Where are you now?
I am currently in my second year working as an Irish Whiskey Brand Ambassador as part of the Irish Distillers’ Vital Ingredient Graduate Programme. Within this role I represent iconic Irish brands including Jameson, Powers and Redbreast in international markets. I am currently living in Miami having completed my first year as the ambassador for Argentina, Chile and Uruguay.
How did you get there?
Having the opportunity to study different elements of the legal system was both intellectually stimulating and challenging. The Law component of my degree challenged me to develop arguments and opinions using concrete statute and case law to back up any claims. The Spanish language modules then complimented this, offering a more expressive learning experience focusing on Spanish literature and current affairs, debates and presentations. This undoubtedly improved my communication and presentation skills and made me a more confident public speaker.
Having always leaned towards learning languages, I was sure that I wanted a career which allowed me to use and build on these language skills and discover new cultures. When I read about the Jameson Vital Ingredient Graduate programme therefore, I was immediately interested. This programme offers graduates the opportunity to represent iconic Irish whiskey brands such as Jameson in over 40 markets around the world.
Within this role I have gotten the opportunity to educate and present on our whiskeys to consumers and industry professionals, coordinate brand events and help shape and implement marketing strategies and campaigns in international markets including Argentina, Uruguay and Florida
Making use of Careers, Employability and Skills at Queen’s
I spent the third year of my degree studying Law at the University of Zaragoza in Aragon, Spain. This experience gave me a greater insight into other legal systems and ways of working and most importantly exposed me to true Spanish culture and language.
In my free time, I also taught English as a foreign language to mature students at an English academy which greatly improved my Spanish communication skills. Having been immersed in another country’s culture opened my eyes to the opportunities that come with working and studying abroad and awoke my curiosity for discovering new cultures as part of my career.
Advice for current Queen's students
My advice for current QUB students would be to adopt an outward looking approach to career possibilities after graduation. Speaking from my experience, although moving to Argentina was an extremely daunting prospect at the time, I have no doubt that the skills and personal strength gained from overcoming the challenges presented by a country with such a differing culture and political stability will stand me in good stead as I continue along my career path.
If you do not study languages, consider the possibility of taking a beginner’s course in Spanish, Mandarin or French as so many companies are now shortlisting people based on a second language prerequisite. I always remember what one of my managers said about the importance of having another language as I began my first year as a Brand Ambassador – “How can you introduce our brand if you cannot introduce yourself?”