Saturday, December 30, 2017

My (Dream) Internship Experience: Two Sisters Vineyards

When I started working at Two Sisters Vineyards (TSV) as a Retail Wine Associate this past summer, I didn't imagine I would be given an opportunity to see into the public relations side of the business. In fact, I had considered myself lucky enough to have earned a spot at Niagara's newest premiere winery. However, when opportunity knocks, you should open the door.

A discussion about my past and present education had inadvertently presented an opportunity to work alongside a PR practitioner as well as the owners (who are, as you may have guessed, two sisters) in order to obtain my required field replacement hours. What had once seemed like a distant dream was slowly becoming my reality, as I had landed an internship opportunity on a beautiful estate and in a niche I love: fine wine and food.

Despite the vineyards young age, Two Sisters is growing at rapid pace, which means, I never have a shortage of tasks assigned to me when I arrive on internship days. As the organization has set plans to open a hotel in 2020/21, I am currently working alongside TSV's PR practitioner in developing a PR plan for the new year, which includes developing a marketing campaign for the hotel. It is here, that I am able to put what I have been learning about in the class room and apply it to real world experience.

Another responsibility that I have undertaken is the MailChimp database currently utilized by TSV. Like other PR applications discussed in lectures, MailChimp is an online platform used to disseminate information to various groups of individuals. For TSV, this includes the two tiers of Wine Club members, those interested in receiving the TSV newsletter, licensee sales representatives, employees and more. Not only am I responsible for archiving a large number of emails from various applications currently used by TSV, I have also drafted and edited emails that have been distributed to various audiences. I also utilize the analytics available through MailChimp to evaluate the success of various campaigns launched by the organization, where I am able to provide feedback and highlight areas for improvement.

One task that I am often assigned is creating new signage for the on-site wine boutique, special events, and creating online posters to be distributed on behalf of the organization for various functions. When creating these visual pieces, I am utilizing the Adobe programs we are currently using in the classroom. Whether it be tasting notes for a new release, signage for a Wine Maker's dinner, or a poster that will be blown up to showcase an award winning wine, it has been incredibly rewarding to see my creative touch all around the vineyard. Since working at TSV, I have seen the wine boutique undergo a big transformation in terms of arrangement, and a lot of that has to do with the visual pieces I have created.

Moving forward, I truly hope that an employment opportunity in PR will present itself for me at TSV. Food and wine have always been passions of mine, and it has been truly rewarding to see the culmination of my education, alongside my passions, be combined into one. Upon graduation, I intend to obtain an Intermediate Wine Certificate (IWC), which will give me one of two certificates required to pursue a Sommeliers designation. Having the opportunity to work within the food, wine and hospitality niche has affirmed that I want to continue to work within this realm, whether that be at TSV, or another organization. I have enjoyed learning the inner workings of the organization I am currently employed at, and I look forward to the opportunity to continue to make a positive impact.



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