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John Smith


Kiwifruit Expert


Study Related Questions


What did you study?

Bachelor of Applied Science (Horticulture), Massey University

Postgraduate Diploma (Plant Science), Massey University

Why did you choose this course?

The University has a great reputation and the course aligned with my future goals and aspirations.

What did you enjoy about your course?

The level of experience and expertise of the staff at Massey University helped create a fulfilling and memorable learning experience that has put me in good stead in the NZ wine industry.

What helped you to successfully complete your course?

A great mentor in Pat Sale, who is a well renown Horticultural consultant who I meet through the work experience module at Massey. I worked for Pat for four years while studying which was great being able to link the theoretical with the practical. I’m still good friends with Pat and his family and it is connections like these that are formed through education.

What advice do you have for future students?

Study something that you are passionate about. Follow your dream and have a plan because if you don’t know where your going you probably wont get there.


Occupation Related Questions


Describe your job

I oversee the strategic and tactical management of the fruit supply at Mission Estate Winery. I also manage and oversee the companies for vineyards located in Hawkes Bay and Marlborough while overseeing contract grower located in Hawkes Bay, Martinborough and Central Otago.

What do you do on an average day?

Depending on the season. About 50% of my time is spent in the office formulating plans, contracts, research, administration, compliance, human resources and the other 50% is out in the field managing the vineyards and consulting to our contract growers.

What is the most exciting about your job?

No day is ever the same. No vintage is ever the same. But every day I work towards growing and producing premium fruit so we continue to evolve as a high quality premium wine producer.

What opportunities does your job offer?

To work with the senior management team at Mission Estate, which provides width in experiences and thinking which stimulates fresh ideas and new initiatives. I also get to work closely with academics at CRI’s and tertiary institutes which expands knowledge and formulates further personal growth while also being involved in numerous industry research projects and programs.

What skills, training, education or past experiences helped you secure your job?

Tertiary qualifications without a doubt. Good solid work experience with quality wine producers and a positive can do attitude with a drive to succeed.

Where do you see yourself heading in the future within this industry?

Eventually into General Management.

What advice do you have for anyone wanting to work in the wine sector/industry?

Study at a reputable institute for a Bachelor degree in science specialsing in viticulture or horticulture. Try to get work experience while you are studying as this experience is invaluable when you finish your degree and are searching fro employment. Engage wineries and vineyards and go to field days, seminars and conferences where possible, start building your professional network early on as these contacts will help you progress in the industry at pace.