'I think most Irish models can relate to being freezing, freezing cold'


Roz Purcell Model:“It started off as a bit of part-time modelling but it’s turned into a full-time job and I’m getting to do some TV as well,” says model and former Ms Ireland Roz Purcell.

“I get bored very easily so this job definitely suits me because every day is different,” she says.

Going from Ms Ireland to enter Ms Universe was another highlight.

Competing against 93 countries, Purcell came seventh.

“I’m very competitive so I really got into it. I thrive in those environments where you are almost uncomfortable and you have to challenge yourself.”

She says irregular hours and often doing her own hair and make-up is the less glamorous side many don’t see. “And I think most Irish models can relate to being freezing, freezing cold,” she says.

But there are good bits too.

“I’ve been fortunate to live in New York, Cape Town and Colombia through modelling and to go on amazing shoots in Sardinia, London and South America.

“Modelling can really be your ticket.”

Juggling the Vuittons and Louboutins
Fiona Leahy creative director London

“I get to live vicariously through other people in a way,” says London-based creative director and event designer Fiona Leahy.

Her job – as event organiser to Louis Vuitton, Stella McCartney and Christian Louboutin – can include designing a jewellery store at the Ritz in Paris to filling a swimming pool full of mirror balls to styling events for the royal family of Doha. Ideas are everything.

“I can come up with ideas and when they work and people really like them, that’s what’s satisfying,” she says. “There are very glamorous bits, but at the end of the day, I have to run everything. There is a lot of hard, mundane work. I don’t think there is a job that’s sustainable that doesn’t require that. But the fairy dust is fabulous. It’s probably about 30 per cent of the job, but I try to make it more.”

‘The next big thing is the real challenge’
Ken Robertson head of mischief at Paddy Power

“My personality is inherently mischievous,” says Ken Robertson. Tasked with bringing the Paddy Power brand to life for customers, he says he does it best through “big audacious stunts”.

Persuading a Tongan rugby player during the 2008 World Cup to change his name by deed poll to Paddy Power and putting a jockey on the back of the prehistoric Uffington horse ahead of the 2012 Cheltenham festival have been among these stunts.

“The real challenge is to come up with the next big thing, to top what we’ve done before,” he says.“I’m very much a practical joker so I think this job is a good fit.”

‘I feel like the luckiest person ever’
Jennifer Graham whiskey ambassador San Francisco

“My job is to get to know bar managers, bar tenders and key industry people to promote Irish whiskey,” says San Francisco-based Dubliner Jennifer Graham. The graduate, who bagged the plum job with drinks maker Beam last year, hosts “experiential” events to promote one of its whiskey brands.

“I’m out in bars all the time, doing tastings and events to get the word out.” Graham (27) describes an event in LA which honoured Family Guy creator Seth McFarland as “one of the coolest things I’ve done so far”. She has also travelled to Indiana, Miami, New York and Boston.

“I studied international business in college so this is an amazing opportunity . . . Everybody is in a good mood when you are talking about whiskey so it’s a great product to work with. I feel like the luckiest person ever.”

Pitch-side view  of high drama
Emmet Malone ‘Irish Times’ Soccer Correspondent

“I guess the best part is watching football matches,” says Emmet Malone. “I’ve been at every World Cup and European Championship since 1998.” Career highs include being pitch-side for Barcelona’s 2011 Champions League win over Manchester United as well as covering Ireland’s fortunes at the 2002 World Cup.

“From a journalist’s point of view, the whole Saipan thing was a massive story,” he says, describing his six-week stint in Japan and Korea as “a remarkable journey”.

“A great deal of the job involves making phone calls and sitting at a computer too,” he adds, but he has never tired of it.

“To be able to tell interesting stories about people in football whom I care about and whom I know a lot of other people care about is certainly a good thing.”