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  • thisblogs4you 2:05 pm on July 21, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    The Spoiler 

    Due to popular demand, nudging by a few coworkers, and for the sake of anyone wondering if I dropped off the face of the earth…I’ve written another blog.  Much like the way I prefer to read books, I’m going to tell you the ending first, and then attempt to go back and fill in some of the details of how I got to where I am now through the rest of the GMT program.  So here’s the spoiler…

    As the last days of our 10-month life as GMTs were coming to a close, we all reunited in St. Louis for one last rendezvous.  We had some time to share our experiences, reflect on the program, and wrap it all up with a GMT graduation ceremony (see my graduation hat below).  I must make it a point to give a shout-out to a former coworker (and now good friend) from the Cartersville Brewery who helped me create this crazy hat I dreamt up –thanks Ken Smith!

    My Shock Top graduation mortarboard.

    So, I can now say that I have officially completed the Global Management Trainee program, graduating as a member of the inaugural class of North American Zone trainees.  I’m very grateful having gotten to start my professional career off as part of such an amazing program.

    As for life post-GMT program, I’m now working in the corporate office in St. Louis as an Implementation Specialist in the Innovations group.  I could not be happier with my placement, as the Innovations group offers the perfect avenue for my interests in both engineering and marketing.  One of my fellow GMTs (and now roommate/personal chef), Dharma Tamm, has also found himself in the Innovations group with me, working as a Packaging Development Specialist.  We are part of a very fun, dynamic, fast-paced group that is going to offer us some healthy challenges and rewarding projects to be a part of.

    While I’m not really one for quotes, I do have a couple favorites.  One, in particular, that I’ll wrap up this blog with is by Dean Kamen (inventor of the Segway) and has a knack for getting me all fired up about innovating…  “An innovation is one of those things society looks at and says, if we make this part of the way we live and work, it will change the way we live and work.”  Stay tuned for more to come…

     
  • thisblogs4you 5:31 am on November 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Gone Global 

    The first week of our new life as GMTs literally flew by, and our second week on the job didn’t slow down much either as it was our Global Induction week where all 130+ GMTs from around the globe gathered at the North American Headquarters in St. Louis, MO.  For starters, the first morning on the bus to the headquarters I sat with a GMT from the APAC (Asian Pacific) Zone named Twiggy who taught me how to say ‘hello’ or ‘nǐ hǎo’ (pronounced nee-how) in Mandarin.  I would like to say that I picked up several different words in various languages from the week, but that seems to be the only one to stick…so at least if I ever find myself in China, I can give a friendly hello! 

    Upon hopping off the bus at headquarters, we were each randomly given a slip of paper with a name on it and then told to find the person on the slip of paper and link arms with them.  Searching for a complete stranger in a crowd of 130 people is quite a daunting task, but after several minutes of extreme chaos, making new friends, and being pointed in the right direction, this was the result…

    GMTs all linked together

     The week was full of interactions with more Senior Management, as all of the Chiefs (or C’s as everyone calls them), NA Zone Pres. Luiz Edmond, AB Pres. Dave Peacock, and our CEO Carlos Brito all presented to our group.  Brito came out rockin’ to ACDC and gave us his ‘Dream, People, Culture’ speech.  It was really inspiring to hear about the vision of the company straight from the get-go from the CEO of the company…here is a short video to watch about the dream, people, and culture of AB InBev… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5T634G8QrqE

     One concept I was introduced to during global induction week via a Brewmaster named George Reisch, who knows more about beer than just about anyone, was the concept of Zythology.  Zythology is something that all employees at AB InBev live day in and day out.  It is about appreciating the fine art of brewing, gaining a better understanding of the process and the ingredients, and then sharing this knowledge with friends and family.  So, in my quest to become a true zythologist…I will share with you a few things I was taught… 

    –   Budweiser is Beechwood aged, but a common misconception is that the Beechwood imparts a flavor on the beer when in fact, the Beechwood chips are boiled in sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) for hours beforehand to make sure that they don’t impart flavor.  The purpose of the Beechwood is to create more surface area for the yeast during flocculation which leads to a smoother finish.

     –  When pouring a beer, keep the glass vertical and bounce the beer off the edge of the glass.  It is important to have a 1” head on the beer to not only release some of the CO2 in the beer, but it also enhances the aroma of the beer.

    –  The next time you make pasta, try boiling the noodles in Budweiser instead of water…it’s sooo yummy!

     The rest of the week was filled with more fun activities for our group of global GMTs.  Looking back, it was such a great week!  Here are some pictures of the other cool things we did throughout the week…

    A food and beer pairing dinner with the pasta cooked in Budweiser! Also try making bbq sauce with a little Budweiser in it, so good too!

     

    Me shaking Luiz Edmond’s hand while we sell beer (during the hottest day EVER) for a local St. Louis chairty at a Cardinal’s game.

