Combining business with pleasure: How wine opened up a world of opportunity for Sophie Eather
University of Adelaide graduate, Sophie Eather shares her experiences studying international business, and how combining her degree with her passion for languages, opened up a world of opportunity for her both locally and internationally.
A determined go-getter, Sophie was never one to let an opportunity pass her by whilst at university.
Choosing to study a Bachelor of Commerce in International Business* with a Diploma in Languages (Mandarin), Sophie was drawn to the University of Adelaide due to “the fantastic reputation, both nationally and internationally” as well as “the exciting opportunities my major in International Business, as well as my Diploma in Languages, would present.”
It was these opportunities which really helped Sophie take her university experience to the next level and secure a range of industry internships, overseas experiences and specialised courses, all key contributors to her current success as a graduate.
“I was firstly invited to undertake the Chinese In-Country Summer School, a 5-week intensive language study tour at Shandong University in China, placing me well outside of my comfort zone and fostering life-enhancing skills in language learning and cross-cultural communication.”
“Following on from this was the opportunity to undertake a market research internship at Wine Australia, which I completed as an elective in my degree. This allowed me to apply the knowledge gained from my degree, gain crucial insights into the China wine market, as well as find valuable networking opportunities within the Australian wine industry, something which I still take with me today.”
Through this internship, Sophie’s love of the food and wine industry grew and her evident passion for the industry was rewarded, when she was invited to commence another internship with Wine Australia, this time at their Shanghai office. This opportunity was made possible in part by her successful obtainment of the coveted New Colombo Plan Scholarship which saw her move to Shanghai for her final year of university.
“This prestigious scholarship allowed me to complete my degree at Fudan University in Shanghai, allowing me to become fluent in Mandarin and undertake life and career enhancing experiences. I studied advanced and business-level Mandarin whilst interning with Wine Australia's Shanghai team and completing the Barossa Grape & Wine Association (BGWA)'s Barossa Wine School in Mandarin.”
Following on from her studies, Sophie’s extensive experience and passion for the food and wine industry saw her secure a role as Marketing Coordinator for Yalumba, Australia’s most historic, family owned winery, located in the picturesque Barossa Valley. As part of her role, Sophie manages social media promotions, designs key marketing collateral and draws on her previous experience in language and tourism, providing translation for tourists in both Mandarin and now Japanese, which she studied as an elective during her degree.
Learning is a life long journey, and when Sophie is not working, she is continuing to build on her wine knowledge by undertaking the WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) Level 3 exam in Mandarin, whilst also studying for the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test N3 certificate.
“These (learning) experiences are furthering my aspirations to become an ambassador for Australian food, wine, culture and tourism, particularly across the dynamic Asia markets.”
Reflecting on what she enjoyed most about her studies, Sophie speaks of the unique range of opportunities provided by the University which enhanced her studies both professionally and personally.
"This degree (International Business) provides you with the opportunity to enrich your studies with countless experiences that have definitely transformed my perspective on life, placing me well outside of my comfort zone and fostering life-enhancing skills in language learning and cross-cultural communication. And all of this would not be possible without the University's on-going support and encouragement, transforming students into talented, well-rounded individuals."Sophie
*This testimonial is of the student studying the Bachelor of Commerce in International Business which was superseded by the Bachelor of Business in International Business from 2021.