Breakfast with Billionaires: Meeting the Board of Directors

Breakfast with Billionaires: Meeting the Board of Directors! Oh, and the end of my Supply Rotation and my trip to Boston…

*Note*: Brain hurt? Too tired to read all the tiny words on the screen? Don’t worry, I’ve been there! (Try all the time…). Scroll down to the bottom of the post for fun pictures!!! As they say, after all, a picture is worth a thousand words, right?

*Note #2*: Oh, and also, I wrote this post a week ago and am just now posting it…so at the end of the post when I wish interviewees luck at final rounds – already done, offers made, hope you all did well! 🙂 And enjoy the read!

So I am now officially done with my supply training: 8.5 weeks filled with technical learning, leadership development and tackling difficult projects in order to better the can line production & conversion processes. I can now proudly say that I have mastered the basic technical functioning of the can lines, managed shift for the production all three can lines at the Fort Collins brewery (at once) all on my own, and presented my ideas to increase the efficiency of the conversion of one of the lines from 16oz to sleek 12oz Michelob Ultra cans and increase the accountability and effectiveness of the utility operators (basically, operators in charge of giving breaks to other operators and taking care of many variable miscellaneous activities on the line – hard to keep track of and standardize!) to the Senior Management Team at the Fort Collins Brewery. Not bad accomplishments and opportunities for a two-month period of being in a brewery, the first time ever in a production environment, and the first time dealing with mechanical engineering concepts in my life, if I must say so! It’s been a hard and stressful and time-consuming and tiring and incredible and inspiring and developmental opportunity and I wouldn’t change it for the world. And yesterday, back in corporate, I found out that next February I will sit and earn a Certificate in the Fundamentals of Brewing and Packaging of Beer (FBPB) from the Institute of Brewing & Distilling (IBD), a course covering the basic processes, engineering concepts and quality issues associated with brewing and packaging…so soon I’ll be an expert on all parts of the process! Talk about getting out of your comfort zone! Long gone are my comfortable days playing with different marketing concepts & calculating financials at Haas. But I can’t truly say I mind; although it’s difficult and has definitely stressed me as a person and as a professional, it’s been a crazy but incredible opportunity to get such opportunities that my major would never have given me had I not gotten into this program. So definitely cool! 

It was hard and easy leaving Fort Collins in order to come back to corporate in St. Louis. I’m definitely going to miss Old Town, which was a fun college downtown area I went out and got a few beers at every weekend with people in the brewery, and Old Chicago Tuesdays after afternoon shift for amazing beers (they had hundreds from all over the world!) and pizza and Italian nachos (fried nacho chips, pepperoni, melted cheese and jalepenos – terrible for you but definitely amazing tasting!). I’ll miss being able to drive 30 minutes and be deep in the mountains out of sight of all civilization and have some of the most amazing hiking opportunities at the tips of my fingertips. I’ll miss the fast-paced, intense, target-focused environment of the brewery which pushes you to grow and develop farther and faster than you could ever imagine. I’ll miss the expanse of fields and numerous lakes that simply cover Colorado. I’ll miss the hundreds of miles of biking trails all around Fort Collins. I’ll miss the awesome friends I made at the brewery, who I will definitely go back and visit when I’m back working in Denver. But it’s great being back in corporate headquarters, where all the central corporate strategy is developed! I missed having the high-level strategy talks that just happen continuously between us 14 trainees – always thinking about how to make the company, our image, our products better through new marketing, development and social media initiatives. I missed the top management exposure, the extensive classroom-style learning about the company, sales, new initiatives, you name it! And, most of all, I just missed all the GMTs, with whom I became such good friends throughout the first 5 weeks I spent in St. Louis. Oh, and of course I missed the amazing Chase Park Plaza hotel I stayed in during the first 5 weeks and am staying in again, and the beautiful and classy Central West End, with its high-end bars and sushi and bistros and cupcakery, in which the Chase Park Plaza is located. And although I’m excited about getting back to Colorado to work in Denver at the sales offices there (I’m ready to take advantage of the great snow and mountains there – already bought a 4-pack to Winter Park and plan on definitely visiting Vail as well at least once…oh and hitting up Aspen for the X-games for sure!) it’s nice to be back in St. Louis for two weeks.

And I’m not just back in St. Louis for training; this last Friday, I got to meet the Board of Directors, and, come on, in what other program than the GMT program does an employee of three months, fresh out of college, get to meet the Board of Directors of the company for which they work?! No where. Everyone on the Board, with whom we had breakfast, was super down to earth and friendly and just excited about all the GMT’s as fresh talent and future potential, and were genuinely interested to know what we had seen in our supply rotation, what we thought was good and what needed improvement, what we thought about the company as a whole and why we chose to work for this company and for the GMT program in particular, and what we thought were the biggest gaps in the company as a whole and areas of opportunity to improve engagement, sales and revenues, and profits; how we could increasingly cut costs; and what future investments we saw as wise. They were also full of enthusiasm for the company’s future and the corporate culture and full of ideas about where they wanted the company to go. It was a very inspiring breakfast session, not just because I got to meet billionaires and millionaires, including the individuals who started AmBev before it merged with Interbrew and Anheuser-Busch and became Anheuser-Busch InBev, but because they were so down to earth and interested in what I could bring to the company and how I progress within its structure, because they remembered my name at the end of the breakfast, wished me luck in the future and said they enjoyed talking to me, and because they were so full of passion for the company and its culture, vision and values that it revitalized me after spending two months far away from the passionate and well-aligned corporate workforce among a hardworking but slightly disengaged brewery workforce far away from the centralized vision and strong culture associated with A-BInBev as a company. I learned a lot at the brewery, and there are things I liked: I liked the “realness” of the people, the friendliness, the way everyone waved at you when they passed you in the brewery whether they knew you or not; I liked the lack of politics, and the rationale that if you just worked hard and produced results you would be recognized and promoted; I liked the candor of the people, the straight-forwardness, and everyone’s willingness to help and teach and share information without wanting anything in return. But I’m still glad to be back at corporate, talking marketing and strategy and finance and things I’m familiar with, having daily interaction with the VPs and other senior leaders, being bombarded with classroom training, and being back in the center of all the passion and belief associated with the company (merger and all) and what it stands for and can become. It’s nice to be motivated and enthused again about what the company stands for, as I was beginning to forget a little bit how much I identify with and belief in the values and vision that A-BInBev provides as a company, and I definitely needed to come back and be reminded.

