Travelling the World Through What's in My Glass
CV – Selected Highlights
- European Representative, Shimizu Seizaburo Shoten
- Assistant Manager, Vagabond Wines
- Judge, International Wine Challenge (Sake Section)
- Operations & Events Officer, British Sake Association
WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines (Pass with Merit)
WSET Level 2 in Beer (Pass with Distinction)
MA Japanese Studies & Intensive Japanese Language, SOAS (University of London)
MMath Mathematics & Statistics, University of Oxford
The Longer Story!
Having graduated with a degree in Mathematics & Statistics from the University of Oxford, I spent some six years in the fast-paced world of investment management, becoming a Chartered Financial Analyst and travelling the world to seek out investment opportunities for my clients. In the process, I found it wasn't the quantitative work that I enjoyed, but actually communicating complex ideas compellingly and clearly, and across cultures.
Within this, an interest in Japanese culture started to emerge. I decided to leave investment management behind to return to university, reading for a 2-year MA in Japanese Studies & Intensive Japanese at SOAS, University of London. Here, I undertook a multi-disciplinary course of study focused on modern Japan, spanning Management Studies, History of Art, Japanese Literature, Anthropology, and Media – obtaining Distinction grades in every module. For my dissertation, I performed qualitative interview-based research which sought to understand the experiences of Japanese women working in the sake industry, particularly in sake brewing roles.
Separately, I developed my personal passions of wine, spirits, and sake through formal study and casual merriment! With my academic and commercial acumen, and a knack for clear and engaging writing, I decided to strike out on my own in late 2020, offering consulting services in the beverage space: from branding and translation (Japanese to English) for breweries looking to grow in the European market, to judging drinks competitions, and running bespoke wine and sake events.
Apart from these services, I remain connected to the industry through my work at Vagabond Wines' Monument site, where I manage Front of House operations, spearhead staff training initiatives, help to shape our product offering over over 100 wines by the glass, and regularly run tutored wine tastings for private parties – as well as working in the winery! In late 2021, I became a Committee Member of the British Sake Association, a not-for-profit organisation run by volunteers, as its Operations and Events Officer and Study Group coordinator. After Japan finally reopened its borders in 2023, I returned for around a month, in part to undertake an apprenticeship in sake brewing at Shimizu Seizaburo Shoten, whose sake – Zaku – I represent in Europe.
In my spare time, I'm usually thinking about what, how, and where I'm going to eat and drink next. I like to read – particularly short stories and cookery books – when time allows, and keep fit by running, though with varying regularity and success... I grew up in and love London, but having married a country mouse, I am often found donning my hiking boots, somewhere on the South Downs, or perhaps on the Cornish coast.