Tuesday, 29 March 2016

The DIP Life : Part 2

Last week, I talked about how the WSET Level 4 DIP is organized and what one can expect in terms of the content of the program.  This week, I dig a bit deeper into how it affects me personally.  Everyone’s experience is different, but it is my hope that by sharing my story, I can help others in their decision to definitely go for DIP.

MY life as DIP…. 

Being a full time single mom I wasn’t sure how I was going to juggle Jake, work, and full time studying. I went ahead with it anyway, and I am so very happy I did even though this has been one of the most difficult things I have ever done.  My two University degrees ain’t got nothing on WSET.

It’s a fact….

My 22 month old son requires a lot of attention and if is he is not daycare, he is with me: running, eating, playing, making a mess, crying, laughing, being the beautiful little beast that he is. Although he is my priority, I DO take time away from him to devote to my studies and I OFTEN feel guilty about it. I have questioned every single day if taking this course is the right thing to do.  At the end of that day, I reflect and the answer is always yes. I am learning so much more than I ever thought I could. I’m starving for news and facts on appellations, yeast strains, and market shares.  But holy hell….the more I learn, I realize the less I know…..

Sometimes Jake gets to study with me.  On this 
particular day, he is working on Tuscany 

 What about support?

I get a lot of grief from family about my ‘wine stuff’. They don’t particularly understand what it is that I’m doing, or why it’s worthwhile….and that’s ok.   I spend a great amount of time online, in books, reading, writing, and tasting. They do not understand what I get out of it - especially because I don’t even work in the wine industry, with no guarantee that I ever will. Sure, I write a blog once a week but really how is WSET helping me professionally, and more importantly how am I building a solid, stable future for my son?

I don’t really have the answer to that except that I run on the determination and belief that one day my passion will turn into my work.   I must set the example that Jake can one day  live his dreams given he is crazy and passionate enough to work hard at it.

When taking the Diploma, you need a tremendous amount of support. Find that support in any form it comes in : your friends, family, co-workers, other WSET students, your pets….doesn’t matter. Having the guts to attempt Diploma itself exhibits a great amount of courage and determination.  Which leads me to my next point….

What about one’s partners?

I have heard some sad tales about what the DIP can do to a relationship. Time once given to loved ones gets directed instead to writing notes, tasting meetings, late night studying, and assignments.   If you do have a partner, it might be best to get a head start to talk about the time that needs to be dedicated to the course.  Or, as silly as it may sound, book off specific times/date nights for some quality time.  Remember that communication is absolute key!

Money, money, money......MONEY!

The cost of the course varies depending on what school offers DIP.  I am registered with IWEG in Toronto. ( You can see their site at the end of this post.)

MANY online students fly into Toronto to take exams and that certainly isn’t cheap.   There is a gal from Nova Scotia, a sommelier from Newfoundland, and even a guy from Mexico City who flies especially to Toronto!!! On the flip side, this can be seen as an  extra incentive to hit the books hard, because re-writes end up costing a fortune. 

There is the additional cost of reading/study materials of texts, books, articles, etc.  Best to buy used.

Then….there is the beloved cost of samples….

I have been so very, very fortunate to have a friend in the wine biz  who shares his samples with our study group in Montreal.   I have not had to dish out too much cash for the copious amount of wine/spirits we have to taste through.  

The Diploma is a serious course for wine scholars and the rewards can be huge, but remember to keep the not so good bad bits in the back of your mind.  


Independant Wine Education Guild (IWEG):

1 comment:

  1. You go girl! There was a time you weren't going to continue this blog either and you did. I talk about you all the time to friends or co-workers...the story always starts with "I have friend who truly followed her passion...."

    The response all the time is "wow...that's how you live."