I’m Leaving MillerCoors (and 10 Reasons Why You Should Still Want to Work There)

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After nearly 7 years, I am leaving MillerCoors. This was not an easy decision. I wasn’t looking for a new gig. By every measure I had a prime opportunity at MillerCoors. MillerCoors has afforded me tremendous professional and personal growth opportunities, but lightning has struck twice and I’m afforded an even more incredible opportunity (more on that in a future post).

Now that I am a former employee, rather than focus on why I left I want to share with people the top reasons you should be pounding on the door to work at MillerCoors.

10 Reasons Why You Should Want to Work at MillerCoors

  1. Free beer. Yes, the rumors are all true! Employees get an allotment of gratis beer each month and there are free pubs open to employees in the Chicago and Milwaukee offices. During my time at MillerCoors I waved the flag during qualifying at Talladega, watched numerous pro games from suites, had amazing tickets to numerous concerts and more. You can’t sell beer if you’re not having fun, and MillerCoors makes sure to take advantage of it’s numerous sponsorships to share that fun with employees.
  2. Sustainability. MillerCoors continued existence is dependent on reliable access to clean water. An average brewery worldwide requires 5 barrels of water to produce 1 barrel of beer. MillerCoors uses less than 3.5, and some of its breweries are down to 3. They’ve partnered with the Nature Conservancy on a groundbreaking Showcase Barley Farm in Idaho’s Silver Creek Valley. They sponsor numerous “clean the waterway” events with employees volunteering helping to keep wetlands clean. And sustainability goes beyond water (this is the company that invented recycling with the aluminum can after all).
  3. The heritage. Miller and Coors are not retro brands. They are the original American breweries with over 300 years of collective history! They survived the evils of Prohibition, the Great Depression, two World Wars and more. Take a tour through the Milwaukee brewery and you’ll visit the beer caves from the 1800s where the brewery stored beer before the advent of refrigeration. Or visit Golden, Colorado and witness a brewery that began by serving miners during the Colorado gold rush. It’s refreshing in an age when many beer brands were invented yesterday.
  4. Analytic Innovation. Without sharing secrets about MillerCoors, I can say that they’re on the cusp of a really innovative growth period. They’re making big investments in leading edge analytic capabilities, from best-in-class in-memory analytic systems, to big data, to organizational changes. I’ve already seen this recognized in the caliber of people that have been applying for jobs the past 2 years. If you’re in Analytics at MillerCoors, the next 5 years will be very exciting.
  5. Employee development. MillerCoors was named the top corporate university in 2013.  They invest in their employees. Nearly every employee goes through formal deep training in a “beer university,” but employee development continues beyond this with sessions on leadership, team collaboration, personal productivity and more. In any given year an employee is required to attend at least a week of training and development. I counted 14 days for myself this past year.
  6. Great brands. I always chuckled when I hear uneducated beer “connoisseurs” scoff at MillerCoors brands. True brewmasters know that MillerCoors produces consistently quality beers. Don’t take it from me…this is backed up by the 270+ medals won at the Great American Beer Festival hosted by the Brewers Association. Sure, most people know they invented the light beer craze, but having 300+ years of history means MillerCoors can pull recipes literally from the basement such as the pre-prohibition recipe for Batch 19, or experiment with big beers such as Big Eddy’s series, or perhaps just change an industry overall with the 13 year overnight success of Blue Moon. You could spend months trying their diverse portfolio, and that’s before you even get to hard cider!
  7. Diversity & Inclusion. MillerCoors is committed to building a diverse and inclusive work environment. Engaging Hispanic and African American MBA programs, sponsoring small business programs for minorities, supporting LGBT initiatives. MillerCoors is an environment where thoughts and ideas from all spectrums and backgrounds are welcomed.
  8. Employees first decisions. I’ve worked at companies where employees are a number. Stacked rankings, forced layoffs each year.  That doesn’t happen at MillerCoors. I’ve had one-on-ones with individual C-level executives and watched their decisions. When it came to trust and accountability for this team to do the right thing, they always delivered. “Hire the best people,” and then find spots for them. This is a team that places the well-being of employees at the heart of their decisions.
  9. The deep knowledge of the beer industry. Most consumer goods firms span multiple categories, from popcorn to frozen food. MillerCoors sells within one category, and the knowledge of that category across all reaches of the company are tremendous. Sales people trained as cicerones, testers in the IT organization, Finance folks becoming homebrewers. There is deep knowledge of the industry within the four walls.
  10. The people. Some may think this is cliche, but it’s not a catch-phrase at MillerCoors. People make or break a company, and MillerCoors has some of the finest. It’s not uncommon to see people retiring with 30+ years of experience in the company.

MillerCoors is a storied company with great employees. If you’re on the fence or checking out potential employers, take it from this former employee and apply for a job.

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