Case study

Natalie Harbisher — Sales executive and account manager


Natalie started on the sales and commercial graduate programme before joining the commercial team at Dunbia’s Treburley site in Cornwall

How did you find your time on the Dunbia Brighter Futures Graduate Programme?

Having no knowledge of the beef industry prior to joining Dunbia, I was able to move around the departments from procurement and primary production to further processing and finally an office-based role. I could spend as long as I liked in each department depending on what suited me, this gave me a great insight into the whole supply chain. It was really varied, meeting lots of people along the way

What’s it like working in the commercial team?

It’s fast-paced with unexpected challenges arising, but that is what I enjoy and makes my job interesting. In sales, we work closely with various departments like transport, finance and operations so there’s a lot of communicating and collaborating between teams which creates a great support network.

Describe working at Dunbia in three words.

Rewarding, fast-paced and progressive.

What learning and development opportunities have you received?

I joined as part of the graduate programme which was a jam-packed two years full of learning and development. I have since done a mentor course and have been mentoring current entrants into the programme in both sales and operations roles. It’s great to be helping those in other departments and to be advising someone who’s in the same position that I was just a couple of years ago.

I was also later enrolled into a management development programme at the University College of Dublin, learning leadership skills and techniques to manage my own team in the future. To have the opportunity to expand my skills and travel in my job has been a valuable experience. I met some great friends, and it was a perfect way of networking.

What advice would you offer a graduate looking to apply?

Get stuck in. You will meet lots of people, many of which you will come across later on in your careers so it’s great to have that relationship already there. You never know when you might need a favour from them.

Ask for help. People might seem like they’re busy doing their own jobs but if you want to know something then just ask, they will always take the time to help you which will help you a lot in the long run.

What is your standout moment or achievement so far in your Dunbia career?

I will always remember my first year of the graduate programme and completing it was a proud moment! Another standout moment was my first time meeting a customer face to face. It was a really exciting time to be holding a business meeting with a customer who would be trading with the company through me weekly. I also now stand in for the commercial manager here on site. Being involved in the weekly and monthly financial calls and reporting back to the group was very daunting at first but also quite exciting. This was a proud moment taking the next step up.

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