Claire Vogt, MBA ’21, writes today about her supply chain internship at Anheuser-Busch over the summer. She was invited to return to AB full-time after graduation. Her contribution is part of a series by students sharing their summer internship experiences on the Olin Blog.
As an intern at Anheuser-Busch, you are given ownership of real projects with real impact—an aspect of my internship that really set my summer experience apart. With my previous experience in business process consulting and accounting, I was given a challenging project: Creating a universal budget simulator for distributors across North America, incorporating KPI metrics, savings challenges and the different complex pay structures at each distributor.
Ultimately I was able to successfully create the first prototype of the universal budget simulator. The plan is to continue improvements and roll it out across distributors in North America for the next budgeting cycle.
With the switch from an in-person internship to virtual, I knew I’d have to tackle this past summer differently from any of my previous work experience. Without the ability to make an impression in person, it was imperative to be “on my game” when I had the opportunity to present deliverables, meet with team members and join Zoom calls.
A new way of networking
I also made a deliberate effort to reach out to other members of the AB family in order to meet more people and set up Zoom calls to learn more about different roles within the company. Networking was different, but not impossible.
One class that prepared me particularly well for the summer was the CEL Entrepreneurial Consulting class with Doug Villhard, professor of practice in entrepreneurship and academic director for entrepreneurship. Because COVID-19 interrupted our semester halfway through, we transitioned to a virtual setting for class, meeting with our client and delivering final presentations.
My role as team lead (with responsibilities of meeting and communicating with the client virtually and delivering the final presentation via Zoom) was great preparation for owning a project completely remotely at Anheuser-Busch and delivering an impactful final presentation.
Making the most of experiential learning
I also believe that any sort of experiential learning is incredibly valuable as you work through real-world business problems and gain skills to be used further along in your career.
I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to work at Anheuser-Busch this summer and work with such an incredible team. It was especially exciting to work in such an innovative and fast-paced environment during a time when the pandemic was having rapid and constantly changing effects on supply chains worldwide.
Anheuser-Busch is a network of owners with a “challenge accepted” mentality, which became evident as the company was constantly overcoming pandemic-induced hurdles.
For example, distributors now had to be cognizant of pandemic safety protocols that affected their monthly spend and KPIs. Additionally, aluminum shortages, demand forecast fluctuations and increases in off-premises sales made the past summer at AB anything but “business as usual.”
I am incredibly excited to join the AB family full-time after graduation and fully embrace this “challenge accepted” mentality.