Business Management graduate Reme Fernandez brought her passion for consumer behaviour to an internship with Beam Suntory's Multicultural Marketing department


Learn about the Beam Suntory internship experience

Learn about the Beam Suntory internship experience

Originally from Spain, Reme Fernandez [pictured above] has spent two thirds of her life living abroad across seven different countries, which has given her a passion for traveling and discovering new places and cultures.

Now a permanent employee at Beam Suntory, Reme started her career as an intern at the company's Multicultural Marketing team, a department dedicated to understanding the multicultural consumer.

She shares her intern experience at Beam Suntory, and what she learned working in a supportive and welcoming team.

Why Reme  chose to work for Beam Suntory

Reme studied Business Management in undergrad, and quickly discovered a passion for consumer behavior and marketing management which led her to start a career in CPG Marketing.

She worked in the tobacco industry for four years in brand management and activation strategy for three global brands based out England. Following that, Reme held a role at Procter & Gamble in data analytics and consumer research supporting key sales channels, based out of Spain. Reme also studied for a a two-year MBA from Kellogg School of Management, specializing in Marketing and Management Science.

"My interest in Beam Suntory came from wanting to work on products that allow for close emotional bonds and lasting memories to be formed between the brands and consumers," explains Reme. "I also wanted to experience working in a private company with deep roots in family businesses from across the world."

Supporting the director in developing the department

Beam Suntory

Reme was fortunate enough to start her internship at the Multicultural Marketing department in its early days, which meant she was able to report directly to the Director and support her as she set up the department itself.

"In that sense, my role was to develop a short term tool to get the brand teams and sales organization “going”, while she set up the long term structure and strategy for the department," explained Reme.

"My task was to analyze and understand a series of multicultural consumer cohorts (Asian, Hispanic, African American) and distill key insights and actionable recommendations into one “go-to” resource that teams could immediately use to start increasing their understanding of these consumers and adapting their strategies and executions to cater to them more effectively and efficiently."

Essentially, Reme ran what she calls a “mini audit” to:

  • Uncover what Beam Suntory knew about these consumers, by drawing on existing research, partner agencies, interviewing brand managers and multicultural specialists as well as sales force, third party articles and reports, and so on.
  • Condense these findings into relevant insights by cohort, such as core values, media consumption habits, shopping behaviors and trends, spirits preferences, key holidays, and so on.
  • Develop actionable recommendations on how to target each cohort based on the insights, for example use radio over print ads to target Hispanics given they over-index in this channel for media consumption.

Reme was excited to present her work at an annual summit where the full U.S. sales organization comes to the Chicago headquarters to listen to the strategies and plans for the following year from each brand team.

"I could truly see that my project was not just a task to keep an intern busy during 10 weeks, but rather a useful and appreciated resource for the organization," she adds.

"In fact, upon joining Beam Suntory full-time a year later, some colleagues still remembered me from my presentation and commented on the usefulness of my work. Additionally, I found that the Multicultural Marketing team has continued to evolve and enhance my initial guide to include new cohorts and insights as these became available."

Beam Suntory's supportive culture

Beam Suntory women - diversity

In Reme's experience, the Beam Suntory motto “come as a friend, leave as family” is completely true.

As well as her manager, Reme had support from a number of colleagues such as a recent MBA mentor, and a network of recent MBA colleagues, who made themselves available to meet up, answer questions, check in on progress, provide advice on the work she was developing, or just be a friendly face. She also received help from a number of informal senior mentors, who naturally and selflessly offered their time and advice over the weeks. In fact, everyone around her was happy to drop what they were doing and answer questions as they came up.

HR also organized training days, a day of Gemba (a Japanese principle of going to “the place where it happens” – for Reme, that meant out in the market, at bars, restaurants, retailers, to truly understand the business on the ground), lunch and learns, and meet and greets with senior managers across the organization including the CEO himself to help Reme and fellow interns gain a better understanding of the industry and the business.

Reme remembers seven Happy Hours in the ten weeks she was there.

"This just goes to show how social of a company this is, and how much people value the balance between work and play and getting to know the people they work with at a more personal level!" she adds.

"I also really enjoyed traveling to the Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark distilleries in Kentucky to see where the magic happens."

"The internship really allowed me to get to know the company, the brands, the people and the culture to an extent where, when I was fortunate enough to be offered a full-time opportunity, I had very few questions and doubt in my mind that Beam Suntory was a company I wanted to work for," Reme says.


Why is an internship so valuable for your future career?

Annie

Beam Suntory Associate Brand Manager, Annie Gorman, explains the importance of internships drawing on her own experience.

Drawing on marketing principles from university 

During the summer between her first and second year at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Annie was a marketing intern for a leading drinks brand.

For her intern project, she had to assess the brand’s opportunity within the multicultural consumer segments and create and suggest a go-to-market strategy.

"Many of the marketing principles and fundamentals that I had learned throughout my first year of classes applied directly to my project and played a big role in how I approached the work," explains Annie.

Creating a go-to-market strategy during her internship

Marketing principles Annie called upon were included in her consumer research and needs identification. Annie gathered this information with the help of the company's Consumer Insights team and syndicated reports from marketing research firms. This research formed the basis of her internship project.

Annie then performed a market assessment and competitive analysis to glean important information for my final recommendation. She learned about the current landscape of brands and products using panel and scanner datasets, which helped her understand how targeted marketing efforts are of benefit to a brand.

Annie drew upon what she had earned about the strengths of different marketing strategies to design a go-to-market strategy to touch different consumer segments, incorporating marketing campaigns that had worked well in the past, while ensuring her work remained true to the brand's overall message.

"The principles I learned in my first year at Booth were invaluable in helping me work through the problem I was presented," says Annie.

"Now in my full-time role as Associate Brand Manager at Beam Suntory, the world’s third largest premium spirits company, I know I will continue to refer back to my Booth marketing classes and how they taught me to use frameworks to discover the best solutions in the beverage industry and beyond."


Gain career-shaping skills from a Beam Suntory internship

Looking to join a creative and challenging workplace culture?

Beam Suntory may be the company for you.

Keep a watch on Beam Suntory's careers for the latest internship opportunities on offer.

 

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