What does your job involve?
As one of the Regional Sales Manager at Tomatin Distillery I am responsible for overseeing the sales and development of our brands in the majority of our European markets. As well as spending time in the markets promoting the brands and working closely with our importers to develop sales strategies, the job also involves working closely with the marketing and production teams at the distillery.
What did you study at the University of the Highlands and Islands and how does it relate to your current job?
I studied Scottish History. Although the day to day sales aspect of my job rarely requires an understanding of history, the whisky industry as a whole, and especially the public perception of it, is inherently linked with Scotland’s history. When I am visiting markets around the world and educating people about our whisky I find being able to confidently talk about the history, not only of the distillery but also of Scotland on the whole, to be hugely beneficial. The global perception of Scotland is largely a romantic one and being able to understand how whisky is viewed as an extension of this helps to connect with the end consumer.
How did you get into your job?
I started working at Tomatin in the summer of 2012 through the ScotGrad Student Summer Placement scheme. My original role was as a Research Assistant with the task of discovering the distillery’s history so that it could be used to further understand the company’s identity. This would later be used to develop new products and marketing campaigns. After the 8 week placement was complete I was asked to continue working at the distillery on a part-time basis while in my final year at the University of the Highlands and Islands. Shortly after graduating I started working in the sales department.
Where would you like to go with your career in the future?
I am fortunate enough in my job to have the opportunity to travel the world, meet and become friends with interesting people and enjoy some fantastic whisky along the way. The team that I work with at Tomatin is incredibly passionate in the products that we are creating and I really enjoy being able to show these products to people around the world. I’d really like to be able to continue doing what I’m doing at the moment and play a part in Tomatin’s continued success.
Do you have any advice for current students?
I’d encourage students to keep an open mind. It’s great to have a goal and to work towards it but if something different comes up along the way don’t dismiss it right away. Until I started my internship at Tomatin I had fully intended on becoming a history teacher but after about one week in the job I knew I wanted to work in the whisky industry. Also, don’t wait until the end of your studies to look for work that relates to your degree. Internship programmes are a great way of finding work that allows you to expand on what you are studying. Even if you don’t stay with the company or even in that line of work it gives you an edge over other graduates on your CV.