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Read all about Jameson Graduate Life

Graduate blogs

Read all about Jameson Graduate Life

Taylor McDermott

The Hustle & Bustle of Bangkok

Taylor graduated from Dublin Institute of Technology in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Culinary Arts. She is now in her first year of our International Graduate Programme and is based in Bangkok, Thailand.

WHEN / HOW DID YOU DECIDE YOU WANTED TO BE PART OF THE JAMESON INTERNATIONAL GRADUATE PROGRAMME?

In my final two years of college, I followed the Jameson Graduate Programme Instagram account (@jamesongradprog) which had weekly takeovers by Jameson Brand Ambassadors all over the world, showing what the job entails. The takeovers really showed how unique, diverse and fun the role was which was what first grabbed my attention.

What attracted me to this programme over the other ones out there was that Irish Distillers were open to hiring from all different degree backgrounds and they really take your personality into consideration when applying. I loved that the Jameson team give you the opportunity to showcase your personality right from the start through the 2-minute application video. This really shows that its not all about achievements & qualifications on a piece of paper but about who you really are as a person.

Another huge factor that made me apply was the international placement. I was excited by the number of placements the programme offered all over the world and not knowing where in the world you could end up was what really motivated me when applying for the job.

WHAT MARKET WERE/ARE YOU WORKING IN?

I am one of a team of two Jameson Brand Ambassadors based in Bangkok, Thailand.

What market were/are you in?

Thailand and Bangkok is one of the most diverse and fast-paced markets in the world, with constant new trends popping up. I am learning so much from my team here, and have developed my skill-set a lot through working in both a field and office-based role.

DO YOU SPEAK AN INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE & DO / DID YOU USE THIS AS PART OF YOUR MARKET PLACEMENT?

I didn’t speak another language when applying for the programme, and I felt that this would really hold me back when applying for the job initially, but having the local language isn’t required here in Thailand.

Of course, having another language is amazing and opens a wider range of markets, but it isn’t always required. You also might surprise yourself and get the opportunity to learn a new language.

Since moving here I have taken lessons and now speak a little Thai. Thai people really appreciate hearing a foreigner speak their language, and usually ends with a couple of laughs.

WHAT CHARACTERISTICS DO YOU HAVE THAT HELP YOU EFFECTIVELY DO YOUR JOB AS BRAND AMBASSADOR?

I feel I am quite resilient, and I think resilience is very important, as you need to be able to adapt to new cultures, countries, languages and lifestyle. It was a big challenge in my first 3 weeks trying to balance work and life, starting a new job, looking for somewhere to live, trying to make friends, along with navigating around a strange city. It can be a struggle adapting at first, so it is important that you can withstand obstacles that work, and life can throw at you.

WHAT IS THE MOST REWARDING THING ABOUT BEING PART OF THE JAMESON INTERNATIONAL GRADUATE PROGRAMME?

The most rewarding thing about the Jameson graduate programme is definitely the people you meet through the job.

I’ve only been working with the company for 5-months now and in this time I’ve made some great friends through other Brand Ambassadors, as well as becoming a part of the Pernod Ricard Thailand family.

I’ve also met some really influential people within the company and others from working in Thailand. I have made so many professional connections from this job and feel these will help me progress in my professional career in the future. As they say, it’s all about who you know!

WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING THING ABOUT BEING A JAMESON BRAND AMBASSADOR?

I have only been a Brand Ambassador for 5-months now, but the most challenging thing that I have found in this short amount of time, is probably the very first 2-months in market.

It’s challenging because you land in a new country all by yourself and it’s all up to you to get things done. Not only do you have to get all the typical things of moving to a new country done, like finding an apartment, opening a bank account and getting a new phone set up, but you now are faced with the task of getting to know your new city like the back of your hand and meeting so many new people. To be honest, trying to remember everyone’s name is a challenge in its self.

