How To Break Into The Beer Business: Q&A With A Molson Coors Project Engineer

For many students and recent grads, the opportunity to work with a leading brewing company like Molson Coors would be a dream job!

Besides the obvious perks (free beer anyone?), this organization also has an amazing company culture. While many places say they prioritize work-life balance for their employees, Molson Coors really practices what they preach by offering flexible work hours and hosting tons of fun events for their staff. Most importantly, this innovative company invests in its own talent, focusing on the career development of their employees.

We wanted to learn more about life at Molson Coors and how to succeed in the beer business, so we talked to Project Engineer Andrew Dobbin. Read on to see what he had to say!

Andrew Dobbin
Project Engineer
Molson Coors
Q. Tell us a bit about yourself!

A. I’m originally from Brampton and I graduated from Queen’s University in 2008 with a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering. I’m also a big sports guy and a huge Raptors and Jays fan!

Q. Describe your role at Molson Coors. What does a typical day look like for you?

A. I’m the Project Engineer for the Toronto brewery, so that means I oversee capital investment projects in the breweries. I’m in a unique role where I spend about half my time in the office and half my time in the brewery. I oversee a wide variety of construction projects while also planning projects for the next year. It’s a nice balance between focusing on future projects while executing current projects and helping with any challenges that our brewers face.

Q. Why did you want to work for Molson Coors?

A. After graduating from Queen’s, I was a Consultant Engineer for about six or seven years. After consulting, I really wanted to jump into the industry. I wasn’t sure where to start, so I targeted the top 400 employers in Canada. Molson Coors’ name kept coming up and the more I learned about their corporate culture and the roles they had available, I felt I had an obligation – I mean, who wouldn’t want to work for a beer company fresh out of school?

The Molson Coors culture

Q. What were your first impressions of Molson Coors?

A. I was blown away by how well they treat their employees. The free beer, concerts, sports tickets, the subsidized cafeteria – they do so many little things to make you comfortable and to have you feel like you’re a part of the team. It makes going to work that much more enjoyable. A lot of employers say they want to put their employees first but I’m continuously blown away with the effort that Molson Coors puts in to make their employees happy. It’s refreshing.

Q. What is one of the best things about working at Molson Coors?

A. Definitely the work-life balance. That’s the one thing that every employer says they do, but it’s really great working for a place that really stresses having a life outside of work. There are a lot of expectations for you to perform well at your job, but at the same time, they’ll have half days on Fridays and let you work from home. There’s no one standing over your shoulder with a clock making sure that you’re in at a certain time and stay until a certain time. They really give you the freedom to succeed on your own schedule and in your own way. That kind of trust from an employer makes a world of difference.

Q. How has working at Molson Coors helped you grow professionally?

A. One thing that’s great about Molson is that they’re committed to providing formal training to improve your technical abilities. For instance, they’ll send you to courses outside of the country for a couple weeks so you can learn new skills in brewing, packaging, or engineering. Giving you time off from your job to strengthen your skills long-term is a time and financial commitment that Molson Coors gives to their employees. I think that goes a long way when it comes to keeping everyone motivated and engaged.

Finding your place

Q. What was your biggest challenge when you first started the job?

A. When you first start, you can be a little intimidated by the size of the company and operation. I had only ever worked for mid- to small-sized consulting firms, so you feel a bit like a fish out of water in your first week.

Fortunately, Molson did an excellent job pairing me with strong teams on my projects. You’re not going to be an expert at everything, but if you ask the right questions, you’re able to learn an unbelievable amount through their mentoring. It’s the corporate culture that makes the transition possible.

Q. In your opinion, what are some qualities that students and grads need to have in order to be successful at Molson Coors?

A. The first one is to be a good problem-solver. It sounds a little on the generic side, but especially in a manufacturing environment, you’re constantly faced with new challenges. There’s never a cookie-cutter solution to anything. Being able to think on your feet and come to a logical decision quickly is a strong skill to have.

Being a self-starter is also a big one. Like I said, with working from home, they really trust you to be able to do your job well with as much or as little supervision as you need. The ability to solve problems without constant direction is important.

Lastly, communication is the key one, especially for engineers. By definition, we’re technical people so we traditionally struggle with that sort of skill, but being able to really communicate what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and relaying that message to a wide variety of audiences can do wonders for your career.

Advice and insights

Q. What tips would you give to students and new grads who want to work at Molson Coors?

A. You might be intimidated when you graduate from university and might not necessarily know what you want to do and where you want to work. Still, if you really want to work in beer – just stick with it. Even if you’re not successful the first time, just keep trying to figure out what you need to do and follow that passion. Try to really enjoy what you’re doing.

Q. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far from your experience?

A. The best advice I ever got in my career was that if you’re not slightly uncomfortable, then you’re not learning. People like to be in roles and environments where they feel very comfortable because it’s easier, but it’s important to push your boundaries and to take on a bit more than you’d like. Trying a new project that’s not really in your wheelhouse but that you want to get better at will amaze you with how much you’re able to learn.

So does Molson Coors sound like the place for you? Then head on over to their Employer Page to see all the egg-citing roles available for students and new graduate. Apply today to hatch your career in beer!

Ready to break into the beer business? Check out these egg-citing opportunities with Molson Coors!