Grad profile: ‘As cliché as it might sound - be yourself’

Conor Friel studied French and Spanish in UCD and is now a participant in the Jameson International Graduate Programme.

Tell us about yourself, where you’re from and what you studied in college

My name is Conor Friel, I'm 28 and originally from Westport Co. Mayo. I studied French and Spanish in UCD, during which time I also completed a year-long International Exchange in Montevideo, Uruguay. Upon graduating from UCD, I undertook a Masters in Advertising in DIT and then worked as a Junior Art Director in a Dublin-based ad agency.

How did you find out about the grad programme?

I first heard about the Jameson International Graduate Programme during my undergraduate degree through their impressive presence at graduate career fairs and then again via their social media attraction campaign.


What is the graduate programme like?

The programme is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity - it’s not every day that you get to live and work in a new country, while representing one of the most beloved and iconic Irish brands in the world.

Explain what the work experience was like.

The role of a Jameson Brand Ambassador really does offer a 360° view of marketing and exposes you to every facet of the business. No two days are the same. One day I could have been delivering a whiskey tasting to twenty people in an off licence outside of Buenos Aires and the next, I could have been hosting a Jameson segment on Argentina's most listened to Radio Show - Perros de la Calle.

Tell me about your career progression.

In Year 1 of the programme, I was the Jameson Brand Ambassador for Argentina and Uruguay, based out of Buenos Aires. In Year 2, I was chosen as the first ever Jameson Brand Ambassador in the Caribbean. Although I was based in the Dominican Republic, I travelled frequently to Puerto Rico to activate the brand there. In my last year of the programme, I was back in Dublin as the Content Marketing Executive on the Global Jameson Content Marketing Team, working on all things social media. In the next few weeks, I will be finishing the programme after completing the 3-years offered under the programme. I have secured my post programme role as Assistant Brand Manager working on the Lifestyle Portfolio Team in Irish Distillers. In my new role, I will cover a number of brands from our wider Pernod Ricard portfolio such as Havana Club, Lillet, West Coast Cooler, as well as our wine and champagne portfolios.

What’s your advice to graduates applying to the programme?

As cliché as it might sound - be yourself. To succeed on the Jameson International Graduate Programme, you need to have Serious Character, so don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. Take your time, get creative and most importantly, have fun with your application.