The Joy of Jakarta


Ciarán is a psychology graduate from Maynooth University. After graduating in 2015, he worked in Dublin before spending two years working as an English teacher in Asia. He joined the Jameson International Graduate Programme in 2019 and is based in Indonesia.

When/ how did you decide you wanted to be part of the Jameson International Graduate Programme?

I heard about the programme a few years ago and thought it seemed like a great opportunity, I didn’t go for it directly after graduating I didn’t have a background in business and I didn’t speak an international language but once I found out these were not essential I knew the door was open for me to apply! So, after two years of teaching English, I came home for Christmas and one night I saw an ad for the programme on Instagram. This reignited the idea and after doing a bit more research and reaching out to a few people on the programme, I decided to go for it!

What market were/ are you working in?

I’ve just starting my second year based in Indonesia. I’m part of a team of two Brand Ambassadors based here which is great! My office and apartment are both in Jakarta and I also cover Bali and second-tier cities in Java.

Do you speak an international language & do/ did you use this as part of your market placement?

No, I don’t speak an international language but there are multiple markets were a second language isn’t a requirement. My Bahasa (the national language of Indonesia) has improved quite a lot in the last year though! Myself & my fellow Brand Ambassador attend lessons organised by the local team here.

What characteristics do you have that help you effectively do your job as Brand Ambassador?

A big part of being a Jameson Brand Ambassador is having a positive attitude, warm personality and of course that Serious Character. If you can get along well with people, it makes life so much easier in this role. My adaptable nature and Serious Character have helped me a lot, as I worked in multiple different cities during my first few months of the job and found it easy to build relationships in each place.

What is the most rewarding thing about being part of the Jameson International Graduate Programme?

The chance to represent one of Ireland’s most successful exports is a great feeling. It has been really rewarding to build connections, experience a new culture and be so warmly received on the other side of the world.

What is the most challenging thing about being a Jameson Brand Ambassador?

A challenging part of my role has been how my routine is constantly changing which is also a part of the job that I love. No two workdays ever feel quite the same and this was a big change to my previous work environment as a teacher. One day I might have a meeting in a venue about an upcoming event, the next I might be hosting a Jameson masterclass for a group of bartenders. The role keeps you on your toes and is always very interesting.

How has the programme helped you to develop your own personal brand?

The programme has made me much more aware of the importance of developing a strong personal brand. My strengths have been appreciated and I’ve also recognized areas that I can improve. The programme has given me the opportunity to meet and learn from some amazing people, and through these experiences I feel like I have grown both personally and professionally.

What skills do you feel you have developed through the Jameson International Graduate Programme?

Many of my skills have developed as a result of the development programme which starts with 4-week induction and includes learning events such as the Global Ambassador Summit (we call this GAS) in Dublin, and continuous online learning through throughout the year (through LinkedIn Learning). Learning on the job has been a big part of my development too. Nothing beats experiencing things first-hand while out in market. I’ve found my communication has improved thanks to an online course I completed on LinkedIn; an important skill as I find myself talking to different people most days and often English is not their first language. The induction training we receive is top-class and gave me greater confidence to build on, and belief in, my own abilities.

Outside of the day job what do you do for fun?

As much as I value nights in watching Netflix, being a Brand Ambassador means you’re often out and about, so I feel it’s important to stay active in your free time too. Since moving to Jakarta I’ve been playing Australian rules football, futsal, golf, going to the gym and going for runs whenever I can. I’ve met a lot of friends while doing these activities too, which has been another huge plus!

What is your favourite memory from your time on the programme so far?

My experience here in Indonesia has been amazing. The first month of the job was my personal highlight. We had three weeks of training in Dublin and one week down at the Midleton distillery in Cork. We all became close friends during those unforgettable four weeks and were so excited to get going with our new roles.

Any tips for anyone applying for the role of Brand Ambassador?

Just be your best authentic self and have fun with the application process. Don’t take yourself too seriously (this will help with any nerves at the Assessment Centres too) and your application video doesn’t need to be Oscar-worthy, mine definitely wasn’t! You just need to showcase that Serious Character! The role of Brand Ambassador is all about your personality, so just try to let it shine through. And feel free to reach out to me or any of the other Brand Ambassadors to ask any questions you might have. Good luck!