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Graduate blogs

Read all about Jameson Graduate Life

Conor Walsh

From Actor to Ambassador

Conor is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin with a BA Hons in Drama and Theatre Studies. He now works as the Marketing Assistant for the Jameson Graduate Programme as part of the International Marketing Team based in the Dublin Head Office.

WHEN / HOW DID YOU DECIDE YOU WANTED TO BE PART OF THE JAMESON INTERNATIONAL GRADUATE PROGRAMME?

Over the course of my 4 years in college I worked part-time as a bartender in cocktail bars and nightclubs where I gained a passion for the wine and spirit industry. I loved the buzz of the bar and being able to give the customer a memorable experience. I heard about the Jameson International Graduate Programme through an Irish Distiller sales rep who was often in the bar. I researched the programme and automatically knew it was a great fit for me. Obviously having a drama background and no experience in marketing was a worry coming into the programme but we were given all the tools we need during induction to go out to market and smash it for the brand.

WHAT MARKET WERE/ARE YOU WORKING IN?

I am currently based in Dublin on my first year of the programme. I’m working as the marketing assistant for the Jameson Graduate Programme. I’ve been up and down the country in the recent months meeting thousands of students and telling them all about the programme we offer with Jameson and Irish Distillers. It’s been great having the chance to build brand awareness on campus and generate a buzz for our programmes.

DO YOU SPEAK AN INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE & DO / DID YOU USE THIS AS PART OF YOUR MARKET PLACEMENT?

I don’t speak a second international language unfortunately. I’m looking at taking back German in the New Year.

WHAT CHARACTERISTICS DO YOU HAVE THAT HELP YOU EFFECTIVELY DO YOUR JOB AS BRAND AMBASSADOR?

I think I am quite out-going which really helps me to do my job as the Marketing Assistant for the grad programme. Meeting and chatting to thousands of students and lectures demands a lot of energy and having outgoing qualities certainly helps with this. I also really enjoy public speaking. My time studying drama and being used to getting up in front of a crowd has really stood to me on the programme so far.

WHAT IS THE MOST REWARDING THING ABOUT BEING PART OF THE JAMESON INTERNATIONAL GRADUATE PROGRAMME?

I think the most rewarding thing about being part of the programme is the fantastic people that you get to work with every day. Getting to work with colleagues on building the Jameson brand around the world is a truly unique experience.

WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING THING ABOUT A JAMESON BRAND AMBASSADOR?

The most challenging thing about my role so far is how we have such a limited window to attract students to apply for our programme and build brand awareness. The recruitment campaign all happens over the course of a couple of months. It’s demanding but highly rewarding. The busy nature of our schedule also took time to adjust too but I feel we’re rocking and rolling now.

HOW HAS THE PROGRAMME HELPED YOU TO DEVELOP YOUR OWN PERSONAL BRAND?

I think the programme has helped me build my personal brand by giving me the tools to market myself and not just the Graduate Programme or the brand. By being the face of the Graduate Programme this year on college campus around Ireland it was very important to be aware that I was representing “Brand Conor” as well as the graduate programme and of course Jameson. The programme has given me the confidence and drive to keep building my personal brand and have clear visions for the future. Understanding your personal brand is very important in today’s world and this programme supports that understanding and helps you build on it.

WHAT SKILLS DO YOU FEEL YOU HAVE DEVELOPED THROUGH THE JAMESON INTERNATIONAL GRADUATE PROGRAMME?

Developing professional marketing skills has always been paramount for me as a first year on the programme. I feel like I have been developing these skills along with project management. The programme is great as you get that responsibility to take control of projects and learn from your success and failures. The programme had also helped me understand the importance of building both your professional and personal brand. I’m working on developing these skills over the year ahead. I’m also learning loads of Whiskey knowledge which is deadly!

OUTSIDE OF THE DAY JOB WHAT DO YOU DO FOR FUN?

Having the right amount of balance in your life is very important in this job. I love to go to the theatre and look forward to the next time I thread the boards. Hopefully in the near future. Football is also a big passion of mine and I enjoy a good game of 5-aside.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MEMORY FROM YOUR TIME ON THE PROGRAMME SO FAR?

My favourite memory of my time on the programme so far has been the week spent in Midleton in the Irish Whiskey Academy during my induction. Being able to see first hand how our whiskey is made, and the level of skill and care was really special. Also, the crack was absolutely mighty!

ANY TIPS FOR ANYONE APPLYING FOR THE ROLE OF BRAND AMBASSADOR?

Just go for it! The best thing to do is to just take that leap of fate and put everything you have into your application. I know it’s “clichéd” but be yourself. Let your personality shine through the application video. Have the crack with the video. It’s an experience you’ll look back on with pride having finished it. I remember I didn’t know what I would put in my video initially but then you get out there and start rolling the camera and it all comes together. The hardest take is the first one. Then you’ll be flying after that. Don’t underestimate the importance of the written application either. Be sure to put lots of time and attention into it. The book has to match the film at the end of the day. I wish anyone who is applying the very best of luck and who knows I could be seeing you for induction in July 2019.