Johdi Dinsdale was scrolling through Facebook when she saw an ad that made her stop.
ILoveGin.com — a West London-based online gin and tonic club — was looking to hire a “gintern.”
The part-time position would pay up to £20,000 and required the gintern to travel around the UK and Europe and visit one or two new gin companies every week.
Ginterns would work remotely, aside from a monthly visit to the office. Perks included free gin, naturally.
“After one or two gins, I applied,” Dinsdale told Business Insider. “It looked like a perfect fit for me and my new hobby.”
Dinsdale had previously trained to be a teacher and worked in education for seven years. During that time, she began blogging about gin with her sister. Dinsdale would review and photograph gin drinks and receive samples from distilleries. She even had begun hosting tasting parties for family and friends and gin nights in bars and other venues.
Meanwhile, more than 5,000 people ended up applying for the role of “gintern.”
But, while the competition for the gig would prove to be stiffer than a shot of too-strong Bombay Sapphire, Dinsdale said she knew from the start that the opportunity would be a perfect fit.
Here’s an inside look at Dinsdale’s journey to getting her dream internship, and how she’s faring in the role so far:
ILoveGin.com whittled down the 5,000 applicants by asking candidates to write about a gin and publish the review on social media.
The 500 best reviewers made it to the next round, including Dinsdale. Dinsdale’s task for round two was to shoot a video telling the ILoveGin.com team why she’d be great for the role. “Being filmed was the worst thing for me,” she said.
“Luckily, I have a distillery on my doorstep and have links with them because of my blog, so they let me film there,” Dinsdale said. “It was still a daunting experience though.”
The videos were then reviewed, and 32 candidates were selected. From there, ILoveGin.com chose eight finalists to visit The Distillery in Notting Hill, London, for one last set of challenges.
Along with the other candidates, Dinsdale had to create a “signature serve” with Portobello Road Gin and then pitch ILoveGin.com to the gin brand’s ambassador.
Dinsdale was declared the winner after whipping up a breakfast martini using homemade grapefruit curd. Dinsdale said that getting the news she had landed the “ginternship” was “the best thing ever.” “I was literally shaking from head to toe,” she said.
Still, she said some people expressed worries about her career move. “A lot of people questioned why I would leave a ‘secure’ job working in education to go and work part-time as a ‘gintern,'” she said. In the beginning of the process, she entertained some of those concerns as well. However, she said she quickly realized that she was looking at a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Now, her new role involves traveling to distilleries and reporting her findings back to ILoveGin.com’s HQ. “We are always on the lookout to feature new gins in our members box, and it’s my job to track down the best gins around,” Dinsdale said. She also spends her time blogging about her travels and favorite gin recipes.
She visits about one or two distilleries a week. “I’m still at the beginning of my gin journey and so far, most of my visits have been quite local,” Dinsdale said. “I’m hoping to start traveling further afield very soon.” So far, she’s visited Sul Gin in Hamburg, a memorable Cheshire operation called Forest Gin that involves foraging for botanicals, and the “super cool” Three Rivers Gin in Manchester. She said she’s been struck by the sheer number of people in the gin industry who also quit their day jobs to pursue work they love. Dinsdale said that the best part of the “ginternship” so far has been “seeing the hard work and passion that goes into making gin.”
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