College is one of the things that’s taken an exceptionally weird turn in the last several weeks. Starting with spring break, pretty much every part of the stereotypical college experience has been upended or canceled in the past several weeks, with no return to normalcy in sight.
That includes important resume-building opportunities such as internships. Dozens of companies across many different industries have canceled their internship programs this year, setting back students who had been looking forward to building their professional experience.
In response, everyone’s favorite college beer—Natural Light—is stepping in to help. The Anheuser-Busch brand introduced a new internship program last year and is hiring its second intern this summer, making the position fully remote due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“With the job market as complicated as ever, it’s that much more important that recent grads get internship experience to propel their professional careers,” said Daniel Blake, vp of U.S. value brands at Anheuser-Busch.
The brand wanted this year’s internship to be “the best experience we could provide,” Blake said. “That’s how we landed on a flavor innovation role, which will give them a great deal of responsibility but also a ton of fun memories.”
The posting is live on job search site Indeed, and the brand will be accepting applications through May 17. Candidates are required to post a “photo, sketch, doodle or tweet of their idea for a new Natty Light flavor innovation” on social with the hashtags #NattyIntern and #contest in addition to submitting the application through Indeed. The internship is full-time, from June 8 through July 31, and pays $40 per hour. Last year, nearly 12,000 people applied.
It’s the latest in a series of initiatives that Natty Light has rolled out to support college students and recent graduates. A couple years ago, the brand put a recent grad’s resume on a Nascar racecar to help them get employed.
It also made a $10 million commitment to paying down student loan debt for graduates over the subsequent 10 years. Around the end of March, Natty Light randomly chose several of its fans on Twitter and gave them each $400—a little more than the average student loan payment in the U.S. After all, when the world seems to be an ever-growing dumpster fire, student debt should bet the last thing recent grads worry about.
“We’re always looking to support our fans and help their transition from college into adult life,” Blake said. And when it comes to student loans, “we couldn’t let this debt overshadow the amazing memories made in college.”
When it became clear that commencement ceremonies for the class of 2020 would be canceled, Natural Light organized a virtual ceremony on May 14, with celebrity speakers like Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, actress Jane Lynch, sports commentator Stephen A. Smith and Barstool Sports CEO Erika Nardini (who will be our guest on the Friday edition of Adweek Together). Graduating college seniors can sign up online to have their names featured during the ceremony.
“With all of these initiatives, we want our fans to know that Natural Light is always there to support them,” Blake said. The brand is there, of course, for the “epic college memories,” but “we’re also there for the tougher transition from college into adult life.”