Oh, and in case you were all wondering about how I liked Boston when I went there three weekends ago: I absolutely LOVED it. I have not had the opportunity to spend that much time on the East Coast, having only visited New York and Washington, D.C., each for three days, last spring break, and knew I liked these two cities, but maybe I could survive on the East Coast…I always wondered! But Boston is seriously an incredible city and I highly recommend that everyone make it out there sometime in their life, preferably in their early to mid 20s. It’s such a young and vibrant city, full of history but also hip and young people, lots of college students, interesting pubs and bars, a vast array of different architecture (from traditional brick buildings to sleek and tall skyscrapers), and, honestly, this might show how much of a dork I am, but not a bad science museum. Oh, and AMAZING food! Walked the Freedom Trail and stopped for the best breakfast pastries (Mike’s Pastry), Pizza (Regina’s Pizzeria), and clam chowder (Boston Chowda, strange name, but pretty good chowder!) along the way. Oh, and to honor the history of the East Coast and the start of the our country, bought copies of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution to put on my wall…well, put on my wall once I actually have a permanent apartment and aren’t moving around the country to a different location every month or so! But I definitely had a good time in Boston – and I got to visit my fellow GMTs working at the brewery in Merrimack, NH, which is always a good thing! In fact, now that I’m back in corporate I’ve realized how much I miss all 14 of us GMTs hanging out together all the time. Everyone is super cool and young and fun and we’re all working the same hours, which is different from life at the brewery, where a lot of the workers are older and everyone works shift work, which means that your friends might be on such different shifts from you and you never really get to see them. So definitely glad to be back in St. Louis, and I’ll make sure my next update comes after the next 2 weeks of corporate sales training are done to let you know how it goes! I’m very excited.

Oh – and P.S. Yes, Halloween was awesome! Dressed up as a gypsy, went out to an apartment party being thrown by one of the Sales Management Trainees (SMTs), and then headed out to a block party right next to the hotel at which all us GMTs are staying. The street was blocked up, booths were set up on the sides of the streets selling beer, food and snacks (unfortunately sponsored by MillerCoors…no worries, I drank my Bud Select before attending the street fair and did not purchase any of their products!) and there were so many people you could barely move! Had fun music though and lots of fun people so I definitely had a good time, though!

Well, thanks for reading everyone! The final round of interviews is this Tuesday-Thursday so if you’re there interviewing, good luck and if you get chosen to join the program I really hope you accept! It is a lot of work, but the company is willing to invest in so much training for you; you will learn much more than you ever thought possible in 10 months, and will meet high-up individuals you wouldn’t have the opportunity to meet in any other program for recent college graduates! It is a great opportunity, truly! I will be helping out with interviews, so hopefully I will get to meet some of you as well! Good luck, and look for an update from me after these next two weeks learning corporate sales and marketing! Cheers!

Aaaand now for what I know all you want to see: PICTURES!!! 🙂 P.S. A picture was taken of all the trainees with the Board of Directors…working on getting my hands on that photo and will attach to my next post!

–> My favorite beer ad and one of my favorite beers…up everywhere in Boston’s Prudential Center! Great advertising 🙂

–> A-BI’s presence at Boston’s Oktoberfest in Harvard Square – the largest Oktoberfest outside of Germany! With Stella, Hoegaarden, Leffe, Bass and Beck’s, I am proud to say that there were as many people drinking our beer as Sam Adams – and in Boston, trust me, that’s saying a LOT.

–> One of my favorite things about Boston was definitely all their awesome Irish pubs scattered across the city! Really cool places to chill and have a beer.

–> America’s oldest Tavern!

–> Ooh, just looking at the pictures makes me hungry…love, love, LOVE New England clam chowder! Especially whilst in New England 🙂

–> Beautiful Poudre Canyon, a 20-minute drive from my apartment in Fort Collins! This is why I will miss Colorado. Now we’ll see if I can survive living in snow in the winter…maybe I’ll come back 🙂

–> Halloween fun!

Well, thanks for reading, everybody! Let’s talk again real soon 🙂 Have a great day!

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The Great American Beer Festival, Muse & Making Beer!

*Note*: Brain hurt? Too tired to read all the tiny words on the screen? Don’t worry, I’ve been there! (Try all the time…). Scroll down to the bottom of the post for fun pictures!!! As they say, after all, a picture is worth a thousand words, right? 

*Note #2*: Wrote this post a week ago, but just not getting time to post it. Will post again in two weeks or so at the end of my supply rotation including my experiences last week onward (including this last weekend, which I spent exploring BOSTON, where I had never been, and attended the largest Oktoberfest outside of Germany! So yes, you’ll wanna stay posted! J Now onward to the actual post!

 Post #6: The Great American Beer Festival, Muse & Making Beer!

Well, actually, I just package it. And by package it, I mean manage the operators who package it. And by that I mean I’m shadowing the Group Manager who manages the operators who package it. And that only came after shadowing the operators themselves, reviewing countless complex animations about the can line process and how it operates, and trying to figure out why once again I could not get any of the computer programs I needed for my job to work (I swear, all computers have banded together and formed a pact against me!…no, seriously…). But, dude, you have to admit: still pretty darn cool to say that you make beer, so I had to say it. And I consider myself for the ten weeks I’m here at the Fort Collins Brewery in Colorado as part of the brewery, which means as an overall entity we all make beer, and hence I make beer. But really now I am just extrapolating ridiculous things from an overly complex thought process, so I’ll stop. Let’s just end with: YES, I make BEER for a living.

 And at this point, it would make rational sense in the flow of this post to explain to you exactly what I do on a daily basis and what my rotation through supply has encompassed. And I’m totally going to do that…later in this post. But right now I am going to briefly (or knowing me and my rambling, probably not so briefly) digress and talk about what I did two weekends ago: attended the largest beer festival in the nation, the Great American Beer Festival, in Denver! And let me tell you, it was EPIC. J

