If you want to develop your wine and food career, and fancy the idea of spending a year studying in Italy you should get your skates on – applications for scholarships close in less than a week.
The Alma Graduate School offers an intensive 12-month MBA program that is the only one in the world to focus on both wine and food. Having grown the course since its inception in 2010, today there are 10 scholarships available, worth a combined $210,000.
Alma is the business school of the University of Bologna, the oldest university in the world, based in the wine region of Emilia-Romagna. The program includes a 500-hour internship, involving project work with senior management of wine and food companies, designed to analyze real company problems, develop strategies, and devise action plans.
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The school’s Career Development Department helps participants pursue their career goals and will support them in the job-seeking process. Alumni have gained senior positions at companies ranging from multinationals like Diageo or Gruppo Mezzacorona in the U.S. to the more eclectic choices of Georgian wineries like Tbilvino or an ice-cream machine supplier in Italy.
Thanks to an agreement between Alma and leading Italian mineral water company, Ferrarelle, two scholarships of €15,000 ($20,500) each are on offer. One of them will be assigned to a qualified American student.
The school also offers full and partial scholarships ranging from €10,000 to €27,000 for participants of the MBA; 20 full scholarships were awarded in 2013. All applicants are eligible to apply regardless of their nationality and scholarships are based on both academic and professional merit.
In the heart of Italy, the University of Bologna was established in 1088 at the strategic crossroads of Europe where science, technology and entrepreneurship meet values, culture and lifestyle. The Alma Graduate School, located in a 16th-Century villa receives students from more than 60 different countries.
Program director Ludovica Leone says a pivotal element is the relationship with companies not just in the internship phase but throughout the learning experience.
“An important plus for students is the possibility of attending many company visits where they can talk with people from the industry, understand the main business issues, and how they achieve success and excellence.”
“Food and Wine are two of the main pillars of 'Made in Italy',” she said. "Many of the issues and characteristics of these industries are similar, so it is possible to reflect on how both can approach new opportunities of growth. Food companies should learn from the wine industry and vice versa, and many times the two industries work together for example in the case of culinary tourism or in the restaurant industry.”
As far as the wine industry is concerned, many companies are involved with the program, from small biodynamic producers to multi-national wine companies. Some of the wineries that have participated in the program include Cantine Arnaldo Caprai, Antinori, Bastianich, Mezzacorona group, GIV group, Santa Margherita, and Anselmi.
The program also includes a visit to Vinitaly, another sponsor of the program.
For more information, check out the school’s website here.