Grit and Glimmer: OSU Senior finds balance in the world's wine industry

Miriam Hawk at Australian Winery

Miriam Hawk, a senior in the College of Agricultural Sciences, visits a winery in Margaret River, Australia, after completing an an internship with Kim Crawford Wines in New Zealand. Miriam has used her internships as platforms to make connections within the wine industry,explore the world and learn about new cultures.

Miriam Hawk is sitting in her workout clothes in OSU’s Department of Horticulture’s student lobby studying for winter midterms. Her laptop is open to show PowerPoint slides from a class lecture, a mostly finished enology paper, and her email account. The overflowing desktop, running tights, and full smile Hawk gives to other students coming through the lobby depict a life of someone both busy and balanced.

Hawk is a senior studying Viticulture and Enology in the College of Agricultural Sciences. This spring, after tossing her mortar board she’ll move to Livingston, California and begin a position with the E.&J. Gallo Winery, the world’s largest family owned winery and the largest exporter of California wines. Though Hawk is just 21, the job marks her fourth stint within the wine industry, and places her farther down her dream career path toward wine sales and marketing. It’s a path she started only four years ago.

Growing up in Talent, Oregon, Hawk was involved with the FFA program at Phoenix High School. Already interested in agriculture, she had a front row seat as the region erupted in vineyards. One day, on a drive through grape-filled fields, she realized there might be a future for her in wine.

“It appealed to me because at the core of it, viticulture is just fundamental agriculture -- it’s the raw production of a food product,” says Hawk. “But on the other end of the spectrum, it’s very glitzy and glamorous. I thought it was the perfect combination for me, but I didn’t even know if there was a way to study it.”

After visiting the OSU campus and meeting with the College of Agricultural Science faculty, Hawk discovered that through the Department of Horticulture she could indeed pursue an education in all things wine. She enrolled and went to work building a resume that includes three different internships, one with Kim Crawford Wines in New Zealand, multiple clubs and programs like VITIS club, Horticulture Club, Leadership Academy, the College’s Ambassador program, and a science-heavy course load that has her prepared to take on anything the industry has to offer.

“I love everything about what I’ve studied and the people I’ve come into contact with,” says Hawk. “More so, I love what the industry represents and how it’s constantly evolving and constantly changing. I’m ready to be part of it.”

Miriam Hawk prepared this helpful document of practical information from her own experience:  Traveling Abroad Outline

Story by Aimee Lyn Brown