Field of possibilities greets new students

The incoming class for one of Brock’s most unique programs got a first-hand glimpse into future career possibilities during their orientation activities last week.

The students entering the Oenology and Viticulture (OEVI) degree program and Grape and Wine Technology certificate program (OEVC) headed out to the field for vineyard and winery tours with two of the program’s local alumni.

Organized by the program’s academic adviser Steven Trussler, also an OEVI alumnus, the orientation day allows students to get to know the staff and faculty that will be helping them through their academic career at a barbeque before boarding a bus with their peers for the tours.

“Since its inception, the students and graduates of this program have been a close-knit group,” said Trussler. “The orientation tours allow students to be included in this unique culture from their very first day.”

The first stop on the tour was Hidden Bench Vineyards and Winery where Chris Holman, vintage assistant winemaker, toured students through the facility. Holman, who finished the OEVI program this summer, gave students insight into how the courses they were taking would help them during their mandatory co-op terms and after graduation.

Next, the students visited Stephanie Bilek, B.Sc ’09, who works in the vineyards at Henry of Pelham Family Estate Winery. Bilek’s vineyard tour introduced students to other opportunities outside the cellar door that they can enjoy after graduation.

For first-year student Jacob Johnsson-Werner, the orientation opened his eyes to how accessible and helpful the program’s alumni are.

“For a lot of programs, there are a number of possibilities after graduation,” said Johnsson-Werner. “To have alumni from the program show us concrete examples of the opportunities that exist in the industry was really nice.”

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