Isla Wilson - Communication Coordinator and Planner

Isla Wilson - Communication Coordinator and Planner

What is your name?

Isla Wilson

What company do you currently work for?

William Grant & Sons

What is your job title?

Communication Coordinator and Planner

Provide a brief description of your business

Established in 1887, William Grant & Sons is an independent, family-owned distiller and distributor.

Describe your career pathway after leaving school

I was Waitressing part time when I finished secondary school. After school, I just wanted to get straight into work and earn some money. I also started working at the Bottling Hall at Glenfiddich Distillery on a temporary basis. I didn’t realise how much more confidence and experience working there would give me. I applied for a permanent role in the Visitor Centre Food and Beverage Team about nine months later.

I was successful in moving from Team Member to Coordinator level within the Food and Beverage area, and then more recently I secured a role within the Hospitality and Events Team, planning events and visits for corporate guests. Since starting this role, I knew that this was where I wanted to develop further. I really had to work hard on building my experiences and taking on development opportunities to get this job and I'm so grateful it paid off!

For now I’m continuing to focus on my degree, and expanding my experience in planning events and visits. We're delighted to see things starting to open up again and having visitors back to the site.

Have you ever been an apprentice?

In 2020, I started the Robert Gordon University (RGU) Graduate Apprenticeship Business Management Degree course and it has been a brilliant opportunity. It’s challenging for sure - managing your time properly is so important and I'm still learning how to do that right. It's incredibly rewarding and you learn a lot about yourself along the way. If you are considering applying for something like this yourself I would definitely say to go for it!

What school subjects would be helpful for your job role?

English and Administration and IT would be two key subjects. Maths would be an advantage. An interest in Psychology, Art and Design and a language would be handy at times.

What is your favourite thing about the work that you do?

The variation each day brings. No day is ever the same and you're always kept busy! I also work with some brilliant colleagues!

Why did you want to work in this industry?

Working in events and for a distillery means you meet a lot of people from all over and can get involved in some very cool brand visits and events. There are a lot of opportunities for development within the company, if you demonstrate that you are keen and willing to put the hard work in.

Did you ever want to pursue another career?

I really wanted to be a vet nurse, but think I’d just get too attached to all the animals!

What does a typical day in your role involve?

A typical day involves having a team meeting in the morning, then depending what's happening you could be on admin work steady all day and liaising with customers/suppliers, pulling plans together, processing invoices and preparing budgets. When you have a visit on, you can be doing a lot of on-the-ground work - admin work takes a back seat for a bit - and your dedicated to your ongoing visit, dealing with room set ups, coordinating deliveries, dealing with last minute changes e.g. delayed flights, overrunning meetings etc. It can be a very busy and high pressure environment, but when you see everything coming together, after all the planning, that's what makes it a satisfying job.

What skills are required to do your job?

  • Ability to think on your feet
  • Communicating via email and on the phone professionally
  • Dealing with people face-to-face
  • Building contacts within the business
  • Presenting information clearly to all areas who are impacted by your visit/event - food and beverage, tours, accommodation, other areas onsite at the distillery, suppliers i.e. drivers, florists etc.
  • Able to be quite self-sufficient at planning your own tasks and prioritising these
  • Not afraid to say that you don't understand something or that you need some additional support with something
  • Able to work well in a team
  • Able to work well on your own

What is your advice to young people who are considering working in this sector?

Go for it. You might not get straight into doing exactly what you want to do right away, but you can still build experience, skills and knowledge that can be used to help get you where you want to be in the future.

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Here at DYW Moray, we'd like to encourage those of you who are employed in Moray to share your career story with us so that we can promote these to Moray's young people. Go on, share your career story now!

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