Why did you choose Cornell?
While researching graduate schools, I read about Justine Vanden Heuvel's research and was very intrigued by the work her lab was doing. I connected with Justine, who was very responsive and approachable, and learned more about Cornell's viticulture program, which is known to the best viticulture program on the east coast.
Why did you decide to pursue a CALS MPS degree?
The faculty are renowned and the program is small so students really get that personal touch and attention.
What courses best prepared you for your current position?
Grape Pest Management was the most practical and useful course for my career in vineyard management; it also became my favorite focus and aspect of vineyard care. The Viticulture and Vineyard Management course was very informative.
What was your problem-solving project about?
Undervine cover crops and the study of how crops compete for water and resources. This was my first experience with research. I enjoyed collaborating with other graduate students and the exposure to all the research that Justine's lab was working on.
What is your current position?
I’ve been the Vineyard Manager at Clark Vineyard Management, Inc. for almost 3 years now. I learned to do a lot of networking while at Cornell and I got this opportunity through a friend’s referral.
What do you like most about your current job?
I love the challenge of figuring out how to help the vineyard thrive. I now also love the management aspect of my position and the human resources work. I get to speak Spanish often and I love that.
How did the MPS program prepare you for your career?
It helped me prepare by being flexible and customizable. The advisors and faculty were happy to accommodate my individual needs in creating a program that met my unique goals.
What advice would you give to someone considering the program?
Talk with as many faculty and as many alumni as you can in order to get the most out of the experience and set yourself up with a network.
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