Antonio Perez Palacios Arias
For somebody as passionate about wine as Antonio Arias, there could be no better place on the planet to study than Adelaide - one of the great wine-cities of the world. That said his decision to study in Adelaide was driven by the course, not by the city. He was willing to go anywhere in the world to study at a top university with a strong international reputation for wine studies. The University of Adelaide’s course was a stand-out because of its unusual focus on the business and marketing side of the wine industry.
Now that he has finished his Masters, it is the flexibility of the course that particularly impressed Antonio, “Each person has a different idea about his/her future career. The course integrates some core subjects, but gives a lot of flexibility when it comes to electives, to allow you to follow a different path more focused on your particular interest.”
Working part-time for Pindarie Winery in the Barossa Valley has not only given Antonio valuable industry experience to compliment his studies, but also helped him meet locals in the wine industry. “During my time at Pindarie, I learned so much about wine, cellar door, sales and marketing, but also made a lot of friends in Barossa. It was because of Pindarie and the great people there, like Wendy and Tony the owners, that I met several winemakers, cellar door managers, visited a lot of wineries and even found opportunities to attend local networking events and important wine shows.”
“During my time in the Barossa, I learned a lot about wine, cellar door, sales and marketing but also made so many friends.”
Antonio adds, “When international students come to a foreign country to study, the easiest way to make friends is at uni, but if you really want to embrace the culture, you have to meet locals. Working in the Barossa is one of the best experiences I've had. If there is one single piece of advice I could give other students, it is to get
outside your comfort zone; it's good to have international friends, but try making as many local friends as possible. And working part-time is a great way to achieve that.”
In the two years that Antonio has lived in Adelaide, he has grown to love the size of the city, “It’s small, but at the same time big enough to have everything that big cities have, without the crowds and the traffic. It is really easy to get around, people are always friendly and it has everything that you need, from casual cafes, fine dining restaurants, bars, sports and… it’s surrounded by several wine regions, where you can go and taste some of the best wines in the world!”
Antonio’s ambition is to start his own educational wine marketing business to help de-mystify wine products for consumers. He sees his qualification at the University of Adelaide as a great stepping stone to achieving this goal. Whilst he admits the academic rewards gained from studying in Australia and Mexico are not necessarily that dissimilar, it is the experience of living on the other side of the world that has provided him with valuable life-skills, a strong sense of independence and a burning ambition to carve himself a career path in the world of wine marketing.