Moving Forward and Holding On

Former CAAA employee turned operations supervisor at Anheuser-Busch recently visited his alma mater. He says a strong connection to UC Davis and the alumni association has helped him in his career.
By Ashley Han

Moving up the ranks at work is always a rewarding accomplishment, especially for young alumni. Fortunately for Brandon Padilla ’16, it only took six months of persistent and efficient performance to receive a promotion at Anheuser-Busch.

“The main reason why I chose Anheuser-Busch is because of the culture; they have a work together, win together mentality,” Padilla explained. “That was one of the first things I saw on their website while I was job searching, and it’s really an integral part of their company.”

Padilla, a CAAA member, started working at Anheuser-Busch in February 2017 as a sales representative. He oversaw a set number of accounts, provided signage, ordered in new products and helped out others in the company. Now, he is transitioning from sales rep to operation supervisor. But his journey in sales began at UC Davis.

“I started as a front desk receptionist at the Cal Aggie Alumni Association during the summer before my junior year,” he explained. “A little over a year later, I moved to the business partnership position where I started in sales, working with partners of the alumni association,” Padilla recalled.

At CAAA, Padilla would search for new partners and write contracts to local businesses in an effort to get new benefits for the Student Alumni Association (SAA) and CAAA. Padilla’s UC Davis education, where he studied managerial economics and communications, also helped him find his calling in business and sales.

“My strong educational foundation has already contributed so much to my career; not only did my major help me network, it introduced me to different industries that I was interested in working in,” Padilla said. “At CAAA, a lot of my work was in sales and business so I got to learn the ins and outs of the field and experience how we bring in new partners. This hands-on experience helped build my communication skills and taught me to get out of my comfort zone.”

As of now, Padilla is the only Aggie in his department at Anheuser-Busch, but he would love to see more Aggies working at the company.

“My advice for students and alumni is don’t be timid because you come from a certain area or studied a certain major. That doesn’t mean you can’t go for an opportunity you’re interested in,” he said. “At Anheuser-Busch, I was there for six months as a sales rep, but saw an opportunity as an operation supervisor and went for it. Explore new areas, open up that boundary and go after any new opportunities you want to pursue!”

Padilla plans to earn his MBA in a few years and says he’d love to return to study at UC Davis’ Graduate School of Management. In the meantime, he plans to continue growing his career.

“CAAA was my first employer in college, and a lot of the people there are like family to me,” he explained. “I became a member just to stay connected, and now I will always have that foundation with CAAA and UC Davis.”