Degree subject BA International Commerce (NUIG)
Job title Brand Ambassador
Employer Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard
My introduction to languages
I graduated from NUI Galway in 2009 with a 4 year degree in International Commerce with French. Seeing as I was born and raised in Galway city, on the doorstep of one of the largest Gaeltacht areas in the country, I also have a fairly reasonable level of Irish.
When I was in college, I used to go to a “Franglish” get together, which is basically a French – English language exchange. It was almost set up like speed dating which allowed you to speak to as many people as possible
in one night, each time practicing your language skills with a French speaking counterpart. Crucially, I had the opportunity to spend year three of my course in Montpellier in the south of France. I also spent a summer working in a bar over there.
It was these types of experiences which really helped me to develop my conversational French, complementing the more formal French I had learned in the classroom/lecture hall. Additionally, this experience really stood to me when I applied for my role as Jameson Brand Ambassador.
The Jameson International Brand Ambassador Programme appealed to me as it allowed me to actively use my language skills and develop my
marketing skills with an iconic Irish brand in an international setting .
Given that I am working for Pernod-Ricard, a French group, and also living in Lille in France, the French language is central to my life. It is the language I use all day, every day. It could be that I am in a meeting with the local team here planning an upcoming Jameson event or that I am simply having a coffee with friends. Either way, I need the language. I couldn’t succeed in my role without speaking a high level of French. I’m coming towards the end of my placement in France and my next placement is in India. So, I’ve already begun learning my first words in Hindu!
Tips and advice
In terms of setting out to learn a language, I would say – don’t be afraid to try out a few different languages before settling on one to focus on. Some people are more comfortable with the alphabet while others have a flair for characters (be it Chinese, Japanese, Greek).
Unfortunately, I’m not one of the latter. I tried my hand at Korean and I can safely say I couldn’t get my head around it. But I live to try another day
or at least another language! I would say – seek out Irish organisations/ companies with an international presence or Irish companies seeking
to develop their business abroad such as Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard. You might be surprised to find out what countries they are operating in and how you can leverage off your language skills to get a job there.
Rory Bluett was interviewed for the gradireland & postgradireland Directory 2015 and the gradireland 'Careers with Languages' Sector Guide