A great company will always be measured by how it understands and treats its people. And when you're a company of over 180,000 employees, that philosophy takes on an entirely new level of importance.
Meet Christina Farrell. As Global Manager, People, it's her job to help head that Herculean task of overseeing career development from within the company. “It's probably cliché to say this, but there really isn't a typical day on the People team,” says Christina. “We have a robust People Cycle, which is the main focus of the People team. The People Cycle captures AB InBev's annual calendar of performance, development, engagement, and compensation activities, and the primary role of the Business Partner is to work with senior leaders to deliver these activities to our colleagues.”
Christina explains that the People Cycle is a year-long process that involves plenty of data, analysis and collaboration from every corner of the company and all the way to the top of the organization. “The People team digs into the data to generate insights for our senior leaders. It's great to see how invested our senior leaders are in this process,” she says. In her eyes, the entire Cycle upholds the company's value on advancing its best and brightest more quickly. In fact, that's part of what Christina likes best about her job: “I love being a part of this company because of how committed we are to moving our best talent and creating different opportunities to help them grow.”
Even though the Cycle is an ongoing, year-round task, Christina has a host of other responsibilities. “I lead trainings and internal communications for our global offices across the U.S., Belgium, UK, Switzerland, India and Mexico. I also love opportunities to join cross-functional projects: Most recently, I've been working with our Corporate Affairs and Marketing teams to design our global volunteering strategy and global disaster relief strategy.”
Like many of her colleagues, Christina understands and appreciates how what she does can have an immediate impact on the company. “I love working for the People team because I see so much room to grow. If I see an opportunity for improvement, I can raise and debate it with my director and VP, and we'll agree on a solution and get the right people involved to implement it. Things move fast here, and it's really exciting.”
“AB InBev is a truly multinational organization,” Christina says. “My biggest learning experience has been collaborating with teams spread across six different continents and managing multiple time zones, languages, cultures and perspectives.” But even though this certainly adds a degree of difficulty, it's also through this attention to communication that she's learned to become better at her job. “I've discovered the importance of moving a little slower and building relationships, trust and understanding in order to run fast and create efficiencies later.”
“My biggest learning experience has been collaborating with teams spread across six different continents and managing multiple time zones, languages, cultures and perspectives.”
Christina feels that her earlier time spent competing as a Division I soccer player and her previous work experiences have helped form who she is in her current role. “I definitely look to my past for inspiration,” she says. “I had a few tough soccer coaches growing up who pushed me to my mental and physical limits every day, and I had an incredible group of strong female role models and mentors during my time at PepsiCo.” But Christina also finds new inspiration on a daily basis: “I'm also inspired by the senior leaders I work with every day at AB InBev. We attract tremendously talented, ambitious individuals with diverse management experiences that afford them a comprehensive understanding of our business,” she says.
Christina is also optimistic about upcoming projects she has in the near future — especially since many align with some of the company's broader international goals. “This year I'm really excited to bring our global volunteering strategy to life through three skills-based volunteering pilots in South Africa, Colombia, and the U.S.,” she says. “I'm working with Corporate Affairs and Marketing to organize our colleagues into teams that will use our unique skill sets to advise social benefit organizations on strategic problems. Our efforts will enable these organizations to increase their reach and social impact, many of which are aligned with our 2025 Sustainability Goals.”