Meet Alexandra...

Year of Birth: 1992
Degree Program: Master of Science in Business Psychology
University: Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität (WWU) Münster
Previous Internships: LWL Clinic, Institute for Psychological Research, Institute of Occupational Reintegration, Diversity Management at Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA
Interests: Professional: Talent Management, Occupational Health Management, Diversity Management, Corporate Responsibility, Recruitment (via Social Media), development of trainings in the field of HR, Coaching
Private: Karate, modern arts, travelling (especially to the Arab countries), hiking

Student Challenger since September 2014.

Describe your educational background. Where did/do you study, what degrees did/will you receive?
In 2014 I received my bachelor´s degree in Psychology at the WWU Münster, after which I started a master’s program in Business Psychology at the same university. I will receive my master´s degree in July 2016.
During my studies, I took several elective courses focusing on coaching and training development, as well as an advanced English course for psychologists. I visited the Okanogan College in Canada during my semester break last year, too.

Describe your career history. What have been your professional experiences?
I gained my first practical experience in business psychology at the Institute of Occupational Reintegration in Hamm. There I carried out an assessment center and worked with people who completed an occupational rehabilitation program. Furthermore I developed trainings in the field of health-related prevention programs.
I particularly enjoyed identifying participants´ hidden professional potential. Therefore I started focusing on Talent Management and counselling. I began offering job-application trainings for students in cooperation with a certified communication trainer.
Thanks to the deep insight into the field of psychological trainings in Hamm, I developed a computer-based training program during a research internship at the WWU and evaluated this project in my bachelor´s thesis.
In addition to these experiences, I also participated in courses dealing with coaching and gained much psychological operative expertise. I still wanted to develop my strategic skills, however, so I took on an internship in the Diversity Management department at Bertelsmann.

What attracted you to Bertelsmann and your internships? What is/was your favorite aspect about your job?
Bertelsmann´s organizational structure attracted my attention because of its different divisions. I enjoy challenge to develop HR-concepts that fit to the divisions´ individual corporate culture and, at the same time, to identify their cultures’ similarities.
Due to digitalization, businesses are experiencing a fast and ongoing change in their market environments – media companies especially are confronted with this challenge. More than ever, it is necessary to support an exchange amongst employees with different and unique talents and backgrounds in order to promote innovation and remain competitive in the changing market. For this reason I chose an internship in Diversity Management. I really enjoyed the interdisciplinary team and space for new ideas. This internship triggered my creativity and supported my ability to “think outside the box”.

What has been your most challenging/rewarding/exciting task or project thus far?
I was involved in many different projects, where I was assigned interesting responsibilities and was allowed to develop my own creative ideas.
It was quite rewarding to follow projects from the very first step to the implementation.

What qualities do you feel are necessary to be a successful employee at Bertelsmann?
Because of the fast and changing pace of the media industry, Bertelsmann employees have to be very curious and inquisitive in order to contribute to the ongoing culture of innovation. Moreover Bertelsmann employees should be quite open-minded so that they can take advantage of the great network of experienced colleagues and develop their own creativity.

What was/is a typical day during your internship like?
A “typical” day at Bertelsmann is full of spontaneous events and tasks: there was no daily routine in my internship. As I supported many different projects, I got to know many new people and was confronted with new challenging tasks every day. My internship was so interesting and exciting that time flew by, and I was still learning at the end of my three months there.

What are your professional goals? Any others?
After completing my master´s degree, I would like to work in HR. My goal is to establish a corporate culture in which employees are valued by their individuality. I would like to motivate employees to “think outside the box” and discover their hidden talents. Therefore I´m looking for a job in which I can combine my interests in supporting the individual employee and changing organizational structures.
Furthermore, I would like to travel as much as possible in order to get to know many different cultures and people from various paths of life.
One day, I would really like to get my black belt in Karate, as well ;).

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