Name: Rachel Muszynski
Hometown: Traverse City, Michigan
There are many options with a major in horticulture, what do you plan on doing with this degree?
I plan on taking the viticulture path, or growing wine. I would like to travel the world to follow the different harvest seasons from country to country.
Do you think your hometown has affected your chosen career path?
Being from Traverse City has definitely affected my career path. Seeing as it’s one of the biggest wine producers in the state, I discovered my passion for wine young. I started working in one of 11 wineries on the Old Mission Peninsula, helping me to further my interest in winemaking.
The value of shopping local and supporting small businesses was ingrained in my community which instilled in me the respect for the local wineries. I have found a strong support system through my community and give them credit for shaping my values. One of these values includes my eagerness to always be open to learning.
I can learn something new about wine growing every day for the rest of my life and still not know everything about viticulture; I will always be a student. I believe in a career path that allows me to never stop learning, growing and evolving, which is why I know this path is the perfect fit for me.
How do you like the agriculture college at Michigan State?
I love the college of agriculture at MSU; it’s one of the top-rated agriculture schools in the country for good reason. I was originally an international relations major in the James Madison College but quickly found it didn’t make my soul happy. I realized I needed to change majors quickly and I am very happy with my decision.
I craved a career that’s more hands-on and viticulture fulfills that desire; I feel that I can reach my fullest potential in this industry due to the curriculum I am receiving. The courses are very hands-on and have reassured me this is what I’m meant to do.
What made you want to minor in German?
I eventually want to work in Germany because the climate there is similar to Michigan’s climate so they have similar ways of growing wine. Germany has also become such a wine region recently with so much history and it would be a great opportunity to expand my knowledge across the world. I eventually want to come back to Michigan and apply that knowledge in Michigan wineries.
Finally, aside from winemaking, what is your dream?
Life is so precious and there are so many amazing people I have yet to meet and so many places I have yet to see. My ultimate dream is to be able to travel and make connections with everyone possible while exploring every corner of the world.
I think that’s what life is all about; building relationships with a multitude of people while exploring the world.