It's always a great feeling for any millennial studying at a b-school to be able to become a part of a company that has made giant strides over the years and promises a cool workplace at the same time. Ab InBev, with a status of the world’s largest brewer, is one such company that offers this balance of an established brand with that of vibrant work culture. Students of SDA Bocconi Asia Center recently got an opportunity to become a part of the thriving workplace as Ab InBev visited their Mumbai campus for picking up the best minds. Here is an excerpt of what the selected students felt after the experience:
Q. Why did I want to get in ABinBev?
I am a person who believes that if your passion and work aligns you can deliver great results. I have always been inclined towards the creative end of spectrum with a logical analysis. Also, while I was preparing for CAT, I stuck a cord with data interpretation. In recent times, AbinBev has made huge investments in integrating data analytics and cloud computing with their processes in order to derive competitive advantage across the brewing industry. This aligns very well with my interests and hence I left no stone unturned while appearing for ABinBev internship process. On a personal front, I have been an enthusiastic consumer of beer and I very well understand the inns and out of the industry from demand side of the product.
Q. One Answer that made the difference?
It was when they asked me about my past grades, which were not that really great. I knew this question would come up and it was the only question for which I did not prepare. I wanted the answer as genuine as possible and I told them everything honestly. It’s not the past that defines us but our ability to have learnt and grown wiser in the present which matters.
Q. When did I get the Offer?
All the candidates who had taken the interview were sitting in one of the classrooms anxiously, waiting for the results. We knew it would come any moment but it felt like eternity. My heart was pounding! When my name was announced, I just remember screaming at the top of my voice, I was euphoric, excited, jubilant and crying. It was a thorough mix of emotions. I ran to my best friend hugged her tight, made calls to my family. Everybody was crying, it’s a moment which has carved a priceless position in my life! To have made proud all my loved ones. It’s the moments like these which drives you to excel. The gleaming face cannot really be explained but the happiness tag was pasted all over it.
Q. At the beginning of the summer placements season, what was your approach regarding sectors, job profiles and locations that you preferred?
Coming from an IT background, I was not inclined towards marketing or finance as my field of specialization. My interests lay in operations and consulting. Hence, when it came to summer internships, I was clear about not applying to roles related to core marketing or finance.
I was looking for roles such as management trainee, intern in operations or business development etc. For me, location was not a priority, though I preferred Mumbai or Bangalore.
Q. How did you go about preparing for your summer placements? How did SDA Bocconi help you?
I am a member of our consulting club - Consulenza. The club regularly organizes knowledge sessions and helps us improve our analytical skills by giving mock case interview and guesstimate questions. They also provided us with a repository of various industry analysis and solved case interviews and guesstimate questions.
The L&D department of our placement committee also held mock personal interviews and group discussions to prepare us for our interviews and helped us improve by pointing out our flaws and areas of improvement.
Question: Take us through your selection process. Describe the rounds and tell us your responses in detail.
Answer: The selection method consisted of four rounds.
It all started with applying for ABinbev , during which 152 students applied and one hundred and ten got shortlisted for the next round, which was ability check.
This check was divided into 2 components, the initial half consisted of twenty-four queries that had to be answered in twenty-five minutes and were based on abstract thought and quantitative information. The second half included three caselets that had to be answered in twenty-five minutes.
It was essentially based on the CAT exam pattern.
After this round, eighteen candidates were shortlisted for further process.
And then came the finale, where we were affected by a combination of excitement, nervousness and whatnot.
It started with the GD Round, eighteen people were divided into 2 teams of nine.
It was essentially a Boardroom meeting, the matter was that the corporate team was obtaining solely 25% of its sold bottles for recycle and utilisation purpose. It needed to extend its share to 50%.
I have never faced such a GD in my life. It was an exercise wherein they checked our ability to be a pacesetter, and also the approach through which we tended to build our choices and our thought method.
Out of 18, seven people got shortlisted for the Interviews round. It was a CV driven interview where they checked our flexibility and our passion for ABinbev.
And then came the ultimate result.
After a long process, four people out of 152 got shortlisted for Internship.
Question: How are you getting yourself ready for interning with Abinbev in April?
Answer: Well, it is a management role, where we are expected to understand all the concerned areas and be versatile enough to perform the allotted task. So, currently, I am engaged in building up my knowledge in many diverse areas. And thereupon I am developing my analytics skills and am extra focused on the operational side. I have even started developing my reading habits.
Question: Any message for students aspiring to get into their dream company?
Answer: The only message I might prefer to provide to students is to be obsessed with their dream company. They must be aware of it in and out, and how it operates. you'll be able to build your thanks to the dream company given that you'll be able to associate yourself with it, its culture, surroundings and most significant thing that I actually have learned from ABinbev is "Choose your Boss, Not the Role" Dream Big, provides it all of your energy and build a gift !
Q. How did you go about preparing for your internship in the lead up?
It is only in January, when we will be told about our roles, that we can start preparing on domain specific topics but until then there are a few basics that need to be covered.
To start with I’m doing courses in excel, analytics and google certifications. No matter the role or industry, these basic topics need to be understood properly as it helps to analyse data and improve efficiency.
It is also very important to be up to date with current affairs. I spend 20- 30 min every day reading the news and articles on topics related to AbinBev, such as FMCG and alcohol industry in India, about the competitors, consumer behaviour patterns, and consumption patterns of Indian consumers.
Q. What were the 3 things about AbinBev that impressed you the most to apply for the process?
Before the start of the internship process, Serge De Vos, the Director Global Finance, had visited our college for a guest lecture. The passion and energy with which he spoke about the company made me want to work for Abinbev. It is very important to have a great mentor to learn from and to guide you and having Serge as a mentor was one of the reasons I wanted to apply.
Having lived in different countries throughout my childhood, change excites me and the company offers amazing growth opportunities for it employees which was another very important factor for me.
Lastly, the job role is that of a management trainee. As a management trainee, I knew I would get to work in multiple divisions and gain a lot of exposure. This role will help me understand where my strengths lie.
Q. What were the 3 things about you/ qualities that you think you showed during the interview?
DEDICATION. As an individual, I do whatever task I have been given with complete dedication and hard work. I never back away from tough situations, always trying to find a solution. I believe I showed my passion and dedication to work for the company with every answer i gave.
TEAM PLAYER. I love working with people as there is so much more you can learn from others and that’s a quality I think i showed during our group discussion and my interview. Abinbev was looking for individuals, during the group discussion, who were calm and respected others opinions.
ADAPTABILITY. Never having lived in a place for more than 3 years, I am used to adapting to new places, cultures and people. I want to have flexibility and not just stick to one thing in life and Abinbev was looking for students who were just like that. People who are willing to adapt to change.
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