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There aren’t many places where you get that kind of exposure and your opinion is valued, despite being so fresh out of university
Before joining our Graduate Programme, Gina Smith was already working in the whisky industry.
“I’d heard good things about William Grant & Sons so I did some research, had a look on the company careers website and made sure to apply when the applications opened,” she says.
“The recruitment process was unique in that it focused on making sure I was having the best possible experience. “When I found out I’d been successful, I was excited for the challenges ahead and to be part of a culture I’d liked so much during the interview stages.”
Gina spent her first year in the Technical Development team in Girvan, which fitted well with her background in chemistry.
“I worked on innovative technologies and developed new whisky flavours, which accelerated my knowledge of the whisky making process,” she adds.
Now she’s spending her second year with our commercial team, buying casks for innovation, helping the Master Blenders with blending whisky and working on our rum brands.
“The commercial role is broadening my knowledge and understanding of the industry. “I really enjoy working alongside the Master Blenders and being able to have daily chats with the site leaders and directors, asking for advice or just having normal conversations.
As well as hands-on training, Gina has completed several formal qualifications, which is deepening her technical knowledge.
“From the outset, I was impressed by how much William Grant & Sons was willing to invest in my development. I’ve also learned a lot from colleagues, who’ve been really friendly and helpful.
"I’m seeing how strong working relationships help boost enthusiasm and productivity. If I were to sum up the working environment I would say it’s hands-on, fast-paced, challenging and extremely rewarding.”
As well as her main placements, Gina has taken part in various activities outside work, including Social Bite’s Sleep in the Park, a mass participation sleep out to tackle homelessness in Scotland.
“A team of us took part in the 2019 event in Glasgow, raising £18,000. We slept on the city streets in December in conditions that many homeless people have to experience every day.
"The cold and the rain didn’t deter our spirits though, knowing we were helping so many people. It’s great that our company supports such an important cause.
"I’ve also been to lots of company events, such as the Triennial Ball, to reward everyone for their efforts and which sums up how well William Grant & Sons treat us."