Meet Alexander...

Year of Birth: 1992
Degree Program: Master in Strategy and International Management
University: University of St. Gallen
Previous Internships: The Boston Consulting Group GmbH, arvato direct services Wilhelmshaven GmbH, Allianz Deutschland AG, Commerzbank AG, Apo Asset Management GmbH
Interests: Strategy, Digital Transformation, Financial Services, Chess, Opera, Politics, Soccer, Skiing

Student Challenger since August 2015.

Describe your educational background. Where did/do you study, what degrees did/will you receive?
During my undergraduate studies of business administration at the University of Mannheim, I obtained a sound understanding of a wide range of business disciplines. Also, I spent a semester abroad in the modern, dynamic and culturally diverse city of Toronto. My exchange term was a complete breath of fresh air, as I worked together with students who did not share the same school of thought.
Subsequently, I enrolled into a master program at the University of St. Gallen. With a clear focus on strategy, international management, leadership and organizational behavior, the program opens important doors I have to pass in order to become a global leader and a well-rounded manager.

Describe your career history. What have been your professional experiences?
I gathered practical insights in strategy-related work-environments. For example, I interned with the Inhouse Consulting division of Allianz Deutschland AG, headquartered in Munich. Most recently, I worked as Visiting Associate for the Boston Consulting Group, a leading strategy consulting firm.

What attracted you to Bertelsmann and your internships? What is/was your favorite aspect about your job?
On the one hand, the radical change in the media industry is interesting – especially from a strategic perspective. In my opinion, change is chance. Those who best cope with digitalization and changing customer preferences will win the game.
On the other hand, Bertelsmann offers a broad spectrum of career paths. Almost everything is possible, from new venture development to corporate communications, from highly strategic to customer-facing, from Germany to the near or even the far abroad.
At Bertelsmann, I worked on a business plan for a recently launched outsourcing service tailored to clients in the financial services industry. I have experienced that thinking of disruptive business solutions is far more interesting than managing well-established products and services.

What has been your most challenging task or project thus far?
I had to model a sophisticated business case, taking into account a large variety of scenarios, for example with regard to pricing model and service offering.

What qualities do you feel are necessary to be a successful employee at Bertelsmann?
I believe, openness to new ideas, entrepreneurial thinking and customer centricity are essential to fit into the corporate culture.

What was/is a typical day during your internship like?
No two days were alike. One day, I searched for studies on market trends and customer needs. Another day, I modeled a complex business case.
However, there was still some sort of routine. For example, I regularly discussed findings and conclusions with colleagues to verify assumptions, add new aspects and define the next steps.

What are your professional goals? Any others?
I like to deal with strategic questions, as I find it mentally stimulating to approach complex problems. Beyond my master’s degree, I want to work in a strategy-driven work-environment.
Apart from any professional goals, social responsibility is very important to me – and will ever be. I have worked in several political youth organizations. I like to participate in political debates and reflect on solutions to the urgent problems of our times.

If you have one word to describe Bertelsmann – what would it be?