Caroline (Schulz) Murphy
Current Role/Title: S&OE Manager: Finishing Materials- AB-InBev
Managing finishing materials across our brewery network in the US. Finishing materials include flavors, juices, essences, oils, and sweeteners.
What is something fascinating happening in your industry right now?
Currently in my industry we are going through a fascinating learning experience. Anheuser-Busch is still facing quite a bit of backlash from a media post earlier this year. This situation has affected my company negatively with significant drops in sales, production cuts at breweries, and layoffs. It has been interesting to see how other alcoholic beverage companies are leveraging their marketing strategies to gain our lost shares, and conversely how we are trying to remarket ourselves and rectify the loss. It has been an extremely good learning experience as you see how the different facets of the company are being monitored more closely (ex: core working capital, inventory, obsolescence, etc.) Also watching the cascading of information and treatment of the people/employee side is an organizational behavior view of a company that is going through a challenging time. In general, it has been fascinating to see externally and internally how this affects the alcohol industry.
How did you end up in your current position?
I have moved multiple times within my current organization, but I was looking for a role that offered a new challenge. Since starting at AB-InBev I have always been in procurement, but I was looking to gain a better understanding of the breweries and innovations. My previous role was in commercial where I worked with the marketing and the media side of our business, and as much as I loved it, I wanted to understand the nitty gritty of our product production. My current role in our Logistics department allows me just that. I work with our innovation team in new product launches, any re-formulations in recipes to our current products. I get to be on the front line working with our breweries and suppliers to make products so many people love.
In what ways has your Mizzou education/affiliation impacted your life since graduation?
Trying to quantify how Mizzou has impacted me since graduation is difficult. Reminders surround me that I would not be in my current role without the education that Mizzou provided me. The lifelong friends (including my husband) that I made there are constant reminders that I would not have them without Mizzou. The ease of meeting new people in large groups where you say, “I graduated from Mizzou…” and you won’t be able to finish your sentence because almost always someone will say “Me too!” Mizzou offered me an education and the opportunity to be a tenacious student in and out of the classroom. Provided me the foundation and confidence to pursue things I might have been intimidated about. I was born in Brussels, Belgium and lived in Warsaw Poland, before moving to the states. I have moved around so much that finding a place that made me feel as though I had roots was difficult. Mizzou gave me a home. And that home moves with me where I get to relive with old and new friends, hearing about differing experiences where there is always the same thread: A gratefulness and love of Mizzou.
Why did you choose Mizzou—what makes Mizzou special? Why should someone consider Mizzou?
Coming out of high school I did not want to go to a large university for fear of just being a number and lost. Instead, I opted for a small liberal arts college in Ohio. My freshman year I fell in love with geology, however the program was not as robust, so I went looking for another university to encourage that path. I decided to tour Mizzou and while walking near the columns someone went “MIZ,” obviously waiting for my response of “ZOU,” instead I gave them a blank stare and they looked at me and jokingly said “Geez, do you even go here?” That immense pride of just saying MIZ was part of what made me fall in love with my now Alma Mater. The people, the campus, the professors, and the city of Columbia are what make Mizzou an immensely diverse, challenging, and an impeccable place to spend 3 years of my college life. I loved it so much that I even decided to stay for 2 more years to attain my MBA. My advice to anyone struggling to decide if Mizzou is the right choice, please know that you will not be just a number, you will find a community, and you will definitely learn to say “ZOU!”
Fondest memories while a student or faculty member here?
I have such a challenging time pinning down just a few memories; I am so blessed that I have so many. I loved late night study sessions where we as students mutually bonded over the same topic. Walks through campus to get coffee at the Starbucks in Memorial Union to keep us going. Going hiking though Rock Bridge and Pinnacles. And I mostly miss being able to tailgate with some of my favorite people while cheering our favorite team.
In your spare time, what do you like to do?
When life affords me some spare time I have two passions, traveling and being outdoors as much as possible. I love to travel to different countries and immersing myself in different cultures. Most recently I went to Mauritius, and it was eye opening. When I’m not traveling, I especially enjoy hiking and kayaking, and my two dogs love to accompany me on adventures “in the wilderness.” My family has two horses which allows me to go on trail rides often. My favorite time is during the fall when the leaves change colors and are falling, you can hear the leaves crunch under the horses’ hooves, I swear there is nothing more soothing. When I am not hiking, kayaking or on a horse, my husband’s family runs a cattle ranch where I love to help build fence, haul hay, vaccinate cows, or just enjoy the beauty of nature.