I spent the whole weekend in Denver, picking up my friend Ashray (also in the program, now in Merrimack) late at night and going out even later at The Church, an awesome club in Denver located in an real old Cathedral; it had a great electronic DJ (apparently electronic music is HUGE in Denver, much to my pleasure!) and a wide open dance floor so I was happy! On Saturday Ashray and I explored Denver, having an amazing brunch at this tiny diner called Hot Cakes (Never-ending coffee and Eggs Benedict? Yes, please!), hitting up the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, which was a genuine play place for a dorky person like me who has never truly quite grown up; I got to age myself digitally (normal progression, becoming obese, and having smoked), complete a bike course to map my maximum heart rate, send a ball rolling just by relaxing my mind, and more! Yes, I was one of the oldest ones there…but that’s okay. J After that, I walked around town, my favorite part of which was beautiful 16th Street Mall – full of delicious food places! And we all know how I am about food! Okay, so maybe you don’t so I’ll tell you – I love it. Then headed off to the Great American Beer Festival, this time also accompanied by my friends Tyler (from the program) and Brandon (from the Ft. Collins Brewery), and I must say – it was completely awesome! Over 2,200 different types of beer! Unfortunately the event was only 4 ½ hours long so probably only got to try a little over 100 beers, not anywhere near the vast array available – but I didn’t want to spend the whole night sick, did I? And alas, the night was amazing, bar hopping in LoDo (the central bar area of Denver) and ending up at Beta, the #1 club in Denver and a top 20 club in the world. Let’s just say a pretty epic weekend! Well, minus Sunday, which I spent being a not-so-happy camper. But everyone knows Friday night and Saturday are the best part of the weekend anyway and the only part that really counts, right? Haha…

But seriously, even outside the Great American Beer Festival, I am in LOVE with Colorado! I swear, this state was made for me, a hiking, biking, rock climbing and backpacking loving girl! I am seriously SO close to the most amazing natural scenery! My first weekend in Fort Collins I drove only 25 minutes from my house and got to climb a mountain called Horsetooth Mountain. Yes, it’s only 8,000 feet tall, but still, so close! And on the top of it is this huge mount of rock called Horsetooth Rock, which seriously looks like a tooth! Had to rock climb an almost straight vertical wall thirty feet high to get to the top of the rock, but the views were incredible from the top: to the east, I could see Fort Collins, and could even make out the (very tiny, all of a sudden) Anheuser-Busch brewery at which I work; to the south, you could see Denver faintly in the distance and rolling hills closer; to the west, the towering Rockies; to the North, a mix of plains and mountains. And just two weekends ago, I finally made it over to Rocky Mountain National Park, about an hour and a half away from Fort Collins, and got to view close-up bugling and fighting male elk, the smaller females watching the event, probably feeling awesome that the males were willing to fight so violently over them. Oh, if only guys would fight for me like that…le sigh. Well actually, it would just make me disgusted and angry and I would probably then tell both of them that they were idiots, to put it lightly…but SO not the point! But anyways, RMNP was AWESOME, got to drive along Trail Ridge Road for dozens of miles (it’s one of the highest roads in the US at 12,000 feet – basically I drove over a mountain!), and go hiking to the most beautiful natural sights, including Bear Lake, Mills Lake, Dream Lake, Emerald Lake and Alberta Falls. And yes, I’ve never gone out hiking and been able to stop at just one short hike; I spent over 12 hours at the park, getting there at 6am and leaving shortly before sunset! I wanted to close out my Colorado hiking experience by being able to say that I hiked a 14er though (a 14,000+ ft. mountain), of which there are 54 in Colorado, so this last Sunday, I decided that I was going to hike Mt. Evans. I’ve never dealt with crazy elevation before, so it was a good intermediate hike (10 miles roundtrip, 2,000 ft. elevation gain) to test out my reaction to high altitude. I’ve hiked all my life and am definitely in shape so I thought it would be no problem! But apparently the fact that I’ve lived at sea level in California my whole life is still haunting me: got super bad altitude sickness at 12,500 ft. and had to call it quits. But still, I have determined: I will be back and will eventually hike a 14er! Just need more time to acclimate to the altitude!

Despite this small failure, the mountain was beautiful and I still got to see some amazing views, and my weekend was still awesome because I am also a music lover and, being only an hour from Denver, decided to finally take advantage of the amazing artists who frequent the Pepsi Center! I was initially bummed at first because everyone told me I had to go to a concert at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, an amphitheatre naturally formed from immense pieces of red rock and an absolutely incredible and awe-inspiring sight, and I looked up all the artists visiting and none appealed to me! But then I looked into the Pepsi Center and saw that Muse was playing this last Saturday and couldn’t help but buy tickets – plus, only $50 tickets! I’ll stop by Red Rocks eventually to take a quick look, but will take Muse over going to a concert there by FAR. (Btw YES the Muse concert was one of the most amazing concerts I’ve ever been to, right after the Black Eyed Peas concert in St. Louis!). And the Muse concert only came after a day tailgating the CU football game in Boulder with friends, and of course, booked a cheap hostel for Saturday night so I could stay and go out bar-hopping and clubbing in Denver! Now, I love going out in Fort Collins, and have found the chill Irish pubs and lively dancing bars in Old Town (the equivalent of downtown) that I like, but there’s nothing like Denver in Colorado! I miss clubbing in San Francisco, as I did all throughout college, and Denver is the best Colorado has to offer – and trust me, it is truly not bad at all! But yes, this last weekend truly was an epic weekend overall – just what I needed before this week: a rotational week through quality assurance, brewing, utilities, the bottle lines, the SVK (keg) line), and warehouse, 12 hour days all week if not more. But I’m excited to get out of managing the can lines – I’ve been there for five weeks and while I’m always learning lots of new things (and by that, it means every week as I learn more about the can lines and the problems that can occur associated with them, I learn how much I DON’T know), I’m ready and excited to learn about the rest of the brewery so that I can wholly understand the whole beer-making process. Today utilities and quality assurance made me just realize once again how very little science (especially chemistry, anything to do with the interaction of elements, atoms, ions, yes, I don’t actually know what I’m talking about…) I actually know and understand, but definitely still interesting to learn about more of the brewery!

And this brings me to what I probably should have covered at the beginning of this email: what I am actually doing for my job here in Fort Collins. What I am basically doing is learning the can lines. I started out looking at animations and understanding the mechanics of how the different parts of the can lines work: and trust me, the lines are far more complex than you can ever imagine! Then I moved on to learning the jobs of the people I am eventually to manage – the operators on the line – by shadowing them, and now am finally shadowing Group Managers on shift. Group Managers are basically in charge of managing the can lines and all individuals who work on them. This includes the operators, who operate the machinery, the maintenance techs, who fix broken machinery and deal with problems of all sorts, line supply, and more! In addition to this, Group Managers in operations/packaging, where I am being trained, have to work in conjunction with the warehouse and brewing GMs to ensure that all the runs of beer go forward without a hitch! It’s a lot of scheduling, placement of the right people and the right product (beer, lid, package) in the right place (depal, filler, pasteurizer, packer, conveyor, palletizer) at the right time of the day. And you must do this efficiently so that you don’t get behind schedule, getting the dozens of mechanical problems that arise every day dealt with quickly so that you aren’t left behind, throwing off the achievement of the targets and goals of the brewery. So a lot to manage and very little time, but I’m definitely learning a lot about crisis management, the specific mechanical problems that can occur with the can lines and how to troubleshoot them, and how to deal with different – and not just different, but UNION – personalities and manage them well. So, even though I doubt I’ll end up working in a brewery because I’m a business major who generally looks at people with confusion when they try to explain how to use a wrench or what a sprocket is, I’m learning how to manage people and enough about the brewery that I should be able to make better decisions in finance, marketing, sales, procurement, people or whatever department I may end up in. For example, now I know that there better be a good reason to change can diameter sizes rather than just a marketing whim, as this is very expensive and complicated to achieve on the supply side! This is what my final project is about – trying to make the line conversion to “slim cans,” the Michelob cans which are skinnier than 12oz/16oz cans and slightly less tall, faster and more efficient, as it is extremely long, complicated and expensive for the brewery as of right now.

