Meet Anna...

Year of Birth: 1991
Degree Program: Bachelor of Science Business Administration
University: WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management
Previous Internships: HochTief Corporate Development, Deloitte Barcelona Consulting, Tomorrow Focus Business Development, Burda Digital Business Development, Lazada South East Asia (Rocket’s Amazon clone) Business Development, Bertelsmann Berlin & New York City Digital Development & Partnerships
Interests: General: Big foodie here so cooking, grocery shopping, eating etc., reading especially historical and fantasy novels, all sorts of tech and digital media related activities

Student Challenger since May 2014.

Describe your educational background. Where did/do you study, what degrees did/will you receive?
Born and raised in Dusseldorf, Germany, I went on to absolve my International Baccalaureate in the United Kingdom. After that, I started university at WHU where I received my Bachelor’s degree in 2013. During the course of these three years leading up to my degree I completed a Management Abroad course at Dubai Women’s college in 2011 and studied abroad at Aalto University: School of Business in Helsinki, Finland in 2012. As of now, I’m in the middle of my self-organized gap year. I would like to go back to university and receive a Master’s degree with something else than business mixed in, maybe something in the direction of technology or so but still undecided. The other option would be a MBA somewhere abroad and some additional years of work experience prior to that. We’ll see…

Describe your career history. What have been your professional experiences?
After starting my career off with an internship at HochTief, one of Germany’s leading construction companies and a consulting internship at Deloitte I soon realized that my primary interest lies less in traditional industries and environments but rather in digitally and tech focused areas of business. So my next internship brought me to Tomorrow Focus, a Munich based and Hubert Burda Media owned internet company that operates HolidayCheck for instance. It also serves as one of Germany’s largest online advertising marketers. Since this company is still pretty young, small in terms of number of employees and has very flat hierarchies, I was able to be in charge of developing the online ad marketer strategy for the next three years. I continued working as a working student for Burda Digital in the Business Development unit approximately until I graduated from WHU. After that I started my self-organized Gap Year in which I first went to Bangkok to complete an internship at Lazada SEA, which is the Amazon clone founded and still owned by Rocket Internet. Upon my return to Europe I applied to Bertelsmann and shortly after started my internship initially in Berlin and transferred to NYC three months later.

What attracted you to Bertelsmann and your internships? What is/was your favorite aspect about your job?
Talent Meets Bertelsmann first attracted me to the company as a whole. I heard about it by chance and applied without thinking much of it. However, when I witnessed the whole event in Berlin 2013, it changed my perception of the company radically. I thought it was exceptional how much effort and how much thought went into the organizing and the set-up. Moreover it struck me how innovative, tech-savvy and digital in general the company presented itself. This started with a special app designed for the event and ended up with a great social media presence and follow up with professionally cut videos etc. It hit me that Bertelsmann really offers the whole spectrum of digital media from eBooks, online video to content and music. This holistic activity span and the strong leverage that comes with such strong presence in the whole media industry primarily attracted me to Bertelsmann. And I can confidently say that the same aspect continued to be my favorite about this job as I worked on projects for almost all divisions and gained insights into the different media branches that I expected I would.

What has been your most challenging/rewarding/exciting task or project thus far?
I’d say my most rewarding and also exciting project at Bertelsmann was an analysis and monitoring of almost twenty of the most important US and European Venture Capital firms. The portfolio development of these companies over the years gives great insights into digital media trends as well as trends in other tech industries. Although this analysis took me weeks and was very tedious at times with as much as 1,500 portfolio companies I produced a very comprehensive data set and might even be able to continue using this for my future studies.

What qualities do you feel are necessary to be a successful employee at Bertelsmann?
It is important to speak up as an employee at Bertelsmann and to openly (and still nicely of course) communicate your aspirations, expectations and impression. In a corporation of such size it is not an easy or granted to attend to every need of all of the 100k employees but if you speak up about the important things, I think it is only beneficial for your career building and also fosters the relationship within your team, since people see you show initiative and take this job seriously.

What was/is a typical day during your internship like?
As well in Berlin as in New York the work I do everyday varies a lot. Although I had a few longer term projects that involved a regular daily work routine including Excel and PowerPoint as well as follow up calls and emails there were always spontaneous inquiries, short term tasks or meetings that I wouldn’t have expected the day before that. So overall you could say besides the usual predictable work the internship was also fuelled by spontaneous unexpected requests.

What are your professional goals? Any others?
One of my major professional goals is to obtain a position in either a corporation or self-employment that makes me happy. I cannot think of a more frustrating situation than being unhappy in the job that you work for everyday and that you need to live off of. Moreover I would like to show people and especially men that ambitious women can in fact strive and be much more successful than mediocre men even without a quota and even in male dominated industries like the digital and startup industry.

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