Now that I’m past that stage, I now know everyone’s name in the office, can get around the city pretty easily and I am really enjoying my new role. You really do fall into a rhythm and routine once you settle in! I’ve had the team here in Bangkok to help me along the way, as well as the team in Dublin checking in, so you always have someone there on the phone, on email, in person if you need a hand settling in!

HOW HAS THE PROGRAMME HELPED YOU TO DEVELOP YOUR OWN PERSONAL BRAND?

The programme has helped me develop my own personal brand by firstly giving me a huge amount of independence, both personally and professionally. Personally, I’ve always been very independent at home, but this is my first time living and working abroad. I know it sounds silly but I’m learning how to manage a house, like paying bills, doing the shopping, cleaning - I am officially an adult now!

Professionally, I am learning so much. I am arranging meetings, planning & organising events, managing my own working schedule. Of course, you have a manager to report to and certain events you must attend that other members of the team have organised, but other than that it is all up to you. At the end of the day, what you get out of this job is all from how much you put into it. It has defiantly driven me to be more time efficient and I’m also learning a huge amount about marketing, whiskey and knowledge of the food & drinks industry.

WHAT SKILLS DO YOU FEEL YOU HAVE DEVELOPED THROUGH THE JAMESON INTERNATIONAL GRADUATE PROGRAMME?

I have strengthened my marketing skills, through learning on the job and by working with other members of the marketing team. I organised a meeting with the digital marketing team this week so that I could get a better understanding of all things Facebook, Instagram & live stories. You can learn so much from all of the people around you and it’s a great way to build relationships with your colleagues.

I am also strengthening my event management skills. I attend as many events as I can so that I can see what planning and organisation went into them. There’s always events running here in Bangkok, if it’s not a Jameson event, it’s one of the other brands that you would alongside. It’s great to see how the other teams are executing their events and can spark some ideas for the future. The experience you receive from this job is invaluable and will really stand to you in the future.

OUTSIDE OF THE DAY JOB WHAT DO YOU DO FOR FUN?

The best thing about living in Bangkok is there is always fun things to do. I try to do something different as much as I can on the weekends that I am free. I love to go to art galleries, get a message and go for a cycle in the ‘green lung park’. I am yet to go to the wake-boarding park and try a Maui Thai class, they are next on the list.

I also love to travel so I try to go somewhere fun whenever I have a long weekend. In the past 3 months I’ve been to Bali, Kuala Lumper and 3 different places in Thailand. Honestly the things to do are endless and you will never be bored.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MEMORY FROM YOUR TIME ON THE PROGRAMME SO FAR?

This is a difficult one as so many spring to mind for various reasons like, handover week with Michelle, the previous Brand Ambassador here in Thailand who is now based in the US, or the first activation I ran myself.

If I could only pick one, I think it would have to be the 4-week induction training in Irish Distillers Head Office, Dublin. The 4-weeks were jam packed with presentations, activities, and events all focused on teaching us everything we need to know about Jameson. In the 4-weeks you learn all about the brand strategy and even travel to Cork for a week to The Irish Whiskey Academy to see how Jameson is made from grain to glass.

The 4-weeks are also full of laughs with the other ambassadors who you become best friends with. It’s great having other people starting out in the same role, and we stay in contact through a WhatsApp group. Whenever you need to know the answer to something or need some ideas you can just throw it into the group!

ANY TIPS FOR ANYONE APPLYING FOR THE ROLE OF BRAND AMBASSADOR?

I know everyone always says it but be yourself. Jameson is known as the serious whiskey, that doesn’t take its self too seriously. So, don’t take the video application too seriously, have fun with it. This is your opportunity to show your serious character.

What helped me a lot was also reaching out to the Brand Ambassadors on Instagram. Everyone was so helpful and gave great advice about applying for the role as well as some insight on what it was like to work in their particular market. You can reach out to me on Instagram, @taylor_jamesonbathailand I’ll be happy to answer any questions you have on the graduate programme or what it’s like to work in Bangkok, Thailand. Don’t worry, it’s nothing like what you would have seen in The Hangover 2 movie!