Cultivating a career in agriculture
Following a secondment in New Zealand, we caught up with Edwina Gadsby, Southern Sales Manager and a member of the Professional Specialty Solutions (PSS) to chat about her career with BASF, her exciting new role and advice for young people who are about to start their career.
Edwina grew up on the land and it is in her blood. “They say you can take a girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of a girl,” she summarises. Edwina always wanted to work in an industry she loved, so with a great passion for agriculture in July 2016 she joined BASF as Business Administrator. In this role Edwina enjoyed working with all the different departments within the AP team and her duties included supporting senior employees, managing files and data and maintaining company information databases. After one year she started a new role as Strategic Campaign & Communication Manager ANZ.
Edwina has now been with BASF for four years and says that by moving into the various roles, she has made strong contacts within BASF both locally and internationally. “There are lots of opportunities available within the business, that I first did not realise,” Edwina said. “I slowly worked my way up and I never lost my passion, I still love what I do”.
In July 2019, the opportunity to go on secondment in New Zealand came about which Edwina took on with both hands, covering Anna Trott’s territory looking after essentially half the north island, whilst Anna was on maternity leave. Life in New Zealand was very different to what Edwina was used to, not only because she was in a different country, but also transiting from working in a corporate office to becoming a remote staff member. Edwina says it took a little while for her to settle in, however once she got to know the local areas in New Zealand, the customers and becoming part of the community where Edwina was living in, she absolutely enjoyed it. “Working with different farmers getting to know how their farming practices work compared to how we do things over here, was really interesting,” she said. “That gave me a real inside into agriculture and the farming systems in New Zealand.”
At the end of March, Edwina returned from New Zealand to join the PSS team, working as Southern Sales Manager, where she will be looking after quite a large territory, including Victoria, South Australia, Southern New South Wales, Tasmania and New Zealand. Edwina said, “I look forward to the new challenge, it is a new portfolio, completely different products and new customers, it is an exciting opportunity to extend my knowledge within BASF. Also, I will still be working with the colleagues in New Zealand I got to know and still be part of their team, which is nice.”
When asked what advice she would give to people who are about to start their career, Edwina says, “you should always follow your passion, listen to different people, everyone has something to offer. Take on different opinions and find out what works best for you. Always be willing to accept a challenge.”
We thank Edwina for sharing her story with us and congratulate her on the new exciting role.