After I got my Bachelors degree in History, and even before that, I knew I would go on to get either a Masters or a PhD. I just liked school and college in particular. But I never once, ever, considered getting an MBA degree. I wasn’t a business kind of guy. Also, those numbers? Not good. They tended to get big once you started working them and all sorts of fancy calculations and formulas got thrown into the mix; the kind of formulas that included letters in addition to numbers. Not good. I stuck with the letters and decided to get the MA in History.
However, had their been something like the new Wine Industry MBA now being offered by Sonoma State University I just may have put up with the big numbers and tried to use this degree to get a step up into the wine industry.
By all accounts the new WineMBA is the first of its kind in the nation. While Sonoma State University seems an obvious place for this new program to be offered, the actual program is not necessarily such an obvious thing. This is a pretty pin-point focused curriculum aimed at a very small group of people. It’s the kind of program my father would have looked over and said in response, "do you really want to narrow your focus that much, son?"
We live in a world where everything is about narrowing focus, and this is particularly the case in Academia. When I got my MA in History, my adviser in the History Department spent pretty much all his free academic time studying the the history of the way American Diplomatic History was written. This professor was the at the top of his field. Of course there were probably on seven other folks in his very specific chosen field. Suffice to say, a concentration in the "Business of Wine" isn’t exactly THAT narrow, but it certainly is out of the mainstream when it comes to business schools.
Reading the article about this new program I started to think what kind of courses I would create for the new MBAWINE candidates who really wanted to learn all they could about the business of wine. I most certainly would recommend these courses:
1. Internet Wine Marketing
2. The History and Workings of the Three Tier System
3. A Survey of Wine Brand Business Models
4. Compliance and Regulatory Issues in the U.S. Wine Industry
5. A Survey of Wine Industry Hospitality Issues