"I love working with highly ambitious, clever people, who are also very supportive."
Describe your journey with the company so far, your current role, and what excites you about working here.
My fifteen years with the company began in Denmark, as product manager for Pickwick tea, and after several other roles I became Marketing Manager for Merrild Coffee Systems covering Scandinavia. In 2008, I moved – with my husband and two children – to Australia to become Marketing Director for Out of Home across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. I originally had a three-year assignment, but decided to stay on a local contract and continue to work in this exciting, international culture. What I love about all the years in the business is working with highly ambitious, clever people, who are also very supportive. We encourage each other to deliver our best, and we don't waste time on internal politics. The work is both challenging and fun, and we share a real passion for the brands and the products.
As a Marketing specialist, what do you see as the benefits of working within D.E MASTER BLENDERS 1753?
Marketing professionals thrive here, because we have solid brands with a strong heritage, which is widely acknowledged in the marketplace. We also developed a strong internal marketing programme which helps the business maintain a shared language and best practices. Product development and projects are being run centrally and locally, so this isn't an organisation where HQ pushes everything out to the countries and the local marketing people have no voice.
What are your career highlights?
A life-changing experience was visiting Uganda with the Nordic management team to track down sustainable coffee. This was before we linked up with UTZ, and as a result of this visit we launched the first sustainable UTZ products in the market. It was fantastic to meet the people growing the coffee that we sell each day, and then turn this experience into new products and practises. Another highlight was in my early Pickwick days, when we worked with the tea factory to improve our fruit teas – and through a strong plan and many activities managed to hold onto the number one market position despite the efforts of our competitor. It's also been fantastic to be part of the growth in the Australian espresso market – with consumers moving from instant coffee to demanding the best quality coffee beans both in home and out of home.
Do you have any advice for today's graduates - the leaders of tomorrow?
Show all of your abilities and use all of your skills. Don't worry if you don't fit in with just one function – there is more than one way to move up. I have always gone into my annual career meeting with several proposals – one of these took me from Retail to the Out of Home business in Denmark, and another took me to the other side of the world.
How important to you are the company's core values?
The values match who we are now, adding more focus on innovation, speed to market and a 'can do' attitude. Our heritage is important too - for us, our customers and consumers.