the 2014 BSS Symposium in which he presented his vision of the Chico Farmers’ Market in 2030 which was incorporated into the Chico 2030 General Plan.  Sam later worked as a research analyst with the Sacramento River Preservation Trust where he analyzed data, wrote reports, designed advertising, and engaged in community outreach. 

After graduation Sam went to work as an outside sales consultant for The Alarm Guys in Brentwood, California.  Half a year later Sam moved on to Vironex Technical Services in Concord, California where he worked for 3 months as a field technician operating drills for groundwater and soil remediation projects.  In 2016 Sam began working as a quality control analyst for Gas Transmission Systems in Walnut Creek, California. In 2018 he moved on to McMahon Steel Co in Chula Vista, California, where he is currently employed. 

“Economics helps me in my career every day because it taught me that everything is interconnected,” Sam stated in a recent email. “On my career path so far I have learned that the process of how things are done is the key to success. I have jumped around a few different industries so far doing a multitude of job duties/tasks, but the commonality roots back to my teachings in the Economics Department.  Researching sustainable practice and natural systems taught me that the majority of the time a balanced process is the most efficient and successful.  This thought process of “find a better way to do things” was a combination of taking a majority of the environmental classes at Chico State as well as spending a lot of time in Dr. Mark Stemen’s classroom. This does not always mean reinventing the wheel, but being able to locate or figure out a better process: whether it is through collaboration, a past experience, trial and error, or research. I believe the classes I took at Chico State put me head and shoulders above most people tasked with the same duties on a level playing field.”  (Last Updated 9/11/18).

Portrait of Sam Wright