Conor Breen, Assistant Brand Manager, Jameson Irish Distillers

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What does your job involve?

As part of the prestige team we look after 200 of the most premium outlets in the country including places like Ashford Castle, Adare Manor, and we leverage our prestige portfolio within these premium outlets. Our prestige portfolio includes spirits such as whiskeys like Red Breast and Middleton and champagnes like Pierre Gerbais.

What skills are important to be successful?

Creativity would definitely be one of them. We work in a spirits space that's very competitive so when we're coming out with new innovation launches it's very important to launch these products in a way that cuts through the market.

What do you love about your job?

What led me into the Jameson international graduate programme in the first place was the energy behind the Jameson brand and its history and heritage. When I came off the programme the opportunity to work on the prestige brands also offered this in the sense that the brands like Middleton and Red Breast had history and heritage also. That's what I really love about my job right now is that the brands that I work on are just so interesting.

Why did you choose your career path?

I started in UCC studying Law and realised early on it wasn't necessarily for me, but in college I did a lot of extra-curricular activities like college radio and college newspaper. I always loved the creativity that this allowed me to express and I realised that this is what I needed in terms of a career path. I needed a career that allowed me to express myself creatively. As a student looking in at the Jameson graduate programme I really felt this was my opportunity to really express myself. As it turned out, it really was. The opportunity to activate events and get to present in front of large groups and travel internationally really married all my interests together at the one time.

What advice would you give a first year student?

Something I use every day are my presentation skills. I feel that was something I was really able to hone in on in college and once again this was part of the extra-curricular part of college, getting involved in societies, getting opportunities to stand in front of people. Having those skills early on meant that when I actually stepped into my current role all these things came naturally and it was a far less stressful experience.

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