Serious(ish) Business

OK, I’ve had my fun with my previous posts, but I think it’s about time we take a break from unsubstantiated rumors, poetic imagery, mistaken identity, interesting anecdotes, zythology montages, fabricated verbage , and movie quote metaphor… and just beer you the cold hard facts about the Global Management Training Program.

Especially now that at my Alma Mater, The University of Pennsylvania, my former fellow students are about to wind down from a thoroughly educational week of “NSO” (New Student Orientation) , and the new seniors are about to experience the arrival of “OCR” (On Campus Recruitment) give them an “ORC” (Overt Reality Check)

This will be you, sooner than you think

to the fact that they will indeed be graduating in two short semesters, and better have some sort of employment lined up or face the wraith of parents with a rapidly decreasing “ROI” (Return on Investment[Tuition, Room, Board, Bar-Tabs]).

Sorry to kill the proverbial buzz, but the good news is, you are not doomed to a life of DCF’s, spreadsheets, derivatives, and sleep deprivation (unless you’re into that, which I have a lot of friends who are, so if you’re reading this, I love you, and I’ll be staying at your place when I visit NYC, thanks!) after your undergraduate years.

So with that I return to my main point, why the AB-InBev GMTP is the greatest job in the world, and why anyone with any analytical background of any type should consider applying. Yes, this is a bold statement, and some of you who know me may suspect that my “salesman” side is rearing its oddly persuasive head, but as I’ve claimed before, it’s much easier to sell something that one truly believes in, and this is the case in point. Now I’ll outline three main areas of this program which converge to vastly differentiate it from any I have encountered in the past.

1. Subject Matter Relevance:

What I mean by this; how many people in the world get to work in a career in which they are producing or selling a product which they genuinely love, and in which so many people around the world share that emotion? Not many, but 14 people come to mind right now.

I get up every weekday and go into work thinking about how to deliver a product that makes people happy. I love talking to people about what I do, who I work for, what we make, how we make it, and why they should drink it. I don’t know if I could ever get so excited about talking about why someone should purchase shares of my hedge fund (although I might be able to fake it).

Remember this? I work for these guys. Let’s chat about it, I’ll talk your friggin ear off.

2. Direct Access to Senior Leadership:

I remember last year during the Info Session at UPenn, hearing this thrown around a lot, and frankly, I thought it was mostly lip service. Of course we’ll meet some of these leaders, but how much will they even care about what we are doing, I thought as I was sure they had more important things to tend to. That viewpoint turned a 180 early in the interview process. During the last round of four (yes four), and the second time candidates were flown out to St. Louis, we sat in front of a panel of ManCom members (think President and his VP’s) as they evaluated our fit with the company. That was the first time I met Luiz Edmond, the president of the North American Zone of A-B InBev, and witnessed first hand his stake in the success of this program. In every interaction with him since them I’ve been impressed by his passion and involvement, for both ABI and the GMTP.

ManCom and GMTs after lunch in January

In January, all the new GMT’s flew into St. Louis once again to have lunch with not only ManCom, but with Carlos Brito, the CEO himself. We all spoke informally for hours, and they were incredibly open to our opinions and ideas. When I was in NYC this summer, I was able to meet with the Global head of People for ABI, all 14 of us have had lunch with the President of AB in the US, and the other opportunities for informal networking (happy hours, meals, conversations in passing) are impossible to quantify. We were even all assigned a senior leader in the company to mentor us, which has proved invaluable. My mentor is the VP of Logistics in the North American Zone, and I’m sure I’ll be reaching out to him a few times while I’m stationed here in Fort Collins working in that department.

The exposure we are getting in this program is unparalleled, which directly reflects the company’s buy-in to our success, as well as our opportunities to leverage these connections in the future.

3. Universal Perspective:

I could write about this for pages, but in the interest of keeping yours, I’ll be brief. After studying business exclusively for 4 years, I was discouraged by the idea that I’d be working in only one facet of it for the rest of my life.

Global Trainees from all 6 zones

This program is the antithesis of that notion. Our exposure to “the beer business” is unbridled as we are offered on the job experience in all areas of supply and commercial, and everything in-between. We also enjoy international exposure on a first hand basis, working with other trainees from around the world during international induction week, and stretching our personal networks to unimaginable levels. Throughout the program we have experienced that these opportunities will constantly be present, but reliant on our flexibility. So much of the movement through this company is not straight up, but diagonal (across regions, or departments), which strongly favors the open-minded. So if sitting in one department, in one region, in one continent for the rest of your life satisfies you, then this might not be an appropriate program, but if you prefer the excitement of a global and holistic perspective to business, the GMTP is an incredible opportunity.

If you’ve made it this far, I applaud you. With any additional questions, or just to express your interest, feel free to reach out to me via e-mail as a few people have already done: jd.whittington4(at)gmail

If you are a student at UPenn of whatever area of study, I encourage your attendance at some events coming up. I’ll be at the Information Session on Thursday, the 16th of September, along with some other ABI employees (including fellow UPenn alumnus and current CFO)

UPenn Business Career Fair
Date: Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Time: 8:30am-3:00pm
Place: Sheraton University City

UPenn Engineering Career Fair
Date: Thursday, September 16, 2010
Time: 8:30am-3:00pm
Place: Sheraton University City

UPenn Info Session
Date: Thursday, Sept 16, 2010
Time: 5pm-6pm
Place: Hilton Inn at Penn, Regent Ballroom

Also, check out the following websites:
US Trainee profiles and blog links
Global GMTP Information Page

Until then, enjoy the last night of NSO fellow Quakers, and hit up Squirrels after Millcreek (and grab a few Budweisers to go with your wings, sorry I’m not sorry)

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3 Responses to Serious(ish) Business

  1. Christina says:

    Is it weird that this post makes me want to apply to the program and I’m already in it?! ha.. lucky us.

  2. Patsy whittington wolf says:

    Now aint u something what an education what a brain !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Pingback: (Un)natural Art | Beer Me That Beer

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