First Stop: London, ON!

Hey everyone! For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Hannah, one of the six GMTs in the 2020 class and a former summer marketing intern. Just over two weeks ago, myself and two of my fellow GMTs, Danielle and Michael, packed our bags, left home and arrived in London, ON to begin our supply placement at Labatt’s hometown brewery. After a long-awaited start, it has been a whirlwind first two weeks that have been full of new experiences. I’m excited to share some behind-the-scenes stories from my first few weeks on the job!

First Week on the Job

Danielle, Michael and I arrived in London, unpacked our belongings and headed into the brewery early the next morning. Our first week and a half were filled with tours of the facilities, safety training and preliminary project meetings with our managers. The atmosphere in the brewery has certainly evolved due to COVID restrictions – with mandatory masks, distancing and daily temperature screenings – however, the attitudes of our coworkers have remained positive and extremely helpful even with the added challenges, making the transition still feel very manageable.

During the next three months, I will be working on a project in the packaging department that will aim to improve the efficiency of the quality control rework process and I will eventually present the results of the project to senior management. I have been working with both packaging managers and operators to conduct benchmark time studies and will eventually implement a new methodology to manage the process efficiency. In addition to this, we will be rotating and shadowing employees in different functions of the brewery, including packaging, maintenance, brewing and utilities. I am already optimistic that over three months we will be able to learn from the perspectives of employees at all levels and gain a better grasp of the brewery process from front-to-back. As someone with no previous background in supply, I am truly coming in as a blank slate and it already feels like every day is a huge learning experience – it has been exciting to soak all the new information in!

In addition to our daily schedules, life at the brewery has some added perks. Every day, we are able to attend the brewer’s tasting panel, where the brewery managers taste-test beer fresh off the line and evaluate the adherence to the company’s quality standards. Currently, I would say all three of our taste palates are quite limited, but we are hopeful that with some practise we can become semi-passable beer testers. Additionally, we have checked out the brewery’s retail store and picked up some Labatt merch at a sweet employee discount (I have already warned my family that they should be expecting a lot of Labatt branded Christmas presents this year).

Fresh off our first brewery tour and behind-the-scenes at a brewer taste panel

Life in London

Aside from work, we have been enjoying adjusting to our temporary new home. The three of us are living in a house together while we're here and have already taken to exploring our neighbourhood in our time off from work. Our first couple of weeks have been filled with hangouts at the park across the street, distanced visits to the local farmer’s market and group dinners on our front porch. We are trying to make the most of the beautiful fall weather before we all have our first experience with the notorious London snowstorms (especially Michael who is used to pleasant B.C. winters!).

Relaxing in the park and enjoying our new digs!

Overall, it has been a great start to my first placement - I am very excited for all that is still to come and to continue to embrace London as my new home for the rest of 2020!