     

    Getting to pet Jake, one of the Clydesdale’s at AB…I grew up on a farm but I’ve never been so close to a horse that huge!

     

    A happy hour with all of the GMTs and Senior Leaders. In this picture are two of my fellow GMTs, Jillian Ardery and Tyler (aka Steve…don’t ask it doesn’t make sense why we all call him Steve to me either) Ives, sharing some stories with the VP of People, Jim Brickey.

     The week wrapped up with learning about the Stella Artois 9-step pouring ritual and having a little show down of skills for fun between the GMTs.  All in all it was a great week…I learned a ton, have some new friends all around the world, and love beer even more!  Here’s a picture from the final day…can you find where I am in the picture? Hint: I’m wearing a St. Louis Cards t-shirt.

    Where in the World is...Nancy Featherstone?

     
    • Sierra 9:22 pm on December 11, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      love the Clydesdale pic with Jake! looks like you’re having a ball. i have great news, i’ll be coming back to A-B full-time in the summer, can’t wait! 🙂

  • thisblogs4you 7:45 pm on November 4, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Out with the Old in with the New 

    First off, I want to give a shout-out to the candidates applying for the next class of the GMT program as well as wish everyone good luck!  This week is the final panel interview (dun dun dunnnnn) in front of Luiz Edmond (NA Zone Pres), Dave Peacock (Pres AB), Jim Brickey (VP People), Pete Kraemer (VP Supply), Claudio Garcia (Chief People and Technology Officer), and Bary Benun (Pres Labatt).  That can definitely be quite the intimidating line-up of people to sit in front of, but what it shows is how much importance the leaders of the company place on bringing in new talent.  I remember from my final panel interview the Senior Leaders saying that they were looking to hire people better than themselves, to be the future leaders of the company.  As current GMTs we would like to think that they are going to have to search reeeeeally hard to find a group better than us! 

    We were given the chance to speak candidly with the GMTs after their final panel interviews, and it was really fun to share some of my experiences with them.  It also reminded me of all the excitement and nerves I had sitting in that seat at this time last year, and was fun to hear some of the questions they had been asked and what their answers were.  One funny thing to note is that in the room you sit in before you go into the final panel there is a TV that has a camera attached to it.  I told them that when I was sitting there I was convinced someone was watching us (they weren’t)…then they pointed to these little speakers on the ceiling and laughed told us how they thought someone was listening in on them. 

    One question they asked which kind of stood out in my mind was, “What are some of the negative things about the program?”  I’ve had that question in my head and been thinking about it since they asked, and I can honestly say that I still haven’t been able to come up with a complaint.  When I heard about the program at U of I, it was almost one of those this can’t be real moments.  It seemed like someone jumped into my brain and looked at what I’m interested in and enjoy doing and then wrote out a way for me to get paid for doing it.  Being the first GMT class in the US we knew we would be the guinea pigs for the program, but everything has actually gone very smoothly and exceeded my expectations.  We are constantly being asked to give our feedback on how to make the program even better for the next class…so maybe when we run across them next year they can buy us a beer?

     
    • Kira 8:12 pm on November 4, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Brilliant update!

  • thisblogs4you 1:30 pm on November 4, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    The Million Dollar Question 

    So the million dollar question to anyone interested in reading this blog is, “What’s it like to work in the beer industry?”  The simple answer to that is… completely awesome.  From ending my very first day on the job having a beer with the North American Zone Presient Luiz Edmond to our CEO Carlos Brito coming out to give us his ‘Dream, People, Culture’ speech to ACDC, working for AB InBev has been nothing less than amazing. 

    Two days into our new life as GMTs we hopped on a flight to Chicago to Accenture’s Innovation Center.  They played for us a video similar to this one…  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFZ0z5Fm-Ng&feature=player_embedded

    Basically, we were presented with the latest and greatest technologies and given sticky notes to jot down ideas as they popped into our heads throughout the day.  The culmination of ideas from our day long GMT brainstorming session were grouped into categories which we then voted on our favorites.  Ashray, Brandon, and I all chose to work on the idea of an interactive product for the next 5 weeks as our innovation project.  If you think about it, it’s actually a really fun and extremely challenging project to work on…how can a consumer have an interaction with something as simple as a can, a bottle, a package?  The answer to that question as well as the ideas our group came up with I’ll leave inside the AB InBev walls, but the really cool thing to note is how excited the company is to have our input and hear our fresh ideas. 

    To give a little flash forward… we presented our ideas to Luiz, Jim Brickey (VP People), and other Senior leaders of the company in the Corporate Theatre on the last day of our 5 weeks of training in St. Louis.  Ashray, Brandon, and I were the first group up to present and we opened by saying that an interactive product is “a product which shatters the status-quo and redefines the foundations of traditional marketing”.  It was definitely a bold statement to say the least, but we were trying to get everyone as pumped up about the idea as the three of us were! 

