Meet 31-year old Sarah from Sweden. She completed our International Bartender Course back in 2008. With plenty of bartending experience under her belt, she is currently based in Amsterdam and works as Brand Ambassador for the legendary tequila brand Patròn. We caught up with her to hear all about life as a brand ambassador for one of the world’s leading tequila brands and get some top tips on launching a successful career in the competitive bartending industry. Here’s what she had to say...
Goodbye Sweden, Hello World!
When Sarah finished her studies, she was looking for a new challenge and a chance to escape the sleepy pace of life at home in northern Sweden. With a background in hospitality, her mum suggested taking an EBS bartender course and the rest is history.
How did you find the EBS course experience?
“I started the course on my 20th birthday and my whole world changed. I was instantly mesmerized by the brand-new world of alcohol, the theory behind it and the exciting pace of life. I’m a bit of a nerd so I loved delving into a whole new world. I wanted to know everything about it! During the course, I made loads of new friends and we got up to all sorts of adventures in Stockholm. It was definitely a fun time in my life.
What did you get up to when you finished the course?
Straight after the course, I was planning on going on a road trip across Europe with my fellow coursemates and new friends but sadly, I had to turn it down because I was offered my first bar job, given to me by a contact from EBS. I tried my hand at anything from after-ski bartending to rowdy nightclub service. After spending a few years gaining experience in the UK and France, I relocated to Amsterdam, where I live now. Here I work as a Brand Ambassador in Benelux and the Nordics for Patrón Tequila. I also travel quite a lot within the region for work. When I’m not travelling, you’ll find me rushing between tequila masterclass and yoga classes, forever on my bike, making quick pit stops to sip on margaritas.
What does a typical day in the life for a Patròn Brand Ambassador look like?
There is no such thing as a typical day in my job! As a brand ambassador, you’re the expert so as well as giving masterclasses and training, I act as a creative consultant on everything from events to menus. I could be hosting an event in Amsterdam one day and travelling to Oslo with 10 bartenders to attend a seminar the next. Much of this I share on my Instagram, which offers a sneak peak into the high-energy lifestyle that comes with being a brand ambassador. It’s an intense profession but I love it, I get to connect with so many amazing people! I truly believe that building a creative tequila community is what will drive the tequila revolution forward. I’m really passionate about educating people about Patròn to inspire bartenders and consumers to challenge how tequila is perceived and consumed today. “EBS opened my doors to a whole new world which I fell deeply in love with.”
How did EBS help you get to where you are today?
My bartender course at EBS gave me all the skills I needed to work behind a bar and develop my knowledge of spirits. It also taught me about discipline and the ability to work well within a team. It was really like a springboard! EBS launches you into the industry but then of course it’s up to you to work hard and put in the effort to excel.
Do you have any words of wisdom for those thinking about a career in the industry?
My best advice is to set a goal and work towards it. Personally, I knew I wanted to work within alcohol branding so I kept this within my focus. Take jobs that will give you knowledge and experience rather than just thinking about money. You’ve got to see it as an investment into your own professional-value account. I worked in all sorts of places from dive bars, festivals and nightclubs to cocktail bars - you name it! This helped me understand the various sides of the alcohol history. Work your ass off and don’t get side-tracked but have fun too! Remember, you can’t fake passion so put your heart into everything you do and you’ll be just fine!