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Read all about Jameson Graduate Life

Santo Domingo, Chile, France and Thailand

First Week Stories

Our Brand Ambassadors Conor, Niall, Sophie and Michelle are all in their second year on the programme but spent their first year based in Santo Domingo, Chile, France and Thailand respectively. Read about their first few weeks as they settled and became accustomed to living and working in their new markets!

Conor Friel, Santo Domingo

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 onboarding, 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.

Niall Healy, UCD, Santiago

1. What was your initial thoughts when you arrived?

I arrived in Santiago airport on the morning of the 22nd of August. My initial thoughts were that the city is extremely European. The city center reminds me of the streets of Madrid, and it is much more contemporary than I had expected. The people are extremely friendly and very grateful for the fact that I can speak Spanish. The climate is quite different to Ireland, as you can imagine. The mornings and evenings are extremely cold, and the daytime temperature is quite high. We are currently coming to the end of what was a harsh winter in Chile.

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

On the 24th of August, I traveled with the local team of roughly 70 people to the north of the country. We stayed in a hotel in a region called San Pedro de Atacama. Geographically, it is located close to the Bolivian border, an area that consists of pure desert located over 2,000 meters above sea level. Various team building activities we arranged such as visiting the famous “Valley of the Moon”, which is an area of land surrounded by volcanoes that resembles the surface of the moon. We were abke to sand-board down gigantic sand dunes in the desert, and visit a salt flat where flamengos come to source water in the worlds driest desert.

3. How have you since settled into market?

Everything has been great so far! My first 2 weeks were spent in the office helping to put plans in place for the upcoming launch. I was taken out on various “Rutas”, or account visits, with the supermarket, off-license and bar teams. I now have a few mentoring sessions set up for the coming weeks, and plenty of cool events to look forward to! I will be a busy man by the end of the month!

On a personal level, I have found a nice apartment with 2 Chilean guys in the city center, I´m currently looking to join a local football team and I have been enjoying some of the restaurants and cafés that Santiago has to offer.

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

For sure! We are organizing an event for local bartenders which will comprise of 4 different sessions in an effort to educate , connect, empower and reward the community of Jameson loving bartenders in the city!

Aside from that, there are plenty of individual sessions with specific bars lined up and I am looking forward to developing relationships with these accounts and hopefully plan some customer events in these bars once I have met the team and they are on board!

Sophie Boucher, TCD, Strasbourg

1. What was your initial thoughts when you arrived?

Oh dear I’m going to starve! No, I arrived to Strasbourg late on a Sunday night to find no shops open on a Sunday and the kitchens in the restaurants were closed! I shouldn’t have worried though, as I found a place serving Tarte Flambée, a traditional Alsatian meal ( which is delicious and very like pizza), so all was not lost!

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

Eimear, the previous brand ambassador for Strasbourg, and I hosted a Jameson Pop-Up Bar at the launch of ‘Start To Play’ – a video game tournament here in the city which was really cool! We also got a chance to meet some bloggers and journalists who were there to document the event, which was naturally great for networking.

3. How have you since settled into market?

I have settled in really well since arriving in Strasbourg. Of course, it’s quite difficult organizing a new life for yourself in a different language, such as opening bank accounts, signing the lease for my apartment etc, but it has been great to really put my French to the test. Even getting to know my colleagues through a foreign language has been so interesting.

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

In two weeks time I will be attending Whiskey Live in Paris which I am really excited for! It’s probably the biggest whiskey convention in Europe, and up there with one of the biggest in the world. I’ll also get the opportunity to meet some other French-based Jameson brand ambassadors again, which will be great.

Michelle Walsh, DCU, Bangkok

1. What was your initial thoughts when you arrived?

My initial thoughts were a mixture of both excitement and nerves. It was amazing to see such a different culture, climate and way of living here in Bangkok. Nerves were mainly down to the language barrier, especially outside of the office.

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

When we arrived, we got off the plane and went straight to Pattaya, which is about two hours from Bangkok. Here we attended a 2 day seminar in a hotel with the entire marketing team so it was a great way to break the ice and get to know everyone whilst also serving some JGLs across the various events each day.

3. How have you since settled into market?

I feel I’ve settled in quite well especially since getting my apartment, and I’m really beginning to get to know the city and find my feet. The language barrier is still a bit of an issue but we start lessons next week so I’ll get there!

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

Were quite busy this month, with events most nights. I’m looking forward to a TJIF event with a record label, a Jameson JAM music night in the flagship bar in my area and attending a large scale music concert tonight for a singer, called Hugo, which Jameson is sponsoring.