Lisa McGrath, International Brand Ambassador, Jameson irish Whiskey
International Jameson Brand Ambassador
Employer Jameson Irish Whiskey
Education Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT), Business with French 2016
Tell us about your current job and what it involves day to day?
I am an international Brand Ambassador for Jameson Irish Whiskey. I am currently based out of Columbus, Ohio but I spent my first year with the company in Nantes, France. The US is the largest market in the world for Jameson so it is essential to drive advocacy for the brand amongst the bartending community and consumers alike. For this reason, my role involves a huge educational aspect. I spend a lot of time conducting trainings and samplings with bartenders to help leave a lasting impact and also organizing events to celebrate the efforts bartenders go to in order to help drive our product in the industry.
How did you get your job and how did your degree help?
I applied online for the position via the Jameson Graduate Programme web page. I had to complete a personal statement explaining why I thought I was a valid candidate for the job and what skills and experience I could bring to the role. I also had to create a 2-minute video bringing these competencies to life and showcasing my personality and suitability for the position. I think the fact that I had a language really aided my application and made me easier to place as it was an obvious choice to send me to France to create leverage for Jameson in the French market. My semester abroad in Montpellier, France was also very helpful in solidifying this placement as was the fact that I had received the John Hume Scholarship in my second year at WIT and made the Dean’s List each year of my studies. I think that the support and guidance I received during my years at WIT prepared me well for this role in a dynamic and competitive environment as did the variety of Business subjects that I had the opportunity to take throughout my studies.
What's the biggest challenge you have faced so far in your job?
The biggest challenge for me has been the size of the territory that I am in charge of. I cover 7 states across the US – Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Oregon, Michigan and Virginia. Because of this, it is imperative that I am organised and stay on top of my work. I have a huge amount of autonomy in my role so it is very much up to me how I plan out my budget and maximise my time in each market that I visit. I am very lucky to have really amazing teams in each market that I cover who are supportive and reliable so that I can organise events from a distance prior to my arrival and everything is in place once I get there to market for these events.
What skills are in demand in your sector and how would you advise students to prepare?
I would say that experiential skills and communication skills are huge in my sector. Being independent, organised and reliable are also integral to succeeding in this role. Getting involved in clubs and societies in college would be very useful to help gain exposure in organising events. I was the PRO of the Business Society in my first year of studies and had the opportunity to help organise the end of year Business Ball and other events within the society. This gave me an insight into the requirements for running large scale events and helped me gain experience in this area as well as the opportunity to work with others on a team and develop my social skills further.