ALBANY site superviser for the CBH Group Jessica Rintoul has found herself in a career of her dreams.
Much to her surprise, this local girl from Newdegate has followed a career trajectory she never foresaw.
Currently residing in Albany, her earliest and fondest memories were formed on the family broadacre cropping and sheep property known as 'Glenelg'.
Located north east of Newdegate she would often work alongside her parents, Trish and Murray, enjoying the freedom that country living delivers.
The 28-year-old shared this experience with her brother Dean and twin sister Caitlyn.
Although as fraternal twins it is not something you could easily spot, both in looks and interests.
"I was always the one out with my parents working on the farm while Caitlyn, who is now a journalist, was at home reading or watching the news," Ms Rintoul said.
"I think that is why we get along so well, she's my best mate and it's so good in that way, it probably helps to be different."
Thinking she would return to farming at some stage, after she finished her schooling she decided to pick up a job as a harvest sampler at Newdegate CBH.
But the unexpected happened - she fell in love with the job and the CBH process.
"I stayed there and worked my way up - I ended up managing the Newdegate site," she said.
Receiving between 170,000 to 230,000 tonnes a season, Newdegate was a big site for Ms Rintoul to learn the ropes.
"It was a challenge to go up the ranks and finally manage the site for myself - experiencing what it took to keep the site running and the importance of fostering relationships with all interested parties," she said.
"It can be common for people to not warm to you as quickly as they do a male leader."
"Occasionally from certain stakeholders, I've experienced remarks questioning my abilities.
"This was especially true at the beginning of my career and in the early days of new positions."
However Ms Rintoul never let this deter her, using her communication skills and work ethic to win over those who may have been hesitant.
Taking away only positive lessons from those early days, she learnt how to move into a new role with the right approach - sharing how important it is to not go in headstrong but make sure you operate in consultation with the other employees.
"I would sit them down and run them through new ideas, get them to try it, and if it didn't work we can always go back to their way," she said.
"It's that approach, that consultation with those operators, that's important."
Winning over her team, she loved being at the Newdegate site where she could connect with the broader community.
Being able to chat to local farmers, discovering what would help and what would make a difference for them, gave Ms Rintoul immense satisfaction.
"I could just touch base with them all the time, I could find out what was going on, what their needs were, cater to that and make it work," she said.
"My passion and work ethic had grown from my father, who never lets me forget that as a grower he 'pays my wages and wants value for money'."
Communication is a strong theme to everything she does, from connecting with her community, wanting to embrace and learn from her superiors and is core to her approach when working with her team.
"CBH has the most wide and diverse range of people that you're working with," she said.
"It is how you connect with each of them that's really vital.
"As a manager, I value getting to know staff and their interests; being compassionate and engaging with your colleagues is important to ensure people feel listened to and understood."
After seven years Ms Rintoul decided to make the side step into quality management.
While quality was not an initial interest, when the opportunity arose she went for it, knowing the learnings would be priceless for future opportunities.
This is something she was upfront about with the recruitment team from the start.
"I told them in the initial interview - I said look this is my knowledge of quality, this is what I can bring you, but I want you to know this is a stepping stone, my next step is to be a superviser," she said.
Once again using her ability to clearly communicate and operate with integrity while being upfront, in a way that most people are often too scared to do.
This role allowed her to work all over the Albany zone, from Lake Grace, Jerramungup, and Katanning before finally making her way to the role she holds now, of Albany Terminal supervisor.
Understanding the background of grain, the quality issues that may affect shipping and customer requirements, and the people management skills she gained in Newdegate all contributed to her suitability for this role.
"Quality got me to the terminal, the manager at the terminal could see the strong attributes I had, leadership being one of them," she said.
When she first came on board at the terminal Ms Rintoul loved the culture that she found there.
"It's been quite different, down at the terminal they are quite forward thinking, everyone has been really welcoming," she said.
Creating an open line of communication from the beginning was once again important for Ms Rintoul, as she established herself in the role.
By creating an open door policy for all staff, she also provided a place for women in the industry to have a safe person to confide in.
"I think they do feel comfortable coming and telling me if something is wrong, they are more than happy to come and ask for advice or how to progress in their own career," she said.
"I am all for that mentoring, and helping them achieve their goals as well."
With CBH partnering with National Association of Women in Operations (NAWO), Ms Rintoul has jumped on the opportunity for herself and for her staff - recently putting forward a plant operator at the Albany terminal,
Ms Rintoul has loved seeing the difference in her that the program has cultivated.
"Her confidence is building and she stepped into the supervisor role for the last month, I could see every day just how much she was growing and how much she was learning," she said.
"I'm encouraged that I can be a mentor for women entering the industry and I hope that women can hold more leadership positions in the future."
Helping to provide these opportunities allowed Ms Rintoul to see how much she enjoys mentorship, cultivating confidence and growth in the lives of young women.
"I do think CBH is really good, they are pushing for gender diversity and they are supportive for women coming up in the ranks and in manager positions," she said.
"I have seen more women working for CBH over time, but the greatest change has been to watch the mindset of operators, supervisers and other managers you work with shift.
"It's amazing to see the shift in women too, they are building confidence to push for these higher positions and thriving in them."
After being in the position for almost two years, she still has her eyes set firmly on the future.
"The plan was always to just do CBH for a few years then return to the farm, but I really like working for CBH - they look after their employees.
"But I would like to get back into the country.
"My family have always been community oriented and in Albany you do have a little bit of that but there is just not that community spirit like you get up in the country."
With the goal of becoming an area manager or terminal manager before the end of five years in her current job, Ms Rintoul has clear ambition.
"I think you need to be goal oriented, I am just not a person that can just sit in a role, I want to keep building, keep learning and keep improving my skills as much as possible."
A young powerhouse with more drive than many people her age, she is hoping to inspire other women and encourage them to continue to foster that community feeling, whether you are in leadership or a part of a town.
As for women who may be unsure of their next step, her encouragement is simple; "just give it a go."
"What's the worst that can happen, if you don't love the job, move on - if any opportunity arises, grab it and run," she said.
"Ask those questions, ask if you can have opportunities, to do some relief jobs, no one is going to approach you.
"Seek it, ask those questions, because nine times out of ten the answer is actually going to be yes, so it's always worth asking."
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