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Hands-On Student Projects
One of the best ways for students to learn is to participate in a real-life business project. With this in mind, some of the wine business classes are able to incorporate this type of activity as a means of "action learning" and "community engagement." In some cases wine businesses approach professors with a project idea, and in other cases, professors contact wineries to see if they can work in partnership. If the project appears to be a match with class learning objectives, then it can become a win-win for both wine business students and local wine businesses.
Sonoma State Cellars
MBA students, as part of an experience class, partner with local wineries to create a Sonoma State wine. Beginning in 2010, the idea for the brand was first considered by a group of four MBA students working with Dr. Armand Gilinsky, Jr., Professor of Business at Sonoma State University. Liza Goldstein, Kendal Georgeson, Abigail Smyth and Leah McNally, who have since graduated and grown in their careers, conducted a feasibility study to assess the viability of the proposed brand. Sonoma State Cellars made it's first debut in 2012 and will celebrate it's fourth annual release in June 2015. Learn more about the project.
Brand Refresh Project for Parducci Winery
In the Spring of 2011, the 46 students in Bus 305W, Introduction to Wine Business Strategy, worked with Parducci Winery on a brand refresh project. This included a field trip to the winery to meet with CEO, Paul Dolan and Director of Marketing, Kelly Lentz. Working in teams, the students created a brand refresh strategy which included a new brand proposition, label, tasting room/wine tourism suggestions, ecommerce strategy, retailing recommendations, and an online wine commercial. The winning team received a prize of $100 each.
e-Winery Solutions Winery Website Challenge
In the Spring of 2009, the students in Wine Ecommerce worked on a class project that involved evaluating over 100 different winery websites to determine which was most successful in terms of attracting consumers and achieving wine sales. This included an analysis of design, ecommerce, and social media. The winning winery website was Moshin Vineyards.
Industry Partnerships and Affiliates
We want to recognize and thank the numerous individuals and companies who speak with our students in classes, in our Wine Sense club, and on professional panels. Likewise - the organizations that open their doors for our students to experience the real workings of a winery. They ground our students in practical knowledge and inspire our students to reach for their goals.