Thursday, 13 June 2024 13:25

Transformational holiday job

Written by  Kat Pickford
Dario Jerez Dario Jerez

When Dario Jerez started work as a vintage cellar hand at Indevin, he expected to stay a few months.

But a passion for technology and a curiosity for improving systems soon led to his promotion from fixed-term contract to full-time tech-whiz for New Zealand’s largest wine company.

When Indevin’s Winery Transformation Analyst joined the company in vintage 2021, during a year-long working holiday, it was the latest in a string of jobs he had held since arriving from Chile, including kiwifruit and cherry picking, and landscape gardening at a naturist community.

After more than five years studying industrial engineering in Santiago, followed by four years working in business intelligence, Dario could easily have been bored with the change of pace. Instead, he approached his work with curiosity and mindfulness. During his first vintage at Indevin, he worked in the bin receival area, a simple job that was mainly “pushing buttons”, he says. “It was an easy task, but I went in with the mindset of wanting to do a good job, of being present and mindful, and focusing on what I was doing. I didn’t expect to have any progression, but started looking for ways to do it better and faster, just as a challenge and to enjoy my work.”

By the end of vintage Dario had mastered his position and honed the procedure to the point where he was recording some of the fastest bin receival times in many years. “Management came to see what I was doing, and how I did it so fast,” Dario says. “It was just a case of being aware, understanding the systems and thinking of ways to do it better.” He was invited to stay on in the cellar after vintage, but it wasn’t long before he was itching to return to work in the technology space.

On encouragement from a colleague, he approached Indevin, got an interview, and was offered a part time position in the technology department, helping with a new project using smart tank data to calculate the brix level of wine. By vintage 2022, Indevin had seen the value Dario’s skillset brought the company and he was offered a full-time position as Winery Transformation Analyst. Using data collected by company software, Dario was able to identify bottlenecks in the wine production process, leading to improved productivity over the past two vintages. The next step: applying the same logic to the vineyard.

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