A Waterford Wave in Jakarta

Paula Phelan

Paula graduated from Waterford Institute of Technology in 2016 with a Bachelor of Business with French Honours Degree. After college, she worked as a radio host and Ad Traffic Controller for a popular radio station in the South East called Beat 102103. She is now in her first year of our International Graduate Programme and is based in Jakarta, Indonesia.

When did you decide that you wanted to take part in the Jameson Graduate Programme?

During my final year in college, a lot of people were talking about the Jameson International Grad Programme. I specialised in Management for my degree but always had a keen interest in Marketing. The BA role seemed like my dream job! However, it took me a while to get there. I was working part time on the promotional team at a radio station during college and once I graduated, I ended up working there full time and had my own radio show for nearly 3 years. The confidence and experience I gained from working at Beat 102103 really gave me the push to apply for the Jameson programme. I wanted to gain more experience in marketing and travelling was also high on my to-do list, so it seemed like the right time to apply. I was also following the Jameson Grad Programme page on Instagram (@jamesongradprogramme) and loved gaining an insight into each BA’s daily life, I knew then that I really wanted to be a part of the programme!

What market were/are you in?

I am one of a team of two Jameson Brand Ambassadors based in Jakarta, Indonesia. Indonesia is one of the most fascinating places I’ve ever been, it’s so fast paced, culturally rich and diverse which makes it such an interesting place to work and to learn.

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

I studied French as part of my degree but having not used it since I graduated in 2016, I didn’t feel my standard was good enough for a French market. So, it’s not something that I highlighted too much in the application process. Luckily, having the local language isn’t required here in Indonesia. I have been taking lessons in the local language and now speak a little bit of Bahasa. Indonesians usually greet you with a big smile when they hear you speaking Bahasa they really appreciate it!

Having a second language is of course an amazing asset to have, but it’s not a requirement for the programme.

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

I’ve been told before “you really do make friends with everyone” and now I’m putting this skill to good use! An important part of the BA role is to make connections and essentially make friends, whether that be with bartenders, bar owners or consumers. I’m quite chatty and don’t mind approaching people for a chat to get to know them. Another would have to be adaptable. It’s important to be able to adapt to different cultures, countries and situations.

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

It would have to be all the people you meet along the way. From fellow BAs on the programme to the local people you meet while out in market, everyone is so warm and welcoming and you build some amazing friendships.

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

It would probably be finding that balance between work and personal time. A lot of your time as a BA is spent out and about in various restaurants and bars and sometimes for me, I forget to take enough time for myself. Making the time to do things you enjoy and to relax is so important.

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

You meet so many great people along the way that it allows you to build up a network and you learn so much about business and the drinks industry from them. The Programme also allows you to explore various areas of business which can point you in the right direction for your future career.

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

I’ve learnt to think with a marketing mindset through learning on the job and working closely with my local marketing manager. I’ve also gotten better at seeking out new opportunities.

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

Indonesia has so many amazing towns and cities that I love to travel around, experience the various cultures and try all the delicious food!

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

A highlight for me so far would have to be seeing how much people love Jameson here in Jakarta and working closely with my local brand manager on some exciting projects for the year ahead.

Any tips for anyone applying for the role of brand ambassador?

It sounds cliché and everyone says the same, but my only advice is to genuinely be yourself. If the graduate programme is something you really want, make sure to do your prep for the online application and assessment days. For the video application, do the same. I know this part can be a bit intimidating but it’s really not that bad. It’s Serious Character you need, so my advice would be to go back to the start. Think back to your school days, college days, teams you’ve been involved with, exchange trips you’ve been on and how they’ve all shaped you. You’d be surprised what you can come up with!