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Freya Bush-Nelson, National Business Development Manager

Name: Freya Bush-Nelson
Job Title: National Business Development Manager
Lives: Bexleyheath, Kent
Age: 28

Education and Career:
When I left school I initially thought about pursuing law, but then did an internship with Shepherd Neame in 2012-2013 which led me to pursue a career in hospitality. I interned with Shepherd Neame's Brand Marketing Team for Asahi, working on events such as the Ladies European Golf Open and Sandbanks Beach Polo. I enjoyed this so much that I decided to take a 3 month Events Management course at University College London (UCL), helping me to realise that I definitely wanted to pursue this as a career. 

To further my education, I went to Bournemouth University which specialises in tourism, undertaking a hybrid course of Events and Leisure Marketing for 4 years, including a placement year in London with a corporate events company that ran experiential events with clients such as ASOS, JP Morgan and Deloitte Banking. This aligned perfectly with what I wanted to do through my experience with Asahi and Shepherd Neame. 

In my final year, Shepherd Neame approached me with an offer to work in the sales team covering the South Coast when I graduated in 2017.  This again aligned perfectly at the time due to attending Bournemouth University and my local knowledge. 

Why did you decide to pursue a career at in hospitality, specifically at the brewery?
I have always been aware of the hospitality and alcohol industry as my mum is a Licensed Trade Auditor. Beer and pubs play an important role in British culture and I love being part of that. 

What attracted you to Shepherd Neame?
Growing up in Surrey, I was very aware of the company as it is so well known and well respected due to its long history. I also liked the fact that Shepherd Neame is still an independent family business, and really does care about its people. When I started, the average amount of service was 15 years! That speaks volumes for people’s enjoyment of working for Shepherd Neame, and I’m really proud to be part of the team.

What qualifications are needed for your role?
My degree was in Events and Leisure Marketing, and I have gained experience and further qualifications while working within the hospitality industry. Hospitality is always something I have been passionate about, working in the industry since I was 14. I have also gained my personal licences and cellar training certificates. 

What does a typical day involve?
One of the main reasons I love this job is that there is a no typical day. My main aim is to develop new business, understanding how companies can form positive, productive partnerships with Shepherd Neame. Once a new customer is on board, I continue to support the development of the partnership through both financial management and marketing. 

What personal characteristics help you in your role?
My interpersonal skills and strategic management are crucial. The role also requires savvy new business targeting and smart investment choices, balancing this with cost controls in existing accounts. 

What do you enjoy / what is most rewarding about the job?
I enjoy the ownership of my accounts, specifically building relationships with my customers, and meeting a variety of people. Seeing a strategy coming to fruition is really rewarding, whether it be Shepherd Neame products pouring in a new bar or at events, or seeing our beers in shops or online. 

What is tough about the job?
I love the flexibility and independence as I work remotely, but that also means it can sometimes be difficult to switch off. I always have my phone and laptop with me in order to be reactive - it isn’t a 9 to 5 job where I can leave my desk at the end of the day. 

What do you consider your biggest professional success so far?
My progression over the years whilst at Shepherd Neame: I started as a Business Development Manager for the South Coast, and then worked in central London with key accounts. I now work in the National team looking after clients including TGI Fridays and head up the management of online retailers such as DryDrinker.

What are your hobbies and interests outside work?
Family, friends, food and drink!
I enjoy keeping fit through yoga, going to the gym and hiking - usually on the sunny days finishing at a pub for food and drink. 
Travelling and volunteering are two of my passions, and I have planned a trip to South Africa with a wildlife conservation organisation later this year! Through my family and friends I am quite rugby-oriented, so we enjoy trips to Twickenham throughout the year for games. 

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