Natalie Birdwell has had an exciting career across the industrial world in both the public and private sectors. After starting her career as a sales engineer, she went on to get an MBA from UNC, worked with the North Carolina Department of Environmental and Natural Resources, and is now the COO of a cutting-edge industrial IoT, analytics, and optimization company called ndustrial.
In this episode of Manufacturing Happy Hour, we look behind the curtain at what it’s like to work in the public sector and the challenges that come with it.
As someone who’s had experience in private and public sector companies, small startups, and bigger corporations, she has a wealth of knowledge and advice to share.
Natalie discusses her career, advice for others looking to make a career switch, and how ndustrial ticks all the boxes for what she wants in a role.
3 Quick Things from this Episode
- Government regulations can greatly affect day-to-day operations and a business’ growth trajectory.
- Not all government regulations are a bad thing. In fact, GHG reporting helps businesses keep on top of their carbon footprint goals.
- Jumping from public to private, large companies to small startups, requires a massive learning curve.
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- “Our mission was to really truly serve on behalf of the folks that live in North Carolina, and so keeping that as our main focus always brought us back to the center of truth.”
- “When I came to ndustrial.io, I came back to the root of how I’ve always been passionate about helping businesses grow.”
- “If you’ve always been in a large company, there’s a lot of resources at your fingertips. And so if you don’t have an appreciation for how those resources and things are developed, or at least an interest in that, it can be a little bit of a rude awakening.”
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What We Discuss with Natalie
- The early days of Natalie’s career and why she got an MBA
- Why success is a team sport
- Why she moved into the public sector and learned more about working with the government
- The challenges of working in the public sector
- How the role at ndustrial aligned with Natalie’s values
- Natalie’s advice for those jumping from big businesses to small startups
- What she learned from her experiences in multiple different business types
- ndustrial, a company that delivers an open industrial analytics and optimization platform that enables factories to digitally transform for a sustained competitive advantage
- Lynnwood Brewing Concern, brewing quality, award-winning craft beer in Raleigh, NC
- Modecai Beverage Co., Raleigh’s first combined brewery, taproom, and bottle shop
- The Raleigh Beer Garden, serving the world’s largest selection of draft beers available in a single restaurant
Connect with Natalie and ndustrial