     After we’d given our presentations, Luiz stood up and delegated people to work on them.  Which is another cool thing about working for this company…not only do they cherish our input and fresh ideas, but they are continually looking to find ways to implement them too.  And actually, I just found out yesterday that a commercial for our idea was shown at the last sales meeting and may be hitting the shelves! I just can’t wait until the day I can walk into a store or am out with friends at a bar and see something that I had a hand in developing…what an awesome feeling that has to be!

     
  • thisblogs4you 10:31 pm on September 11, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    I Gotta Feelin’ 

    Well, it took an online test, application, group interview, individual interview, business simulation, and final panel interview until somehow myself and 13 others thirsting to join the world’s largest brewer were offered the position of Global Management Trainee.

    In January, Shortly after accepting the offer to become GMTs, we were all invited to St. Louis to have lunch with the senior leaders of the company.  Amongst those in attendance were our CEO, Carlos Brito (or simply “Brito” as everyone calls him), and North American Zone President, Luiz Edmond (a former GMT himself).  It was really inspirational to hear about the shared dream of becoming the best beer company in a better world directly from the senior leaders.  Little did we known that some those senior leaders there sharing their insights with us would become our mentors in a few months!

    All in all it was a great day, and although I have no clue what we even ate it was definitely a lunch I will never forget.  So I will end this blog with a video they played for us GMTs at our lunch in St. Louis.  Apparently, our Zone President Luiz absolutely LOVES this video and song!

    Black Eyed Peas Flash Mob

    Hopefully this gets you all fired up to read my next blog.  Next blog I will talk about the awesome time I had my first five weeks in St. Louis!  Coming soon!

     
  • thisblogs4you 8:55 pm on August 1, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    First Blog’s On Me 

    Well, after a long summer of actively applying sunscreen for days by the pool and on the golf course…the time finally rolled around for me to enter the working world. To be honest, I don’t think a more natural progression exists than to go from a college student to working for the world’s largest brewer, unless you’re working for a company that produces ping-pong balls and red cups. When I started telling friends and family that I was going to work for Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI) the consensus believed that my responsibilities would consist of cleaning out the Clydesdales’ stalls and yelling ‘beer here!’ at Cardinals games. So to clear up any confusion, throughout my blogs I will be telling you about what I’m actually doing for ABI along with the rest of the fascinating life as a trainee.

    I’ll start this off with a little bit about myself. I grew up on a hog farm outside of a town of about 650 people, and I’m convinced that 650 includes cats, dogs, and chickens. My point is that it was very small, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. At the age of 10 I picked up my first golf club and I’ve been hooked ever since. I went to college at the University of Illinois where I played Division 1 golf for the Fighting Illini. My parents finally uncrossed their fingers this past May as they watched me walk across the stage and receive my diploma for a Bachelor of Science in General Engineering. I have a unique obsession with Nike gym shoes (I own over 20 pairs of them), pride myself on catching Brad Paisely’s guitar pick at a recent concert, and would eat every meal at Chipotle if at all possible. My beer pallet is finely tuned to Bud Light, Bud Light Lime, and Shock Top.

    Now, on to what I’m actually doing for ABI. My actual position with ABI is called a Global Management Trainee (GMT). I, along with 13 others, make up the inaugural class of GMTs in the United States. This past week we jumpstarted the program at the North American zone headquarters in St. Louis, and this will be our home for the next four weeks. Then we disperse to locations around the country (Atlanta, Boston, Denver, LA) to get our hands dirty. For myself and two of the other trainees it’s gonna be sweet tea, peaches, and Ludacris as we will be heading to Georgia where we will spend the first nine weeks at the Cartersville brewery and the next ten in the Atlanta regional sales office. Also, rumor has it that the three of us will be making a trip to NY for a couple weeks to visit one of ABI’s 14 WODs (wholly owned distributors).

    So there definitely is a lot to look forward to in my future blogs. This blog literally is for you so let me know what you think and if you’d like to hear about anything else!

     
    • sweetlou13 9:37 pm on August 1, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Man I can’t wait to read more!
      SL I

    • Diana Bassi 10:24 pm on August 1, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Congrats, Nancy, on, as you begin your journey into the real world. I find the use of a blog in your training fascinating, and I will certainly share this approach with my students. You became a wonderful writer over the years, and I look forward to checking back in frequently. Bob sure hopes you have given up on finding that job that does NOT require communication!! Have fun and work hard!!

    • Dee 3:25 am on August 3, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Enjoyed it!

    • Sierra 1:16 am on August 13, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      love the background story… looking forward to hearing more 🙂

    • Julie Kato 2:15 pm on August 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Hey Nancy…can’t wait to read more posts!

    • abuc13 8:36 pm on August 24, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      subscribing…

    • Dee 3:02 am on September 28, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      subscribing – good stuff

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