“Wine Business Management” – A Lot of Interest in Hochschule Geisenheim University’s First Distance Learning MBA Program

The first class of Geisenheim's distance MBA program © Manuela Ortner, M.A.

Hochschule Geisenheim University welcomes 23 students at the launch of the new program for managers and professionals employed in the German wine industry, which is offered in cooperation with the Center for Distance Degree Programs zfh (Zentrum für Fernstudien im Hochschulverbund). The application period for the winter semester 2021/22 starts on May 2, 2021.

Hochschule Geisenheim University’s first part-time distance MBA program – "Wine Business Management"  – has officially been launched. At the virtual introductory session in mid-April, members of the university management, the head of the degree program and the responsible lecturers welcomed 23 students. Most of them come from wine growing regions in Germany, Italy and Switzerland, but also from Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg and Berlin. As the administrative partner of the degree program, the zfh – Zentrum für Fernstudien im Hochschulverbund – also warmly welcomed this diverse first group of students.

“By launching the distance degree program “Wine Business Management”, we are closing a gap that the industry had identified. The situation in the wine sector is changing rapidly, e.g. due to climate change, digitization or legal requirements. With our MBA program, we give managers and professionals the opportunity to adapt to these changes in parallel to their jobs and to make their businesses fit for the future,” explains University President Prof. Dr. Hans Reiner Schultz at the launch of the new program. The strong demand and the positive feedback prove the need for such a program, he says.

The German-language program with a focus on business administration includes modules such as “Marketing Management”, “HR Management” as well as “Event and Tourism Management”. Other units focus on “Accounting, Controlling and Financing”, “Digitization in the Wine Industry” as well as “Logistics and Wine Marketing”. Innovative strategies in viticulture, enology and sensory evaluation are also part of the program that spreads out over four semesters. Elective modules in advanced semesters focus on “Organic Viticulture” and “Applied Risk Analysis and Risk Management in Viticulture”, to name but a few. In order to enroll, students must have an initial degree and at least three years of relevant professional experience in viticulture, enology or wine business.

For students who do not meet the entry requirements or wish to expand their knowledge on a selective basis, the university and the zfh also provide the opportunity to take individual modules and to obtain recognized certificates. From the first class of students, seven professionals have chosen that option. If they decide to take other courses and modules at a later point, they can switch to the full program, provided that they meet the entry requirements.

Prof. Dr. Alexander von Birgelen, Vice-President of Academic and Student Affairs, also joined the introductory session. He said: “As a rather small institution, we are always at the forefront of progress and embrace innovations”, and described the MBA as an “important program for professionals” and a pilot project. “In the future, we want to introduce other part-time programs as well.”

The application period for the MBA program “Wine Business Management” has just started. Prospective students may apply between May 2 and July 15, 2021 in order to start their studies in the winter semester 2021/22. Applications for the entire program and for individual modules must be submitted via the zfh.

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