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Georgie Bell

A part time bar job and carefully chosen dissertation topic led Georgie to a high flying career as a luxury malts ambassador.

Name Georgie (Georgina) Bell
Degree Course BSc Geography
Year of Graduation 2010

Your time at the University

Georgie Bell

I came up to Edinburgh University in September 2006. My parents had read beforehand that you should always send you children to university alone, so loaded me onto the train at Kings Cross, London, with six suitcases and wished me "bon voyage". While changing trains half way through the journey I successfully managed to offload half my bags onto the platform, ran on for the other half and the train took off - leaving me bag-less and on the wrong train. As if I wasn’t scared enough! As with all bad stories though that won me a few rounds during Freshers’ Week.

In the February of my first year I got a job behind the bar at Opal Nightclub on George Street, where we would go religiously every Wednesday. As a result, I was not only able to support myself during university but I also entered the world of bartending, which then fuelled my current career. I was able to make incredible friends who were also bartending and studying - girls that I am still best friends with today - and also local Edinburgh friends.

Looking back, even the worst times have turned out to be fun. 3am finishes in the computer library, tight deadlines… I wouldn’t change any part of it.

Tell us about your Experiences since leaving the University

In third year, while doing a course on the geography of wine, I realised that there was a connection between the alcohol industry and geography, and thus based my dissertation on whisky and regional identity on Islay. I was finally able to combine my two loves - the spirits industry and geography.

I am now travelling the world launching Mortlach, introducing people to the brand, working with media and local markets, and am very lucky to say that I’ve landed my dream job.

Georgie Bell

When I graduated this dissertation helped me apply for jobs, and I swiftly got a job as in-house ambassador and bartender at The Scotch Malt Whisky Society. I did this for 2 years before becoming their first ever Global Brand Ambassador - I spent 6 months of last year travelling the world changing the category stereotype and introducing people to whisky - from the far reaches of Australia to Canada, Japan and India.

During this I decided to further my education within this field and gained a diploma in distillation through the Institute of Brewing and Distilling - a bio-chemistry and chemical engineering degree that has the same weighting as a BSc - and gained the highest mark in the world that year.

In January 2014 I joined Diageo as their Luxury Malts Ambassador, focusing on the upcoming highly anticipated global launch of Mortlach Single Malt Scotch Whisky. I am now travelling the world launching Mortlach, introducing people to the brand, working with media and local markets, and am very lucky to say that I’ve landed my dream job.

Alumni wisdom

Consider a part time job on top of your degree - don’t let it get in the way of your studies but it could open up a whole new world. And enjoy Edinburgh as not only a ‘university city’ but for all the other gems that lie there.