Chris Kurtz

Something’s Brewing

During his internship at Anheuser-Busch while a part of the UF MBA program, Chris Kurtz (MBA ’15) learned about the corporate side of the company. Meeting with the vice president of the company’s breweries gave him a new opportunity – brewing. His interest in Anheuser-Busch’s brewing turned into a job offer after graduation.

Kurtz, who served in the Air Force from 2003-2013 before enrolling in the UF MBA program, started his career at Anheuser-Busch in packaging at their Fort Collins, Colo. location. After almost two years, he transferred into brewing in April 2017 with eyes on his ultimate goal – becoming a brewmaster. It’s a prestigious title held by only 12 Anheuser-Busch employees in the U.S., all possessing 10+ years of experience.

Currently working as a Business Processing Manager in Fort Collins, Kurtz manages a group of 35 employees that ensure only beer up to the company’s standard is shipped around the country. But the job is much more than simply taste-testing the beer. They work long shifts at the 24-hour facility to guarantee it’s made exactly to the Anheuser-Busch specifications.

Kurtz said the job wouldn’t be possible without his background at UF MBA. He credited the strength of The Gator Nation for helping him get the job. His time at Anheuser-Busch started with an internship, which he first got connected to through an on-campus recruiting event.

“I wouldn’t have this job without The Gator Nation,” Kurtz said.

UF MBA also taught him the accounting skills that will assist his growth in the company. He gained the financial background through his classes, teaching him how to manage the company’s money and build a strategic background. As he continues to grow towards the potential title of brewmaster, the financial background gives him a leg up even if he isn’t working much with finances in his current role.

“I know how the money and the process works,” Kurtz said. “I’m a better asset at the higher level because of that.”

The third and final part of the MBA experience that shaped Kurtz was the background in organizational behavior. Managing a 35-person team in a large company has challenged Kurtz, and it helped that he had the background from his UF MBA. The program helped him learn how to manage people and incentivize what they do to ensure buy in to the company’s goals.

“I learned that in Hough Hall combined with some of my own military skill set,” Kurtz said.