Name: Mark Connaire
Company: Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard
Role: Jameson and Irish Whiskey Brand Ambassador
What attracted you to this company as a grad?
I felt the role as a Brand Ambassador was unlike any other role being offered to graduates. It was in no way a typical 9am-5pm desk job and this very much appealed to me. I also saw the potential to grow within the company. For example, there are a lot of clips online of people who started within the company as Brand Ambassadors and worked their way into Marketing/Digital/Experiential etc. This scope for growth attracted me. Finally, the mantra of Sine Metu (Without Fear) appealed to my personality and values!
Tell us about your interview at Jameson.
The interview process was really enjoyable, surprisingly! Applicants were asked to submit a video on why they were ‘The Vital Ingredient’ and why they should be hired. I spent two days filming with my friend trying to get across my personality and why I would be a good fit for the role. There were a lot of outtakes!
We were then invited to assessment centres to undertake different group interviews, presentations and language assessments. There was some serious competition as there were so many brilliant personalities applying for the role. It was great to meet so many ambitious and like-minded people at the assessment centres. After two rounds of interviews I was very fortunate to get the call telling me I got the job. It was very different to any job I had interviewed for and I really enjoyed it.
What does your typical day look like?
To say ‘No two days are alike’ is an absolute understatement as a Brand Ambassador! The job is so fast paced that every day is completely different to the next. I’m partially office based so there are days where I catch up on admin and attend different meetings. However, the rest of the week changes all the time.
On a typical week you’ll find me: Training bartenders on different whiskies, organising consumer events, dropping off materials to bars and (poorly) navigating around London visiting bars. I love having an ever changing schedule as it really challenges you to stay organised and learn to think on your feet.
What skills are ‘must haves’ to do your job well?
People skills is pretty much the number one quality all Brand Ambassadors must possess because we deal with anyone from bartenders to customers to marketers, it’s really important to have strong interpersonal skills.
For me, this job is based around building strong relationships with people.
Organisational skills are also key and are something you pick up and perfect on the job. I’ve definitely learned a thing or two as to how to stay organised in the last 3 years! Finally, creativity and energy are also very important.
How do you think this programme will help you in your future career?
The different experiences gained and cultures I have worked with is something that will stand to me for my future career. The role as a Brand Ambassador within the Pernod Ricard Group allows so much autonomy and creativity which is very important for a recent graduate. The Group also nurtures their employees through personal and professional development programmes. This, combined with the network I have built, will be extremely beneficial for my future career.
What are your top tips for grads when applying for jobs?
Take your time! I applied for different roles in my final year of college and would spend a lot of time filling in relevant answers about my past experiences. Employers are able to quickly spot the difference between a rushed and a well thought out application!
I would always map out different strong points on my CV when preparing for interviews. For example, I would break down the different experiences I had where I lead projects vs. ones where I built strong relationships. This was a good way to answer the different situational questions employers may ask such as “Tell me about a time you lead a project”.
Finally, I would always learn as much as possible about the company I would be applying to. A simple SWOT analysis on a company and the environment they work in always served me well during the application and interview processes.
What one piece of advice would you offer all soon-to-be graduates that are leaving college and joining the working world?
Find a job you are passionate about! Job satisfaction has always outweighed anything else in a job for me so I would advise graduates to apply for jobs in areas that they will be challenged and can enjoy.