Thom van Amersfoort is in his 5th year of IRIO at the moment. He decided to do an internship at AB InBev to explore one of the fields of his interest: international business. At this brewery - which is one of the top 5 FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) companies in the world - he worked at the Human Resource department. Here he gained a lot of experience that gave him insights in the private sector.
Could you give us a short introduction of yourself? My name is Thom van Amersfoort, I am 23 years old and 5th year IRIO student. The reason I still haven’t finished IRIO is because of several extracurricular activities I have decided to do apart and/or on top of my studies, among which an internship at AB InBev – the biggest brewer and one of the top 5 FMCG companies in the world. My placement was in the People (HR) department of the company, more specifically Talent Management and Talent Acquisition within Europe.
How did you find your internship? Through my network. I wanted to get experience in a multinational company as I wanted to make the shift towards international business. In the alumni chat of my debating group, I posted the question if someone could steer me in the right direction, through which I got in contact with the right person for an internship at AB InBev. What are the most important things that you learned from it? During my 7-months internship, the most important lessons learned are linked to work-experience, the operational side of implementing a strategy and personal/professional development. I had to deal with stakeholder management, project management and work with multiple deadlines on tasks with different priorities and urgencies. As a result, this internship has brought me a deep dive into the ‘hands-on’, result-oriented way of working within international business. Next to that, a valuable feature learned was the process áfter you created a strategy. How do you turn a strategy into reality, what targets to you set and how do you enforce them? Lastly, but most important, working at AB InBev has introduced me to a culture of constantly developing myself. From identifying development areas, to implementing a working method to actively improve on those areas. I consider the aforementioned most important, as these areas form part of a broader work ethic I would like to pursue in my future career.
Do you have a better idea about where you want to work after graduating? Most definitely! This experience has provided me an insight into the field of international business in which I found out that the way of working is more appealing to me than working in the public sector. I am still not sure which sector has my preference, but I could definitely see myself working in a company such as AB InBev.
Is there any advice that you would like to give to students who are not sure yet whether they want to do an internship? Ask yourself if this would potentially be a field of interest for you in your future career. If your answer is yes, do it. Whether it is a good or bad experience does not matter, as it will define your career-path, nonetheless. For me, it has brought me a great insight into a potential career path, personal and professional development in my ways of working and a clearer sense of my life after IRIO.