So now, you know all the awesome parts of my life and how I try to do exciting things all the time (I like to keep myself entertained), but I feel I also need to leave you all reading this blog with this: I do not drink beer all day. My job is not easy; it’s a lot of work. I work 12 hour days on average, and have gotten close enough to upper management to learn that the higher up you get in the company, the more is expected of you – more responsibilities, more tasks, more pressure, and more hours. And accordingly, more satisfaction with your work and more money, of course, but still, the higher up in the company you get, the more you have live and breathe the company. You’ll have to work weekends, fairly often, and will get calls when off shift at 2am in the morning and have to come in and fix problems. You’ll have to work from home on sick days and keep on top of your email and phone when on vacation because you can’t afford to take even one day off work. If you want to do well at Anheuser-Busch InBev, like many other companies, you have to put the time and effort in. So, especially for those of you recruiting, if you’re looking for a company that will work you hard but will also reward you and open up opportunities for you, invest heavily in your training development, and make sure that you can have a great career, A-B InBev could very well be the place for you. But beware: you’ll have to work about it; they give away nothing for free. The more you can handle, the more they’ll push you and the more responsibility you’ll be allotted. Finish a project early? You’ll just get another one. And I see this as flattery of sorts, as if they know that you can handle more and so they need to give you more to be able to develop to the best that you can be. But every time I talk to my friends, they think that it must be just so easy and awesome to work for a beer company; after all, I must just be paid to talk about beer, love beer, and drink beer, right? No, what I do is I make beer, and it is a strenuous, very real, fast-paced job with high expectations, a heavy workload, and long hours. Do I still find it incredibly amazing that I can say I work for a beer company? Am I still glad I agreed to this program? Yes and yes, because with responsibility and stress and hard work come real results and pride in one’s work, something I wouldn’t be able to get making a partner copies as a legal intern at a law firm or just doing research 12-14 hours a day as a first year consultant. And I make sure to have fun outside work, as work-life balance is very important to me, as I’m sure you’ve gathered from my other posts. I make time for fun and family and friends; after all, live, laugh, love, as corny as it is, is my life motto! I in no way regret joining this company as a Global Management Trainee; in fact, I’m very grateful for the opportunity, as I’m learning so much more than I ever expected and so many opportunities are opening themselves up to me; I feel like I have true potential opportunity at this company. But, in order to reach this potential, this opportunity, I will have to put in the work. So those of you willing to put in the work and ready for the opportunity of a lifetime? Please apply to work at Anheuser-Busch InBev as a Global Management Trainee. It is truly an amazing opportunity.

Pictures for y’all to enjoy!!!!:

–> Going out in Fort Collins! 🙂

–> Me and my roomie!

–> Climbing Mt. Evans!

–> One of the many beautiful lakes of Colorado!

–> The sunrise…one of the few benefits of having to be at work by 6am 🙂

–> Climbing Horsetooth Rock on the top of Horsetooth Mountain

–> MUSE CONCERT IN DENVER!!! Best everrrrr! 🙂

–> The Fort Collins brewery at which I work!

–> The Great American Beer Festival gang! SO MUCH FUN! More than 2,200 beers to try!

–> Playing around Rocky Mountain National Park!

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Black Eyed Peas, VPs, and YES I GET PAID TO DRINK BEER. Score!

*Note*: Brain hurt? Too tired to read all the tiny words on the screen? Don’t worry, I’ve been there! (Try all the time…). Scroll down to the bottom of the post for fun pictures!!! As they say, after all, a picture is worth a thousand words, right?

So sometimes I wonder why I even bother planning things. I never do what I initially plan to do anyways…and not that I’m complaining, what I end up doing is normally 5,000 times better! I didn’t go to Six Flags St. Louis (I mean, that would have been fun, but theme parks? Been there, done that!), didn’t relax by the pool, didn’t work on my innovations project. In fact, I didn’t even turn on my work computer all weekend…which of course means that I’ll have wayyyyy more work to do later (oh last-minute procrastinatingness why have thou not left me upon graduation?!), but dude I had the BEST WEEKEND EVERRRRR! Caught up on a lot of episodes of So You Think You Can Dance (my favorite TV show…yes, I am a dance obsessee!), ate a bunch of delicious sushi at the local sushi bar The Drunken Fish, caught up on a bunch of missed sleep, and, oh yeah, you know, everyone does this every weekend, but…

FLOOR TICKETS AT THE BLACK EYED PEAS CONCERT SATURDAY NIGHT!!!!!! (Well, now it’s two Saturdays ago…I’m now writing about the August 14-15th weekend…a bit behind on my posting, I know, but things have just been crazy busy at work and with my life lately). But SERIOUSLY went with a bunch of fellow GMTs and one of the Sales Management Trainees (SMTs – a sales management training program) I’m friends with from Berkeley, scalped some $90 floor seat tickets for $60 a pop literally minutes before the concert started, grabbed some Bud Lights, and headed out for a seething dance party on the floor, ten feet from the stage, singing along to Fergie (I have to sing along to her parts…she’s the only girl! Haha…) and just seriously having the best time I’ve had yet in St. Louis. There are some VERY VERY blurry pictures of this night at the bottom of this post; my camera’s kind of crap in the dark, especially when trying to take in giant multi-colored strobe lights, so they’re not very good.

Then who do I run into on the way off the floor but some of the VPs of A-BInBev! We then all went out together to Lure, the top club downtown, and somehow my fellow GMTs convince me it would be worth it to pay $40 for cover to get to go into the VIP area with them…STILL wincing at that blow to my pocketbook, but honestly, it was an incredible time! AND will.i.am came to Lure later in the night to personally DJ for the place (really blurry picture of that towards the end of this blog as well!), which was EPIC. Seriously, best night EVER! Definitely didn’t get back till 5am or so, but definitely worth the exhaustion because of the late night!

