Sarah Cunningham

Case Study – Sarah Cunningham – National Account Manager, Liverpool

Working at Princes is a family affair for me as my brother Adam, a Buying Controller, also works for the company.

He joined in 2010 as a Marketing Executive and has worked his way up through Buying.

It was Adam who spotted Princes’ advert for the Graduate Training Scheme and suggested I went for it.

I joined in 2015 after I graduated from the University of Liverpool with a Business Studies degree. My degree involved a sandwich year in industry and I spent some time in the soft drinks marketing team of Princes and loved it.

My first rotation was in Marketing and I was in charge of Crosse & Blackwell soups.

I followed this with an eight-month spell in Sales working with the Tesco team. A huge highlight was being part of the team working on a big fish project across brand and own label. We created a large range of own label and added value tuna products and it was great to be involved with customer meetings.

I went from there into Fish Buying and it was fascinating to be buying the fish that went into the products we had commercially agreed with Tesco during my Sales rotation.

It was good to complete rotations across Buying, Sales and Marketing because I wasn’t 100% sure where I wanted to specialise at first.

When a Sales opportunity came up with some of our biggest discount customers – working with all our products across food and drink – I grabbed it. I love all the different touch points and functions you need to work to do the job well and the opportunities to work with discounters on ideas for new bespoke own brand products.

I recently worked on an own brand tuna four-pack idea for a leading discounter and delivered the concept in record time. I sorted everything from the artwork and pricing to the technical specification. Seeing it then on shelf is very rewarding.

My ambition is to stay in Sales and to go as far as I can. You learn so much so quickly at Princes about the FMCG industry and there are  always great opportunities to prove yourself and to progress. For example, I’m about to go on a Leadership Essentials course to develop some new skills.

There’s a good support network, both personally and professionally. I’ve been given exposure to wider projects, line manage two people and also mentor one of the new graduates, Grace. It’s good to give back and to support her as she is handling some of the accounts I worked on as a graduate.

I really enjoy my job at Princes. I recommended the company to one of my best friends, John, and he works here too now.

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