My company, Vandergeeten Trading Co., is one of the largest distributors of imported beer in Mainland China. We have a portfolio of over 100 unique brands – ranging from Baladin Italian craft beer to Chimay, a Belgian Trappist beer brewed by monks. Most of our products are Belgian brews, due to the high interest and demand for such products in Beijing and Shanghai. China is now the world’s largest consumer of beer, and we carry some of the region’s top selling beers, including Delirium and Hoegaarden. The booming beer market in China is a tough place to be. With Chinese domestic brands like Tsingtao competing against imported brands that we distribute, in addition to the growing craft beer trend led by Boxing Cat and Great Leap breweries, there is a huge competition to boost product visibility around the region.
My supervisor, Kay, oversees the marketing and sales of our beer products and serves officially as the Sales and Brand Manager. Kay is from Wales originally, and is the only woman in the company that speaks English – needless to say we are pretty good pals now. On the marketing side of the company, she approves all plans and budgets, organizes events, and works with our clients to develop promotions for our brands. For the sales department, she seeks out new clients and hosts beer tastings all over Beijing. She has already been an incredible mentor to me and has granted me the freedom to contribute my skills to the company.
My role within the company is to work under Kay, so I have a foot in both marketing and sales. I am lucky to have such a broad role, because I am getting to learn many aspects of the business. Promotional events, brand management, sales to prospect clients, and product purchases all fall within my role. I am usually given a large project that lasts a couple days, such as formulating a case study on our competitors and preparing a proposal of action for how we will compete with them. In addition to this, I have smaller daily tasks, such as going through brand stock and preparing data tables for Kay and the sales department to use.
My daily life at work is upbeat and happy. The office is bright and can be very lively when the six men that make up the sales team start chattering loudly on the phone with potential clients (all in Chinese, of course.) All in all, I am more than happy with my company, supervisor, and role. I am taking so much out of my internship already and it is only week two. I keep a journal to do work in as well as write down important task details, words of my supervisors, and each little thing I learn every day. I am feeling nothing but grateful!!!
Please see the attached picture of me on the Great Wall. My facial expression matches how I feel right now, and it is GREAT!!!!!!!.