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Graduate blogs

Read all about Jameson Graduate Life

Santo Domingo, Chile, France and Thailand

First Week Stories

Our Brand Ambassadors Shane, Izette, and Conor are all in their second year on the programme but spent their first year based in Dubai, Lyon and Argentina respectively. Read about their first few weeks as they settled and became accustomed to living and working in their new markets!

Shane Dempsey, Dubai

1. What was your initial thoughts when you arrived?

“My initial thoughts when I arrived to market mainly involved taking in the city, as I had never been to Dubai before. Having initially explored by myself for the weekend, I was struck by the impressive nature of the place in terms of how modern it is."

"I didn’t know anyone in the city when I moved here, but we get a 1-week handover when we arrive in market from the previous Brand Ambassador. John Slattery was the Brand Ambassador who gave me my handover and it was great both in terms of info in relation to inside and outside the office. He gave me a thorough induction in terms of what was expected and personally introduced me to so many people in just one week – including some of his own friends. The running joke in the months later were that I quite literally took his job, apartment, car, phone and friends!"

2. What was the most exciting thing you did in your first week?

"The most exciting thing came about due to a national holiday that was on that week. As we had a day off work, John and his mates took me to Zero Gravity Beach club where we went to a pool party for the day. Not a bad way to settle into market! We then went on a trade tour around key accounts in the city which gave me a good idea of what lay ahead for the rest of the year."

3. How have you since settled into market?

"I settled very well into market and enjoyed my first year in the Gulf so much, that I applied to remain in Dubai for my second year on the programme."

"One thing that helped me settle into market was joining the local GAA club, as well as there being a large expat community here, helped me a lot in terms of settling in last year. The team here are also very similar to me in terms of personality so I am lucky to have close friends who are also my colleagues."

4. Any big events coming up that you're excited for?

"I recently hosted our Master Cooper Ger Buckley in Dubai, which was big for me as I hosted 3 separate events while he was here. The events went extremely well and both Ger and I had a great time meeting a lot of the talented bartenders that work in the city."

"We used this event to launch Jameson Hosts 2020 in the city which is our bartender engagement program. This was my biggest project last year with 48 bartenders taking part. I am hoping to build on this in the year ahead, with the goal to create the most engaging and inclusive bartender community in the region."

Izette Kelly, Lyon

1. What was your initial thoughts when you arrived?

"I was really excited! I’d lived in France before so moving to Lyon wasn’t a huge culture shock for me, but the experience I had was different to anything I’d ever experienced. As we drove in from the airport (which was in the middle of nowhere) the city began to appear, and I became more and more excited about the opportunity. Lyon is beautiful!"

2. What was the most exciting thing you did in your first week?

"After my handover week, during my first ‘official’ week in market, myself and all the other French grads went down to Marseille for training. We had a full induction into what was happening with the brand in the French market and we were able to meet the people we would be working with on the team. The marketing office for Jameson in France is based out of Marseille, so this was a perfect opportunity for us to get to know everyone, see what they expected from us in our respective cities and it was a great way to spend some time in sunny Marseille!"

3. How have you since settled into market?

"Considering I had lived in France for 2 years before moving to Lyon, I found that I settled in quite easily! Although working through a different language has its challenges, everyone on my team was very accepting of the fact that I wasn’t French, and they made sure I could go to and find all the cool places Lyon has to offer!"

4. Any big events coming up that you're excited for?

"When based in Lyon I looked after our presence at the Lyon Beer Festival (the biggest craft beer festival in France) and I was able to organise our presence at one of the biggest graffiti festivals in Europe– to name a few. This year, I’m looking forward to our Global Ambassadors Summit in January and reuniting with the grads all over the world who will be back in Dublin for this 3-days event."

Conor Friel, Argentina

1. What was your initial thoughts when you arrived?

"`I’m going to melt!` Let’s just say the temperatures here are a little different to those that I am used to back home in Mayo. I arrived into Santo Domingo airport late on a Sunday night in October and it was still fairly hot. The local team had organised transport for me to my apartment, thankfully Juan, the driver, had the aircon on full blast when I sat in. I’m very lucky here in Santo Domingo as I moved in straight away with the Chivas Brand Ambassador which meant I didn’t have to go looking for accommodation during my first few weeks in market."

2. What was the most exciting thing you did in your first week?

"My first week was great! Luis, the Jameson Junior Brand Manager, had organised a serious week of on-boarding, which entailed one-on-ones with different members of the team, so I had a clear understanding of everyone’s role. However, the Friday was definitely the highlight. After a week of learning about the market, I finally got to get out there and start working with the bars in the Zona Colonial, that day I did four back-to-back bar staff trainings and then ended the night at a Chivas sponsored Halloween Party!"

3. How have you since settled into market?

"To the honest, the team here are so sound, they are always inviting me to different events (Beefeater Pink Launch, Chivas House, etc.) to ensure that I feel part of the team. I’m fortunate enough to had two good friends from Ireland already come visit me, so I got to explore the city and coast with them while they were here. Apart from that, just getting out there and meeting people, making friends (meeting all their friends) has been a great way to settled into market. The people here are super friendly. Learning some local Spanish slang has also helped, it’s something you can whip out whenever and will always get a laugh!"

"The interesting thing about my role here is that I am not only the Jameson Brand Ambassador for the Dominican Republic, I also cover the entire Caribbean! So far, I have been to Puerto Rico, promoting Jameson during Puerto Rico Cocktail Week. I’m already looking forward to heading back again in February."

4. Any big events coming up that you're excited for?

"Between now and Christmas we have a few cool events coming up. This week I am delivering an internal tasting with the local team followed by a Happy Hour of JGLs on the terrace of a bar that we have completed decked out with Jameson branding! I can’t wait to use this space more and more, giving tastings to our local influencers and our Bartender Squad, which I am in the process of developing, by scouting out the best bartenders in the city to work with."