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A UVM Student Looks to Break Into Craft Beer Industry Sales

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Photo by Lauren Topor/Flickr

By Tara Dacek

Jon Wlazloski, who recently enrolled in the new UVM Business of Craft Beer Program, wasn’t having much luck landing a job in the craft beer industry. After graduating from Boston College, he eventually started working in sales for Apple. But Wlazloski is determined to make it in the craft beer industry. We talked to Wlazloski about why he is looking to UVM to make his dream career a reality.

What brought you to UVM’s Business of Craft Beer program?

John Wlazloski

I have been trying for some time to gain entry into the craft beer industry with little to no avail. I came across some information about the program while searching for open positions on a website called I think one of the most exciting things about the program is all of the well-known and respected people from the craft beer world who will be leading the UVM Business of Craft Beer program and functioning as special guests or presenters. They will provide some amazing insight into the craft industry.

What do you hope to gain from your experience at UVM?

I really hope to learn as much as possible about craft beer history, beer styles, and the business behind running a brewery. With that knowledge, I believe that it will give me a head start into really tackling the challenge of getting my foot in the door of a brewery or distributor.

The UVM professional certificate program offers three different tracks, including operations, sales, and digital marketing. Why did you decide on the sales track?

I decided on the sales track because I believe it will give me the biggest chance for various positions in the craft beer world with a distributor and a brewery. I also believe this is a great starting point for wherever you may want to end up because you can learn everything about how a brewery functions with the brewing process, portfolio diversity decisions, event management, as well as the opportunity to network with a variety of professionals within the industry.

What is most appealing to you about working in the beer industry?

What has always interested me are the people. Everyone seems to always be enjoying him or herself as they are creating things they love with people who share similar interests and hopes. I believe that there may be no better workspace than a brewery. I also love the idea, that if I do end up actually brewing beer someday, I can create something that hopefully I will see many people enjoying.

People making other people happy, it’s a wonderful thing.

Any advice to future students who are considering the program?

It is still early on in the program, so I am still new to all of this. I would advise anyone who may be joining the program in the future to make sure you participate in the discussions, come with an open mind, and be ready to give and receive plenty of feedback.

Tera Dacek is a consultant and freelance writer. She most recently worked as Marketing Manager for Alchemy and Science. When she unplugs, she can be found at her local mountain or one of the many wonderful breweries in her home state of Vermont.

Business of Beer