Let’s talk beer, and getting a job too

05/05/2015
Nancy Niemerg is a 2008 graduate who works for Anheuser-Busch InBev.
Nancy Niemerg is a 2008 graduate who works for Anheuser-Busch InBev.
Nuclear engineer and 2008 MechSE alumna Nancy Niemerg gave a presentation in ME 390 about Anheuser-Busch InBev, the brewing company where she works in capital projects. ABInBev has some impressive stats: it’s in the top 5 consumer products companies (along with Coca-Cola), had a revenue of $47.1 billion (U.S.) in 2014, and employs over 155,000 people worldwide, with sales in over 100 countries and headquarters in Leuven, Belgium.  
 
ABInBev was created in 2008 when the brewing company InBev bought the Anheuser-Busch brewery from the Busch family. The family still owns the Budweiser brewery in St. Louis.    
 
ABInBev’s largest brewing focus is on its three global brands: Budweiser, Stella Artois, and Corona Extra. Budweiser, the flagship beer, the “king of beers,” comes from a family recipe brewed by five generations of Busch family brew masters since 1876. It’s sold in 80 countries, while its brother Budlight is considered local and mostly sold in the US. Corona Extra is ABInBev’s number one Mexican beer and is sold in 180 countries. It was created in 1925. Stella Artois is the oldest beer originally brewed by InBev. The recipe has been done the same way since 1366. Stellas are available in nearly 100 countries.   
 
Other things about ABInBev: the company is constantly promoting innovations and renovations. One example is the creation of the Lime-a-Rita, which has been a huge hit for AB. Renovations, even small ones like changing a bottle design, are also encouraged. ABInBev markets beer as “the original social network,” with the idea that friends can get together and share a beer. Along with that, AB is also “adamant about responsible drinking,” Niemerg said. Employees travel every year to give presentations spreading the message to drink responsibly. Volunteering is also encouraged; over 61,000 AB employees volunteered for projects, such as cleaning up the Missouri River, in 2014. AB provides cans of water for disaster relief and also sets environmental goals. According to Niemerg, the company met its most recent environmental goals and has now set more to be reached by 2017.  
 
AB “works to hire the best, works to keep them safe, and then works to keep them,” Niemerg said. The company is merit-based, meaning that if you work hard and have good performance, you’ll be rewarded and move up. AB recruits heavily from the U of I. “At Anheuser-Busch we expect results… and not just at a global level, but also at a personal level,” she said. “We look for people who are result-driven.”
 
Niemerg was a manufacturing engineer at Babcock and Wilcox. She went to night school to earn her MBA, with her tuition paid for by her employer. She later moved to ABInBev, where she works in capital projects, which are projects done by a group to improve a process, fix a broken machine, etc. Niemerg’s group has an approximately $10 million yearly budget. Her role is to manage the projects and put together the engineering packet, with quotes, possible vendors, plans, descriptions, and other information relevant to the project, to be presented for approval. Niemerg says ME 350, TAM 351, and also TAM 324 and 335 (the ME equivalents are 330 and 310 respectively) have been helpful to her in her job.
 
Advice from Niemerg: Know your strengths. You should try to find a position that fits your skills as much as possible. She also suggests doing a Google search on yourself and making sure you have a clean history, because prospective employers will do the same search before hiring you. And as always, try to have the company’s key job requirements covered in your resume, but always be truthful.
 
“NOW is a really great time to start looking at your future,” Niemerg said. “If you find a job that you enjoy and that you’re proud of, it will show in your work.”