Then the next week (this is last week’s workweek that I’m talking about) was the MOST EPIC WORKWEEK EVERRRRR! I mean, honestly, WHAT company PAYS you to DRINK BEER FOR TWO CONSECUTIVE DAYS?!?!?! Best time EVER! On Monday and Tuesday, I took a “Product Knowledge and Brewing Process Class,” and I mean, yeah, I had to take a test at the end of it to ensure that I had learned something, but BEST CLASS EVER!!! On Monday, learned about the brewing process then how to differentiate between different ales and lagers made internationally by other breweries (I guess A-BInBev feels that if we’re going to work for them and make and sell beer we should *probably* know at least something about the different varieties of the product we produce)…seriously, though, I tried about 15-20 different types of beer. SO fun, and actually really beneficial, since before I came to work for the company, I literally had NO clue about ANYTHING about beer except: a) it tasted good, and b) it was cheaper than buying a mixed drink, so I drank it a lot. Now I know so much more! Then on Tuesday, I got to try and learn about all the different beers that A-BInBev makes (we didn’t try all of them, but we tried all the big ones, both domestic and imported, again 15-20 different beers!). Let’s just say that a bunch of us stayed after for an hour or so to work on stuff like our expensive reimbursement reports and employee profiles…couldn’t quite drive safely straight after… J

Then on Wednesday we had an all-day tour of the St. Louis brewery, finally getting to see every aspect of the brewing, packaging, and inventory (warehouse) processes that we have been learning about for the past three weeks…sooooo cool! Although, honestly, the packaging lines are like a million decibels and just KILL your ears, even with earplugs in! I’ve found out I’m working in packaging when I get to Fort Collins, CO for the next part of the program (the supply management portion), working on a bottle line managing workers there and working on a process improvement independent project. ‘Tis going to be interesting…at least I’m not working in brewing, though; temperatures in different rooms fluctuate from 30 to over 100 degrees Fahrenheit – you really have to be intense to survive long in there! But it’ll definitely be different and VERY fun! But anywho after the brewery tour on Wednesday, we participated in a beer tasting panel – going through the beers brewed for the day in the brewery and ensuring that each fit the correct taste profile for their brand and hence were okay to ship out to be sold to consumers. Learned a lot about how certain beers of ours are supposed to taste, and also how they taste compared to competitor brands; we also conducted some blind taste tests and I loved the A-BInBev brand better every time! Which is crazy, since you definitely can’t have any bias during a blind taste test. We tried Budweiser, Bud Light, Beck’s, Stella Artois, Landshark v. Corona, Shocktop v. Blue  Moon, and Tilt Red. Definitely a fun time!

Thursday was somehow ALSO awesome! An outside consultant came in from Paradigm Learning to have us play the Zodiak Business Game, a game that taught us different aspects of finance and strategy. We competed in four teams of three or four individuals against one another to ensure that a company that we had just acquired made the most profit, had the highest cash flow, and utilized assets most effectively and efficiently through implementing successful new strategies and initiatives in different situations. Although I was a business major at UC Berkeley and hence already knew quite a bit about finance and strategy, I learned a lot through this game and some concepts I had never really truly understanded the importance of (ummm, like CASH FLOW) really hit home (I’ve always thought a bunch about revenue, costs and profits – Π = R – C ring a bell, anyone? I LIVED off this formula in college… – I didn’t really realize how important actually having a positive cash flow was until, well, my team went broke. That didn’t end well…). But basically, the game was fun and I learned a lot which I think will really help me down the line in my career.

On Friday, all the GMTs visited the MCC (Metal Container Corp.) in Arnold, MO. It’s a can manufacturing plant owned by A-BInBev. So cool! Lots of shiny, bright colored machines producing seriously thousands of cans per minute; we got to look through all the different aspects of the process (I especially loved the automated fork trucks! SO COOL! Technology is truly crazy sometimes). Everything is completely automated there; even though approximately 75 million cans are produced and sold every week, there were probably no more than 5 workers in the entire plant. Crazy stuff…unfortunately we couldn’t take pictures in the plant because can producing technology is super advanced and cutting-edge and they were afraid we’d sell the pictures and give away their trade secrets or something…haha!

But all in all it was a good week. J The hardest thing was trying to balance time. I was literally booked with different classes and activities from 8am-5pm everyday and oftentimes even longer, yet had to manage to skip out to go to various meetings I had set up to get information for my innovations project I’m still working on (which I will be presenting to the President of the North American Zone among others this coming Thursday…aka tomorrow) and find time after work to work on the project and yet still have enough of a life that it didn’t drive me crazy. But I managed it, got the information I needed, and now it is Wednesday, my project is not due until tomorrow, and my group is finished early! And we’re happy with the result…we think. Guess we’ll see tomorrow. J

Anywho, back to the overview of my fun weekend last weekend! Last Friday night, went out to the Library Annex, the best club I’ve been to in St. Louis (well, that didn’t charge me any cover…Lure is in another class completely in and of itself!) with a bunch of the GMTs, and dorked it up on Saturday by hitting up the library at Washington University in St. Louis just because I missed college and the smell of books, then went to the Art Museum and Science Center in Forest Park. A super good time! Then on Sunday, finally took my White Belt Test (I am officially certified in basic statistical analysis! Yay! Needed a 70% and got an 88%.), had an AMAZING ($47, yikes!) brunch at the Chase Park Plaza (I had to try it once, right?), and went back to the Science Center…decided I had to buy a super awesome yoyo because it had been FAR too long since I was allowed to be a little kid, and then watched an IMAX movie about space and the Hubble telescope, which has reconfirmed that I will go to space someday! No, seriously, I’ve researched it. You can go to the edge of space for $12,500, all the way to space to stay in a space hotel for $4.4M, orbit the Earth for $20M, and go to the moon for $100M. But Branson from Virgin is trying to make it possible to go to space for $500k! So basically I am going, to which level of extreme I go to really depends on my future financial situation haha…

This week I’ve just been working on my innovation project; thank goodness A-BInBev finally thought it wise to give us some free time during the day in order to work on it! Had some boring but mandatory safety training, conference calling today with Fort Collins in order to make sure everything is set up for when I start there at the brewery working in supply chain management next Monday, and of course presenting my innovations project tomorrow! Oh, and of course plan on going out HUGE Thursday night (everyone leaves for their first field locations on Friday, and we’re all being split up at four different ones, sad! So have to make it last…). Oh, and my birthday is on Sunday so I’m making Thursday my unofficial birthday celebration. Fo sho. Lol. Although Fort Collins promises to be fun: Amanda and I have already made plans for hot yoga, salsa and other dance lessons, hiking and backpacking, snowboarding, and trips to LA, Vegas, Boston, Arches and Zion National Parks, and Montreal. Oh, and of COURSE have to hit up the FABULOUS bar scene! 🙂 Can’t wait!!!!

