Whether you need help understanding a client brief or are looking for international travel tips, Natalie Gruner is the one to call.
In her role as Senior Project Manager, Natalie is responsible for staying on top of client deliverables. She works closely with clients and internal creative teams to ensure that everything gets completed on time and the final products align with client standards. On any given day, Natalie spends a large chunk of her time managing tasks through Brafton’s project management system, running client calls and doing whatever she can to support her creative partners along the way.
In addition to being Brafton’s Germany-based project managing superstar, Natalie is also a well-versed traveler who’s always ready to embark on a new adventure.
A Long-time Member of the Brafton Family
While Natalie has officially been a part of the Brafton team for 2 years, she’s been working with CEO Tom Agnew for quite some time — 10 years, to be exact. Natalie started working for Brafton’s sister company Castleford Media when she was living in New Zealand.
When she first moved to the land of beautiful blue lakes, rolling hills and Hobbiton, Natalie started in a lead generation sales role. By the time Brafton acquired Castleford, she was the Head of Marketing and Operations. So when Brafton merged with Castleford, Natalie was happy to continue her career with the company and moved into a project manager role. But her growth didn’t stop there, as Natalie was named Senior Project Manager in 2021.
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New Month, New Adventures
While Natalie is back living in Germany these days, you won’t always find her there.
“It’s my goal to take 1 trip per month to a new place,” she explained. With that in mind, Natalie loves jetting off to Italy for the weekend, and she’s currently in the process of planning a trip to Grenada.
Originally from Germany, Natalie received her bachelor’s in economics and law in English and Spanish. While the 3-year program was based in Cologne, Germany, she spent 1 year studying in Seville, Spain.
“After that, I actually wanted to live in Spain forever because I loved it so much. But I wanted to get my master’s, and there weren’t any programs [that I wanted to pursue] in Spain. So I went on to obtain a master’s in international business management and marketing in London instead.”
Natalie, being the driven and efficient person she is, was able to complete her master’s in 1 year instead of 2. Before jumping into her career, she decided to use the extra time to travel across Australia and New Zealand. While there, she fell in love again — this time with New Zealand. Instead of coming back to London to pursue a marketing job as planned, Natalie decided to keep living with the Kiwis.
“There’s no better place to live than New Zealand. They have a north and south island, and I traveled to both of them. My advice to other travelers is if you go to New Zealand, you have to explore both islands — don’t just get stuck on one — because they’re very different.”
With this in mind, calling Natalie an avid traveler might be an understatement. However, one of the reasons she loves working for Brafton is because she gets to work with such a global team.
Work Hard, Get Noticed
Throughout her 10 years with Brafton and while working in different parts of the world, Natalie has always felt valued. She appreciates that throughout her tenure, the company has always found ways to acclimate her lifestyle.
“Brafton always looks to accommodate whatever life throws at you. When Brafton absorbed Castleford Media, they found a new role for me. And after I moved back to Germany from New Zealand, I was still working primarily with Australian clients, which was difficult. But the team went out of their way to accommodate this and find solutions, which was super cool.”
Over the past 10 years, Brafton has grown its client base, service offerings and number of employees. But despite this growth, Natalie says one thing hasn’t changed: Hard work never goes unnoticed.
“No matter how many people Brafton employs, there is always an open ear. Managers want to hear your challenges, encourage your professional development and make sure you find a role that suits your strengths and passions.”