Josh Young is poised to become the first learner to complete EIT’s new Postgraduate Certificate in Wine Business and Innovation – an achievement that he still can’t quite believe.
Josh, 26, began the programme in the middle of last year when EIT first began offering a suite of postgraduate qualifications – the NZ Certificate in Wine Business and Innovation, the Diploma in Wine Business and Innovation and the Masters in Wine Business and Innovation. The fully online programmes are coordinated by Dr Rory Hill.
Josh, who is based in Auckland and working for the family business, Vintners New Zealand, has a few weeks to go to complete his programme, which he has done online for the last year.
Despite growing up around wine, Josh’s first degree was a Bachelor of Ancient History at the University of Auckland, which included an exchange to the University of Granada in Spain.
When he returned to New Zealand, Josh started working at Allpress Expresso as a coffee roaster.
“It was a really cool experience but having done that for a few years I wanted to pursue wine. I liked the idea of actually working with a finished product rather than coffee, which can change so much between what you roast and how it’s poured and made.”
“I’ve been exposed to it my whole life, but it wasn’t until last year that I decided to really toss myself into the wine industry and start with EIT and then move to Blenheim and do a vintage last year.”
He started with the postgraduate certificate programme, but says he is still open to moving on to the postgraduate diploma and even the masters degree in the future.
Josh says it was a conversation with Dr Rory Hill that swayed him to sign up for the EIT programme.
“He was really enthusiastic about it, so I decided to give it a go.”
Not keen to waste any time, Josh plans to move to London to pursue a career in wine distribution.
“The UK might not be wine producing, but it has high wine consumption. There’s a huge wine market there so I’d like to get some experience in that market before coming back to New Zealand.”
One thing Josh is certain of is that his postgraduate qualification from EIT has set him up well.
“You’re given information in the lectures, but then you’re really encouraged to find your own research and explore things yourself. The programme gives you the foundation that then encourages you to really seek out the information for yourself.”
As for being the first to graduate from EIT’s new postgraduate programme, Josh is still coming to terms with it.
“I was quite surprised to hear that when I found out, but it is exciting to be the first to come out of this. However, I am sure there will be many more to come.”
Sue Blackmore, Head of School for Viticulture and Wine Science, says: “This is an exciting milestone for the new programmes. We want to congratulate Josh and wish him well in his UK job experience.”
The fully online postgraduate suite of programmes was developed to provide professional development opportunities for New Zealand wine industry professionals. Dependent on borders EIT hopes to offer the masters programme on campus from mid-2023. Currently there are students studying across NZ as well as offshore. The next intake is the 18th July 2022.