People of Beam Suntory: Alasdair Dickinson

people of beam suntory alasdair dickinson

People of Beam Suntory: Alasdair Dickinson

“My passion was always in whisky, as a Scot it’s in my blood. Keen to get a foothold in the industry, I started off as a tour guide in Auchentoshan Distillery in 2011. I spent my days taking whisky lovers around the distillery, teaching them about whisky production and the history of the distillery. I loved it and was lucky enough to move into a variety of commercial roles within Beam Suntory, which has led me to a senior role in Travel Retail.

Coming from working in pubs in 2010 to looking after 30% of the total GTR business has been an amazing journey but one that brought on moments of self-doubt which I think stems from my struggle with anxiety from an early age. I would always appear confident and polished in work even when I didn’t feel that way at home.  About five years ago, I started to have a tough time with my mental health. After trying to navigate things on my own, I finally decided to open up to my manager, Simon, about what was going on. His supportive and non-judgmental response gave me the confidence to be honest with myself and open up to my peers as well.

That’s when I realized people’s reactions weren’t as scary as I thought they were going to be, and people were very supportive. I became an ally for my colleagues who might be going through something similar. I think by creating an open dialogue, we can create a common language and normalize discussing mental health at work. I’m now an advocate to my friends, colleagues, and neighbors. It's something I'm hugely passionate about. The more you talk about it, the less scary it becomes.

For anyone who’s struggling: Find people who you can confide in and use the resources we have at Beam Suntory.  It can feel scary but there are professionals who can help and colleagues who care about you more than you know. As I continue my own journey, I want to become a stronger ally and pass on the knowledge I’ve gained from my eleven years and counting at Beam Suntory, including navigating challenges with mental health.”

-    Alasdair (Ally) Dickinson, Key Accounts Director, United Kingdom

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