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#GradStories Ruth Fagan, Jameson Brand Ambassador, Jameson International Graduate Programme

22 Jun 2023, 13:24

#GradStories Ruth Fagan, Jameson Brand Ambassador, Jameson International Graduate Programme

What are your main tasks in a typical week?

A typical day for me is very varied. There are five key pillars that we activate as brand ambassadors. They are brand education, brand activation, influencer marketing, digital and share of mind. A typical day for me could be visiting key accounts in Dublin and making sure that our key bartenders are top of mind and that Jameson is top of mind for them. This could include seeing what they need from us and organising training. That could be followed by hosting 30 bartenders at Jameson Distillery Bow Street for an immersive whiskey training. Then we bring them to our cultural and advocacy hub for a fun-filled evening.

What skills do you need to be successful in this role?

You need to be a self-starter; you only get out of this programme what you put into it. Graduates are given a lot of autonomy; you’re given the freedom to set your own schedule and gain the experience you want to gain from all sides of the business. For example, in my first year in Spain, I gained a lot of experience in sales, brand activation and brand education. Currently in Dublin, I’ve shown interest in the trade marketing side of things so I’m gaining experience in point-of-sale creation and budget management.

Another skill is creativity and innovation. When you’re out in market you’ll be expected to come up with ideas for unique whiskey tastings, for cool experiential brand activations. You might even run the digital platform, the local social pages in your market so there’s opportunity to shine there if you’re creative.

You also need to be passionate about the job. You are the only person on the ground that is representing the brand and you are the only person that can showcase that the brand has great personality.

How did you get into your job?

I studied applied languages at the University of Limerick. My subjects were Spanish, French and marketing. However, degrees from all disciplines are accepted into the programme. I heard about the programme from my neighbour who studied culinary entrepreneurship. I spent my first year in the programme in Spain and the second one in Dublin.

What advice would you give to a new graduate?

I would say to be adaptable and to put yourself out there when you’re in college. Join new clubs and societies because you can find new things that you could be interested in.

How have you adjusted to working from home?

When you start the Jameson Graduate Programme, you’re given full autonomy to set your own schedule. You are very much field-based, so you are expected to be on the ground all the time.

It’s very important to set boundaries and set your own timetables. It’s not your typical 9-5. For example, in my day to day, bars aren’t open in the morning so that’s when I make sure I have all my admin done and I’ve answered all my emails and then I can visit bars later in the evening or conduct a whiskey tasting or have an activation in the evening. It’s about finding the balance.

What do you love about your job?

I love the fact that my job is so people orientated. From key stakeholders to friends of the brand, there’s no one day that I’m not talking to them. I also love finding new opportunities for the brand. We need to make sure that we’ve occupying the places and spaces where our target consumers are. It could be cool barbers or influential bartenders to an up-and-coming musician in the Dublin music scene.

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