Joost Draye, Talent Key Account Manager Europe at AB InBev spoke to myGwork about what a typical day looks like for him, their graduate programs and how AB InBev are shaping the future generation of leaders.
Hi Joost – thanks for chatting with us today! To start with can you tell us a bit more about yourself and your role at AB InBev?
My pleasure! My name is Joost – 33 years old and living in Leuven, Belgium. Since the beginning of this year, I’m working at AB InBev, the World’s Biggest Brewer whose Headquarters are also located in Leuven. I’m the Talent Key Account Manager for Zone Europe.
So, what does a typical day look like for a Talent Key Account Manager EU?
One of the great things about my role is that no two days are the same. Every day presents new challenges, new ideas and new opportunities. But generally – I’m in charge of managing both the attraction as well as the selection of the best talent for our Talent Programmes across Europe. So this means developing new partnerships, improving our selection process, organizing selection days and generally making sure the best talent in Europe finds their way to AB InBev!
And what demographic do you tend to look after as an account manager?
The programmes that fall under my scope, like the graduate programmes, are aimed at young graduates who are in the beginning of their career; so this is my key demographic. Of course, we also have a lot of other job opportunities at AB InBev for people who are already further along in their careers.
You mentioned graduate programs – does this make up a lot of your work? What do these programs look like?
The large number of graduates we hire on a yearly basis indeed means that these take up a large part of my work. We have 4 very different graduate programmes at AB InBev:
- Our Global Management Traineeship (GMT) programme is the ultimate induction in the world of business. It offers in-depth 360-degree exposure to our business operations and global projects during this 12-month rotational programme best induction into the world of business.
- The MVP – Market Visionaries Programme – is all about, in one word, sales. You’ll be part of the front-line of our business, developing sales and customer portfolios, negotiating deals and maximizing the visibility of our brands during this 18-months programme.
- The Supply Management Traineeship (SMT) is about the heart of our business: our breweries. Experience life on the front-line of a brewery, working with our operators over 6 months to make the great beers we're famous for.
- Last but not least, the Fast Track Leadership (FTL) programme is designed to give talented graduates the chance to become the future leaders of our business. During this 12 month programme based in Prague, they will get a spot in one of our numerous essential functions within our hub in Prague, such as Customer & Consumer Experience, IT User Experience, Logistics, etc.
And for any grad’s reading, when is the next cycle and how exactly can they get involved?
They’re in luck! Applications are currently open, but just until the end of November. For anyone who might be interested, please go to https://europecareers.ab-inbev.com/programmes to find out more about the programmes, the requirements, and how to apply. We work on a first-come-first-serve basis, so I can recommend people that are interested to apply as soon as possible.
How does diversity and inclusion link into the way you recruit graduates?
By focusing on diversity & inclusion in our graduate programmes – we ensure that the next generation of leaders at AB InBev will be more diverse than ever before. All across Europe, we are partnering with organisations for example myGwork & A Seat at the Table that helps us ensure our message & job opportunities for recent young grads reach a diverse audience. Also, we’ve implemented online tools and assessments that ensure that our selection process is as bias-free as possible.
And how does this align with the wider values at AB InBev?
The purpose of our company is bringing people to a better world – to achieve this, building an inclusive & diverse workplace is an absolute must. This purpose is translated into 10 principles, of which one of the 10 principles of AB InBev states that we are measured by the quality and diversity of our teams. To move forward, We aim to fully integrate D&I into our business strategy. Our senior business leaders are involved in driving our D&I agenda. We have set up a Diversity and Inclusion Council on a European level where some of our VPS for example our VP Finance Alexandre Pouille, our VP Commercial Brian Perkins, our BU President Paula Lindenberg and VP Procurement and Sustainability leading diverse workstreams.
We have just also just launched opened our Diversity & Inclusion page on our European careers website, containing our commitments, actions, testimonials, and more. I invite all myGwork members to go and have a look! We want Diversity & Inclusion not to be a separate thing, but to integrate it into all aspects of our business strategy.
Do you have any advice for graduates applying to the program?
In terms of the content of the programmes, there is something here for everyone! So if you’re looking for an organisation with an inspiring purpose that values meritocracy, where diversity and inclusion touch every part of our business and want to make a positive impact on our customers and the communities in which we serve feel attracted to our business, our values, our culture – take your shot and see how far you can get! The process itself is quite easy, just apply and if you meet the minimum requirements – you will be invited to an online assessment which is the first step in the process.
What are some of the highlights a grad can look forward to if they are accepted?
After a short general introduction – all graduates will go to work and will get the opportunity to have an immediate impact on our business and the ability to demonstrate ownership. AB InBev offers immense opportunities through these 4 programmes, for people to advance their careers further than they ever dream of; everybody can grow at the pace of their own talent at our company – the opportunities are here but you will be challenged to take them. I’m not only talking about pure work-related challenges – for instance, we also have D&I Ambassador groups in several of the countries, giving the chance to new hires to also make the change on Diversity & Inclusion!
The open bars we have from time to time are also a highlight I would say, offering a great moment to connect with your colleague while enjoying our brands – with or without alcohol of course!
Lastly – what do diversity and inclusion mean to you and what would you like to see in the future for this area?
Diversity & Inclusion for me is about embracing and valuing the uniqueness of all of us. At AB InBev we like to dream big – so the dream of recruiting a workforce that is fully and genuinely representative of all the people we serve across Europe is an awesome thing to work towards, and of which I’m super proud to be a part of!