Well, talk to you all from Fort Collins next week! Can’t wait to tell you about all my adventures in the brewery. Let’s make some serious beer, people!!!

P.S. I know you’re all reading this. My blog tells me so! So leave me a comment, make me feel loved. Read, appreciate, and COMMENT. One of those necessary three-step processes.  

Aaaaaand since this is what you’ve all been waiting for…PICTURES!!!

–> Beer and Food Pairing!

–> Beer Tasting: International Brands!

–> Learning what beer is made of!

–> Black Eyed Peas Concert!

–> Stella Draft Pouring!

–> A pretty cool place to work, yes? 🙂

–> Going out! Funniest thing, these ladies wanted to marry Ashray off to their daughter, randomly met them in the elevator at the Chase…hahaha! PRICELESS.

–> Clubbing! LOVE THIS GIRL!

–> Being a dork at the Science Center 🙂

–> Don’t you just miss being a kid?

–> Free beer, baby! LOVE working for a beer company! ❤

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Post #4: The Ultimate WFC: The Sickness v. Work-Life Balance

*Note*: Brain hurt? Too tired to read all the tiny words on the screen? Don’t worry, I’ve been there! (Try all the time…). Scroll down to the bottom of the post for fun pictures!!! As they say, after all, a picture is worth a thousand words, right?

Before I actually start this post, I’ve had two key realizations: One, I actually like Budweiser. As a Californian, I was always biased against it, although I’ve always like other A-B InBev products…but now I actually prefer it and ASK for it at bars. Because it’s, like, actually GOOD. Crazy stuff. Realization number two: Um, I really do get two free 24 can packs of beer every two weeks! It wasn’t a joke! BEST BENEFIT EVERRRR! Anywho, now onto the actual week…

After last week, this third week has seemed very relaxed. I got sick on Sunday, so I took a sick day on Monday (it was a day during which we were going over presentation skills, and, as I had no voice with which to speak, I thought it would be a good day to take off…plus my supervisor is awesome and totally understanding and saw that me being awake and yet dead at work all day equaled no good for anyone and possible future sickness for other GMTs). On Tuesday and Wednesday, we became White Belt certified, which is the first level of certification provided by Six Sigma, a proven disciplined approach for improving measurable results for any organization through statistics and excel work. Then we learned all about the making of beer, from the agriculture of the barley to the selling at the bar.

On Thursday, we planned our development for our career at A-B InBev, learning what color energy our work styles most represented (I display mostly yellow energy, meaning that I am outgoing, social, energetic and motivational, apparently…and I need to work on being more data-driven. Knew that already, haha! But will also definitely work on it.). It was very interactive and uber fun, and we learned how to manage people who work through different color energies, which I think will be very helpful. It was SCARY how accurate my reading was; I took a very broad and vague survey and this company called Insights analyzed this data statistically (or something metrics-based) and came out with a really accurate reading of me as a person, my work style, and the positive and negative aspects of my dominant color. Crazy stuff! I spent today catching up on all the administrative stuff I still had to do…and finally writing this blog! This weekend, starting tonight, I plan on going out and having fun at the bars with my abbity fab fab 14 new BFFs (aka ALL the US GMTs!), hitting up Six Flags St. Louis, catching up on a bit more work, especially putting some more work into my innovations project (the point is to come up with a cool new innovative idea for the company to either drive top-line growth or save costs…when the project’s finished you’ll all find out more! Haha, now you all have to keep on reading!), and relaxing at the pool. You know, despite the humidity and me missing the beach (yes, I’m a SoCal born girl, went to college in NorCal at UC Berkeley…I’m weather and beach spoiled, thank you very much!)…maybe St. Louis isn’t that bad. J My life = a blast. Basically.

P.S. I miss your comments already! Come again. I promise, I won’t bite…unless you deserve it, perhaps.  🙂

Yes, you know you want the pics!:

–> Fun nights out with friends!

–> Meeting with senior leadership – the amount of exposure to top management is incredible here!

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Post #3: Around the world and back again…all without leaving St. Louis!

*Note*: Brain hurt? Too tired to read all the tiny words on the screen? Don’t worry, I’ve been there! (Try all the time…). Scroll down to the bottom of the post for fun pictures!!! As they say, after all, a picture is worth a thousand words, right?

My second week of work was INSANE. There are only fourteen individuals who make up the GMTP for the US. One of the most amazing things about this program for me is how absolutely amazing every person in the program is! I get along with every single person, cliques aren’t really a problem, and you could seriously just have me randomly pick a name out of a hat and I’d be perfectly content spending the entire afternoon with that person. Plus, everyone is super intelligent and can truly contribute to whatever team project we work on week after week. It’s so awesome to know that everyone can and will pull their weight in whatever project is assigned, and to be able to debate with and build off of all the creative ideas that everyone comes up with.

However, the second week, it wasn’t just the US GMTs; all 120 GMTs from all six A-B InBev zones came to St. Louis, MO for a busy week of learning, networking and projects. We heard from the CEO and most Chiefs of the company, and also a large variety of North American VPs of the company. We got to ask questions and get involved in intense debate about marketing and sales ideas, corporate strategy platforms, quality assurance programs, socially responsible programs, and more! My favorite part of the week was definitely just getting to meet, network, and mingle with individuals from all six zones: North America, Latin America North, Latin America South, Western Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, and Asia and Pacific. This week, I got to learn so much about beer: we got to take courses on zythology (the love and passion for the product and making of beer), visit the brewery and see how the brewing and production processes of beer run, hang out with the Clydesdales, have a beer and food pairing dinner, and have a beer sales competition between different groups while working concessions at a Cardinals baseball game at Busch stadium (in 105 degree Fahrenheit heat! I’ve never been so slippery sweaty in my life, and I spent most of the time running around trying to explain to everyone who didn’t speak English so well what the different foods and drinks were in English or helping people without customer service experience with working the machines…I definitely had fun, though, and a member of top management who was there for the game told me I had the best smile of all the trainees…maybe that’s why there was the constant salty taste of sweat in my mouth? Constantly smiling, sweat dripping into my open jaw? Well, let me tell you, 100% humidity is definitely a new and unfriendly foe!).

