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Success Stories

Madison Smith

Madison Smith

College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences: December 2010

Sales & Marketing Coordinator at Rominger West Winery

Four years in the University of Georgia's Food Science program prepared me for so many career paths that I was left drifting and unsure of which direction to take post-graduation. My moment of clarity came while I was studying Viticulture & Enology in Italy. As most life changing events transpire, this month spent in Italy took me by surprise, igniting a passion that has since snowballed beyond my wildest dreams.

Upon my return to the states, I acquired an internship at a winery in the north Georgia mountains, which I grew into for six months, culminating in a firm job offer. I could continue in the wine industry or I could fall back on my previous and completely unrelated love, financial work. Such different passions! It was at the crux of this decision, when a friend offered me a seat on a cross country trip to California. Being a spontaneous person (with 2 weeks off of work), I hopped in the car and away we went. I arrived in California where I made my next spontaneous decision to visit a local winery with resume in hand. The next day, I found myself with a job offer for the position of Sales and Marketing Coordinator at a winery in the heart of Yolo county, 45 minutes from Napa, one hour from San Francisco, and two hours from Lake Tahoe.

My newest passion has been an experiment in personal branding which has opened doors in both the craft beer and wine industries. My proximity to so many local beer and wine expos, brewhouses, and wineries has given me the fodder to begin writing my own blog, making YouTube videos, and recently creating a Meetup.com group for people with the same interests. Life throws you curve balls every day, the trick is not to dodge them, but to jump up there, catch it and run with it.