Dublin Dynamo - Conor Timmons

Conor is a DIT graduate, and is in his third of the Jameson International Graduate Programme, based in Dublin. He has previously been placed in Tokyo and Toronoto as a Brand Ambassador, so he has a pretty amazing story to tell. Read it all here!

Tell me about yourself (where you went to college, what course you studied, how long you’ve been on the programme).

My name is Conor Timmons. I'm from Dublin, and I’m in my third year of the Jameson International Graduate Programme. Before joining the programme in 2015, I studied Business and Management in DIT Aungier Street.

When did you decide that you wanted to take part in the Jameson Graduate Programme?

During my final year of studies, I attended the RDS gradireland fair. At this point of my life I had no idea what I wanted to do after college. I had just finished an Erasmus in the Netherlands and was ready to get serious with finding a career that suited me. My interests were in marketing, but I had no idea where I wanted to work. Then, I came across the Jameson Graduate Programme stand at the career fair. After learning about the programme and speaking with one of the grads {who later became my manager}, my ideal career had never been clearer. It was an unequivocal realisation that this was what I wanted to do.

What market were/are you in?

My first placement was in Tokyo, Japan. Because of my Irish/Japanese background, the company saw me as a good fit for this market. There, I worked with 2 other Jameson Brand Ambassadors. It was an unbelievable experience, and because Jameson is quite a small brand in Japan, the effects of our inputs were clearly visible.

After a year in Tokyo, I wanted a new challenge in a new environment and was offered Toronto, Canada as my second placement. Bouncing from Asia to North America was an incredible experience as the 2 markets are radically different. Jameson has a strong nation-wide presence in Canada and is a high priority brand in the company, meaning I had bigger responsibilities than before.

After one year in the Great White North, I decided I wanted to do my final year in Dublin, where my journey had begun. Now I'm based in the Irish Distillers Head Office, working closely with the Jameson marketing team, and with the sales team all across Dublin. To represent a brand like Jameson in its home market is quite an uplifting and gratifying experience.

Was there ever a language barrier while on the programme?

The Japanese market operates almost entirely in Japanese. During my first few months in Tokyo, I had daily struggles in my work and personal life when it came to mastering the language. Let's just say there was a lot of pointing at pictures in menus when dining out. However, this is a rite of passage that everyone goes through when living in Asia for the first time, and with time these daily struggles subside.

What was/is the most rewarding thing about the Jameson Graduate Programme?

The brand activations that I organize range from small grassroot events to large scale campaigns. Regardless of the scale, the feeling of seeing a project from the beginning to the end and all your hard work paying off is always an extremely rewarding feeling. Whether they be educational tastings, bartender competitions or event sponsorships, there's no better feeling when someone says to you 'That was brilliant! When's the next event?'

How did the Jameson Graduate Programme help you in developing your own personal brand?

Influencer marketing is a large part of the Jameson Graduate Programme. Having the opportunity to work with diverse creators and entrepreneurs has fostered within me a new perspective towards products and services, and an admiration towards these self-starters. They've heavily influenced my personal brand, which has developed from a naive, ambitious neophyte to a confident, cultivated socialite.

What was your most difficult obstacle to resolve while on the Jameson Graduate Programme?

The most difficult obstacle I found is adopting to new settings. Since I've worked in 3 different markets, I've been challenged with having to build relationships and adopt to the different ways of working in each placement. It took me a few months to get settled into each market I worked in. However, this is also one of the most exciting parts of the job!

What weaknesses did you improve on?

As an ambassador, you can have a million things going on in a short amount of time. It's very important that you learn how to manage your time so that you can achieve high-quality results without becoming overwhelmed. Time management was a weakness of mine when first starting out and gets me from time to time, but I'm always aware of when I need to improve and make it my duty to do so.

What skills learned from Jameson have been transferable to your current position?

There is plenty of training and mentoring provided by Irish Distillers and Pernod Ricard while graduates are on the graduate programme. It is up to the graduates to decide what skills they want to develop to help them with their career progression post the programme. Some skills that I've learned are agency briefing, PR and digital marketing. The skills I'm trying to develop are brand planning and budget management.

What is your favourite memory from your time on the programme?

My favourite memory would be when we formed the first ever Jameson graduate band to perform at the programme's 25 year anniversary party. 5 musically savvy grads were headhunted by the programme directors to play in this band. We had grads from New York, Lille, London, Madrid and myself from Toronto fly into Dublin to play together for the first time ever in front of 200 people. Before joining the programme, I played the drums for 9 years but hadn't gigged in a long time. I would have never predicted that this job would put me back on stage performing, and it was one of the best gigs I've ever played in my life!

Any tips for anyone applying or future brand ambassadors?

You don't need to know much about Jameson before applying. If you get the job, you will be trained. Focus now on putting together a solid video that will make you stand out in the crowd, and don't forget to be yourself!

Conor Timmons - A Taste of Dublin!

Conor Timmons, our Dublin-based Jameson International Brand Ambassador, brings us around a tour of Dublin in this video, and shows us exactly why a full clean driving licence is necessary for the role.