However, this week was not all fun and games; by the end of the week, twelve groups of ten GMTs (each group was mixed, with individuals from all zones represented in each of the groups) had to present a marketing and promotion outline for the Budweiser United 2011 initiative, building off of the Budweiser United 2010 promotion run in tandem with the World Cup. Our goal was to increase both awareness and sales of Budweiser globally and help turn Budweiser into a top global brand for A-B InBev. Here is a quick pitch for my group’s idea in a nutshell:

In order to globalize any brand, you must find something that can unify the people in every region. What is something that everyone in the world wants, that they’ve only ever dreamed of but never really thought was possible? What if Budweiser made this dream possible?  What if Budweiser could actually send someone to the moon? Along with sending an individual person to the moon, there is the capability of sending a million dreams to the moon. People could enter these dreams through various platforms, including social media, the company website, and Budweiser-sponsored events. Along with this, we can create sales of Budweiser leading up to the drawing by throwing various parties through which consumers have incentives to purchase Budweiser – i.e. the Golden Ticket.

Like any large-scale idea, this would follow a pyramid fashion. Billions of people will have the opportunity to attend the first parties, which will held regionally. A fraction of these people will be selected to attend country-wide parties, and a smaller fraction will be selected to attend a final global party, at which the Golden Ticket winner will be announced. Representatives from every participating region will be present at the final party. Those who did not progress will still tune in to see who the winner is (hoping the person will be someone from their region) and see their dreams go to space, and this ground-breaking event will generate intense hype and brand recognition. One small step for man, one giant step for Budweiser.

Yes, I know that last line is a bit corny, but I really had fun taking a crazy, untraditional idea like rocketing someone to the moon as a huge viral marketing campaign and making it a realistic option. For our final presentation at the end of the week, my group found a vendor to provide the service, refined the idea, came up with a 360 degree marketing and execution plan, laid out a master plan of activation (or timeline) for the initiative, defined metrics- and performance-based KPIs (targets) benchmarked against past successful iniatives’ results, and calculated revenues, costs and profitability for the first year, in addition to how much time would be needed to guarantee a return on investment. It was a difficult challenge, working with people of all ethnicities and from all areas of the world, with different cultural backgrounds and with different market backgrounds; as I quickly found, the Chinese and American markets were so different, almost anything enacted in one country would not be successful in the other, and it took an enormous amount of lengthy negotiation to come to a middle ground that would work in both countries. And some individuals’ English was a little…to put it nicely…not as “evolved” as others’. But I learned a lot about teamwork and management in a group filled with differences, and overall consider it a very worthwhile experience – even though all the difficulties I ran into forced me to only sleep about 2-3 hours per night, at a total of a 100 hour workweek. Talk about EXHAUSTING. But definitely a once in a lifetime experience, and although at the end of the week, I would have traded my best friend in the world for a normal night of sleep, looking back on it now, it was a truly valuable and unforgettable week. And that Friday, I definitely went out hardcore with my fellow US trainees, plus the Canadians and Western Europeans (everyone else flew home on Friday afternoon), bar-hopping all over St. Louis and letting my worries drain away. Add that to a long Saturday at the pool, a few gym workouts (where we’re staying at the Chase Park Plaza, the NICEST HOTEL EVER…seriously, there is an awesome pool (which changes color at night!), an 18,000 sq. ft. gym (it has everything you could ever need…plus free classes!), and the most delicious restaurants you could ever desire! PLUS, a movie theatre inside the hotel (what??? YES, you heard me!)…and only $6.50 a movie! SCORE!). Oh, and I walked around Forest Park, a huge 5 sq. mile park near the hotel, and visited the St. Louis Zoo. All in all a good weekend…until I got sick on Sunday, that is.

P.S. See that little comment link/box? You think it just says comments, but really what it says is “Hey you! Yeah, you! Jillian specifically wants your input on her posts NOWWW!” So be awesome and don’t make the little comment section sad and lonely. It needs a friend.

For those of us who are primarily visual folk:

–> All 120 trainees from all 6 zones!

–> The American Concessions Group at the Cardinals game!

–> Picture on the field!

–> Going out! Sushi + Clubbing = Awesome Night!

–> Making great friends – the Western Europeans (& Canadian)!

–> On a brewery tour with some of the Western Europeans!

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Post #2: First Impressions (and Seconds and Perhaps Thirds)

*Note*: Brain hurt? Too tired to read all the tiny words on the screen? Don’t worry, I’ve been there! (Try all the time…). Scroll down to the bottom of the post for fun pictures!!! As they say, after all, a picture is worth a thousand words, right?

During the first week, of course I had to deal with a billion various administrative things and deal with every IT problem ever invented, but then again, who’s worked for a Fortune 500 company and not run into these types of things? It was to be expected. Vaguely annoying, yes, but expected. Plus, there is the problem that I’m so tech unsavvy it’s still a challenge to figure out how to turn on the computer every day. Well, not quite that bad. But you know, I won’t win any contests or anything. Also something that continues to amaze me: it’s truly fascinating how difficult it is for people to spell my name. Jillian Ardrey. I swear, is it really that difficult of a name to spell. Jilian, Jullian, Julian, Jilianne, Gillian (well, at least that last one IS a name…), Audrey, Ardey, Ardy, Ardry. My name is spelled differently on my rental car paperwork, hotel key, A-B’s various online internal sites, the emails that people send to me, you name it! Maybe I should pick a new name, something easy like Ashley Adams. I bet everyone could spell Ashley Adams. But with everyone changing up the spelling of basic names nowadays, people would probably spell it Ashlee Addams. So never mind. But it’s really not that bad. To be fair, one of my closest friends is Greek and named Panayiotis Baxevanidis. Poor guy…at least people can pronounce my name…well, except Chinese people with a really heavy Chinese accent while speaking English, as I found out during my second week of this program! But I digress.

But seriously everything else (other than me getting briefly sick after the end of the second week due to working a crazy 100 hour workweek…but don’t worry, I’ve been promised by the CEO himself that these types of weeks are far and few between!), literally everything else has been an amazing whirlwind of learning and fun! Over the first week of the program, I learned all about the policies of the company, what to expect from the company, all about ZBB (Zero Based Budgeting, aka how to ensure that costs for the company are as low as possible by not engaging in frilly unnecessary expenses, something I totally support), gave feedback on the 2009 recruitment process (something I truly love about this company is how dedicated they are to feedback and continually improving processes, humbling accepting the fact that nothing is ever perfect), learned about target setting and how individual and team KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are set, and learned about the promotion process (another thing I love about the company is how fair and metrics-based promotional opportunities are; there is much less bureaucracy and politics to promotions here than there is at, say, a banking institution). The coolest thing this week, though, was definitely flying to Chicago for the day on Wednesday (my first time there EVER!) in order to work with a top consulting firm to come up with technology innovations ideas that A-B could use to better our business. This led to the assignment of a project: I am going to work alongside two other trainees in order to increase A-B’s personalization and customization of products to our customers. I’ll let you know how I actually know how we’re going to do this! (P.S. Apparently we saw some famous football dude on the plane…for more information, see JD’s blog; this is just NOT my area of specialty…I’m sure it was just awesome, though!).

