Working in the family business

In our weekly 'My Career' section, we talk to Sales and Marketing Manager at Ballymaloe Foods, Maxine Hyde
Working in the family business
Maxine Hyde, of Ballymaloe Foods.    Picture: Joleen Cronin

Name: Maxine Hyde.

Age: 32.

Lives: Cobh, County Cork.

Job title: Sales and Marketing Manager at Ballymaloe Foods.

Salary bracket: €30,000 to €45,000

Education background: Commerce & Italian degree, UCC, Diploma in International selling, DIT, Ballymaloe Cookery Course certificate.

Hobbies: Being outdoors, swimming, reading.

Describe your job in five words: Manic, fun, hard work, enjoyable and rewarding.

Describe yourself in five words: Positive, hardworking, friendly, caring, messy.

Personality needed for this kind of work? Outgoing, energetic and determined.

How long are you doing this job? Nine years full time, 20 years-plus helping in the family business.

How did you get this job? I work for my mum’s company that she started when I was four years old. From a very early age I helped out and knew in school that I wanted to work here, so I decided to study business in college and also take some time out to become familiar with a professional kitchen, so I cheffed for one year.

I believe working from an early age is really important for teenagers, to learn the practicalities of working life.

I always check on CVs when we are recruiting graduates for when someone started working. As teenagers, my siblings and I worked as waitresses, babysitters and Ballymaloe Relish packers.

You have got to choose a job that you are truly interested in.

Do you need particular qualifications or experience? Generally, you need a business qualification or else relevant work experience for this job.

I also regularly do training courses and last year completed a diploma in selling to make sure I am continuously upskilling.

Describe a day at work: Plan and activate marketing activity, from digital advertising, consumer events, print advertising.

Working on new product development or updated product packaging and labelling.

Looking after our trade customers, supporting them and helping them grow sales.

Many other tasks that are involved in a busy family company, from forklift driving to cleaning.

How many hours do you work a week? 50.

What do you wear to work? Normally casual business attire.

Is your industry male or female dominated? Marketing tends to be more females and sales tends to be more males.

Does this affect you in any particular way? Not in the slightest.

Is your job stressful? How? Rate it on a scale of 1-10: Eight.

Do you work with others or on your own? There are 28 of us in Ballymaloe Foods, and I work closely with six people on our sales and marketing team, they are a brilliant bunch, I am blessed.

When do you plan to retire or give up working? I am looking forward to retirement already, I don’t know exactly when and here’s hoping good health will allow me to work for a long time yet.

Best bits: Variation of the job, selling a product that I can 100% stand over for quality and taste. The consumer events such as the Ploughing and Bloom.

Worst bits: Way too much to do every day, battling a huge amount of emails every day.

Advice to those who want your job? Take every chance to learn about the grocery and food service industry, take your time in supermarkets studying products and look out for advertising and marketing for these products.

If you are still a student, try and find a job in a food store, or get work experience with food companies to get a foot on the ladder. Enjoy it.

Any other comments? I got advice once to think out your personal goals in life and to make sure your job helps you achieve this, i.e. work to make your own life better rather than being a slave to the job.

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