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Meet Jacky: Former F15 leading Arla’s Retail Sales Team in Canada

Meet Jacky: Former F15 leading Arla’s Retail Sales Team in Canada Jaqueline Frese | Sales Supervisor, Retail | Ontario, Canada

Jaqueline, known to everyone as Jacky, began her Arla career in 2015 as a Future15 Graduate with rotations in marketing and sales across Denmark, the UK and Canada. She then got a full-time marketing role in Germany, later switched to sales and finally moved back to Canada in 2020 to become a Sales Supervisor. Now, Jacky is running the Retail Sales team in Ontario drawing on experiences from her former people managers at Arla.

Jacky is originally from Northern Germany but now lives with her husband in Toronto, Canada. She has always been very much into sports. Jacky played soccer for 22 years, was a competitive dancer and dancing instructor, and now she enjoys boxing.

A sneak peek into Arla’s culture

After graduating from the University of Düsseldorf, Jacky wanted to work in an international company with development opportunities. She applied to Arla’s Future15 Graduate Programme, a fast-track leadership programme that includes three different eight-month rotations in different business areas and locations.

“It ticked all my boxes: It is very international, provided development at its finest and as a farmer-owned company, Arla was very appealing to me,” Jacky says and continues:

“The assessment was competitive, but they were fair. There was an emphasis on performance, but it was a healthy mix of challenging exercises, friendly conversations and trying to get to know me as a person. This was a good reflection of Arla’s culture, showed me the way people at Arla work and what I was getting myself into.”

International experience in sales and marketing

Jacky’s first role was in the Marketing Innovation team in Denmark in which she supported the launch of a sports brand by developing the eCommerce strategy and led a project on packaging innovation before moving into her second rotation with the sales team in the UK.

“I enjoyed being in a local market and I had a fantastic manager who was the perfect role model of leading with empathy and being an approachable leader while getting stuff done,” Jacky says.

“My second manager taught me what it takes to build a strong team that can rely on each other. He created an amazing culture and taught me a lot about teamwork and building superior customer relationships. It was a great learning to work for a customer, which is demanding in a different way than working internally on marketing.”

Jacky’s third and final rotation was in Concord, Canada. Here, she was working on joint customer business plans as well as pricing- and shopper marketing guidelines.

“As an F15 Gradate, you get different perspectives, which help you navigate through different situations and markets. The programme comes with a steep learning curve and great challenges that prepare you for any role to come. Also, it enables you to build a strong network across the organisation right from the get-go.”

Working with brands in Germany

After finishing the graduate programme, Jacky moved back to Germany and got a permanent role at Arla’s office in Dusseldorf. First as a Brand Manager for Arla Protein and one year later as Key Account Manager of E-commerce & Convenience.

“Instead of working with a well-established brand, I jumped into a brand that had just been launched and got to do market research and build the market position from scratch. It was a young fitness-related brand, and the target audience included myself so I could identify with it very well,” Jacky explains and continues:

“I did a lot of digital marketing for Arla Protein which I enjoyed. So, when a new role in E-commerce & Convenience was established, I got to work with both digital and customers, which were two things I really wanted to do. Also, because I was intrigued by building something from scratch.”

Leading a sales team in Canada

Jacky always knew that she wanted to come back to Canada at some point. In 2020, she got the chance to become Sales Supervisor of 13 sales representatives in Arla’s retail sales team in Ontario.

“I had stayed in touch with my colleagues and my former manager in Canada. I reached out to him and said that I was ready to come back if he would want me back – luckily, he did! The timing turned out to be perfect as this role was available,” she says and elaborates:

“My role is a mix of being out on the road with my team, visiting customers in different cities, negotiating with them, having internal meetings, collaborating with colleagues from different departments, planning and a lot of listening. I feel like I have the best of all worlds.”

“I truly enjoy managing my team and seeing them grow. I reflect a lot on what my former managers have done that resonated with me and how I can apply their best practices in my own team,” Jacky says.