 In addition to the subject matter to which I was exposed this first week, I learned something quite scarier: there is huge pressure on us in this program, such high expectations; we are expected to progress along our career track an average 5-7 years faster than those entering through any other program or position. A-B is investing so much in us, paying us for us to learn for 10 months; honestly, right now, we take up so many resources and provide 0% return, so the return they expect from us in the future is astronomical. Yes, this is definitely scary…but also crazy exciting! There is so much opportunity at this company, so many chances to truly influence both bottom line processes and top line growth, to truly affect the company, to get recognized for your work and get promoted quickly, regardless of age. One of the top VPs is only thirty or so years old…yes, he’s an absolute genius (and, might I say, fun to go bar-hopping with as well) and he definitely worked hard to get where he is in the company today, but he *could* get there. It was possible. And this possibility of greatness is truly exciting to me. In this GMTP program, I am given the resources to truly rise within this company if I put in the work necessary and maintain top results. In the first week, I was able to attend a happy hour at A-B, which was attended by a large percentage of senior management. I could just relax and chat with them, ask questions and offer advice about the company – just having this exposure was amazing!

Other than work this week, just settling into St. Louis, exploring the amazing restaurants around our hotel, a beautiful “little” (ha!) place called the Chase Park Plaza (look it up and you’ll understand). Also went out hardcore on Friday night for one of the trainees’ birthdays. Good times all around.

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Thanks for reading, my faithful readers! Or maybe it’s more accurate just to say faithful reader, as in the singular? Guess we’ll see, huh? I proof read all my posts so that counts as one reader, right? Well, look forward to talking to you…whoever you are who is currently read this. We’ll be friends. Sounds good.

Pictures:

–> Innovations Workshop in Chicago

–> Going out! 🙂

–> Exposure to Sr. Leadership – chatting with the President of the North American Zone!

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Post #1: The Random Ramblings of a New Zythologist

*Note*: Brain hurt? Too tired to read all the tiny words on the screen? Don’t worry, I’ve been there! (Try all the time…). Scroll down to the bottom of the post for fun pictures!!! As they say, after all, a picture is worth a thousand words, right?

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So I admit it: I’ve been putting off posting my first blog post. It’s been hanging over me like a great black cloud, a shadow of responsibility that just won’t leave me alone. I’ve been at the office all day today, doing everything BUT my blog post: I’ve filed all my expense reports, worked on my innovations project and set up meetings with three industry experts with whom to talk over my ideas, booked my flight to Denver (I leave in two weeks to start my supply rotation!)…HECK, I even finally signed up for my benefits plan and filled out my internal resume, called an OPR profile.

Why? you might ask. What is there to be afraid of in writing a blog post? To answer that shortly: nothing. Blog posts are not scary in and of themselves. You just sit down at your computer and write – about yourself, your life, your feelings, internal debates, beliefs. So why am I so afraid to finally post on my blog? Well, let me tell you: it’s because everyone else in this program is absolutely brilliant, and in everything I do, even in posting my blog, I’m afraid that what I can come up with will fall short of the brilliant rhetoric, witty one-liners, and informational and interesting industry debates that I’m sure everyone else will talk about in their posts. This is how this whole program has been, during these first three weeks – working harder than I have in my entire life, surrounded by some of the most brilliant people with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working.

 And you know what? 

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I have learned that this is how the whole company is run, and so I fail to see how this company will fail to succeed. These first three weeks as a part of the inaugural class of Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Global Management Trainee Program (GMTP), a management rotational program in marketing and sales, supply chain management, and corporate strategy, have stretched me far beyond what I had thought possible for myself – and I’m sure that the program will just continue to stretch me more and more as the 10 months of the program’s duration fly by. I have been provided so many opportunities, learning more about the industry, the company and its various functions, and myself everyday; having constant exposure to top management (A-B InBev follows an open-office format, meaning no one has offices, so I can just walk by the President of the North American Zone and say hi if I want…no seriously, he even knows my name! Well, I think so…maybe…oh, and did you know I’ve shook hands and conversed briefly with the CEO and went bar-hopping with some of senior management? Oh yeah, SERIOUSLY awesome! PLUS, my mentor for the program is a member of senior management…I’m not sure if he would like me to name him in my blog, so now he shall just remain ‘he who shall not be named’…J No, actually, I just checked the A-B website and it’s posted that he’s my mentor, so I can say it: my mentor is the VP of People, his name is Jim Brickey, and he’s AWESOME!); and meeting people from all over the world who have been immensely successful working in all sorts of different functions in the industry – marketing and sales, supply, procurement, legal, social corporate responsibility, people (human resources), quality, execution (VPO), logistics, brewing, you name it, I’ve probably met a fascinating person from the field and picked their brain of a thousand interesting and useful little tidbits.

Now that I’ve given you a probably-not-brief-enough-but-I-swear-it was-meant-to-be-brief overview of my impression of the GMTP program in which I am participating and the incredible caliber of people that it attracts, I’m going to start at the beginning and go over some of the specifics of the program. Basically, I am paid an amazingly competitive salary to learn for 10 months, to soak up all I can about the industry, the zythology of beer, the company and its various departments, how to build, work in and manage effective teams, and how to balance creativity and realism when coming up with innovative new ideas for the company. Not a bad deal, huh?

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Not convinced yet I made the right decision when I took the offer from A-B over my other options? Or just love listening to my random ramblings (as opposed to un-random ramblings, I suppose?)? Then subscribe to my blog, keep up, and strap in for a crazy ride! Hope you’ll have as much fun as I’ve been having!

P.S. Please comment to share your opinion, and feel free to ask me any questions you might have about the program! My blog is very limited and does not cover even 1/254th of the program, as I can’t spend every waking hour of mine writing on it…but I’d be glad to help out anyone considering the program or who is just curious in understanding a bit better what goes on in the land of the Clydesdales (which, btw, are the HUGEST FREAKING HORSES EVER!!! And completely awesome. End of story.). Talk to you all on the flip side!

Pictures!!! (Everyone’s fave!)…

–> All the US GMTs!

–> Me with my mentor and some of the US GMTs!

–> Going out with my awesome roomie!

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