Meet Christopher

Year of Birth: 1989
Degree Program: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
University: WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management
Previous Internships: Atheneum Partners, Business Development Berlin und Paris, Europäische Zentralbank TARGET2-Securities Frankfurt, Bertelsmann Digital Development & Partnerships Berlin
Interests: Sports, Running, Cooking, Travelling

Student Challenger since November 2014.

Describe your educational background. Where did/do you study, what degrees did/will you receive?
During school, I spent some time in the United Kingdom, but completed the International Baccalaureate in my hometown Frankfurt, Germany. After that, I went on to do a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management in Vallendar, Germany. During the studies there, I went abroad to Budapest, Hungary for a semester and for another course to Dubai, UAE. After my gap year until summer 2014, in which I also completed the internship at Bertelsmann, I have started with the Master in Management (MIM) at ESCP Europe in Berlin and will spend the second year in Paris. The double German-French Master degree will be completed in summer 2016.

Describe your career history. What have been your professional experiences?
My first internship was at Atheneum Partners in Berlin, a company – back then still a start-up – building up an expert network and providing knowledge brokerage to consultancies, VCs and private equity firms. After this I completed a summer-intern-program at the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, where I worked for the TARGET2-Securities division that is developing a single platform for securities settlement in central bank money and thus improving the post-trading infrastructure in Europe. After graduating from WHU, I was working on and trying to found a start-up with several other people for the travel market until April 2014, when we unfortunately had to stop the project. After all these experiences, I realised that I would like to work for a larger and more mature company than a start-up but also no organisation such as ECB - a company in which you work entrepreneurial and results-driven. That is why I applied for the internship at the Digital Development & Partnerships division at Bertelsmann in Berlin.

What attracted you to Bertelsmann and your internships? What is/was your favorite aspect about your job?
The diversity of businesses and industries Bertelsmann is in attracted me the most. I was thrilled by the opportunity to work for companies of all fields in the media industry and to get insights and understand many different business models. Especially interesting was also the aspect of digitization of these different business models in order to ensure long-term profitability. Bertelsmann offers the whole spectrum of digital media from eBooks, online video and content to music. Moreover, I was excited to work for a multi-national conglomerate and then even very close to the top management and executive board.

What has been your most challenging/rewarding/exciting task or project thus far?
The most interesting and challenging project during the internship at Bertelsmann was a video project for Gruner + Jahr in Hamburg. We analysed the online video market in depth in order to come up with a viable business model that fits to G+J’s strategy. The exciting and rewarding part about this project was that another intern and me had great flexibility and freedom in structuring the project and on deciding how to approach it. This was a very good experience as we have learnt a lot, especially during regular feedback sessions with our project supervisors.

What qualities do you feel are necessary to be a successful employee at Bertelsmann?
To be a successful employee at Bertelsmann, I think you obviously need to have excellent professional skills and expertise. You need to think innovative, be analytical and of course familiar with the latest trends in the media industry. Besides this, it is important to speak up and communicate efficiently about the important things, especially because it is such a huge corporation. In addition to this, you should be open-minded and connect to colleagues in the different companies and all over the world. The Bertelsmann corporation with its more than 110.000 employees is powerful and has potentially many synergies that can be used.

What was/is a typical day during your internship like?
Luckily, there was not a typical day during my internship. The range of tasks and projects varied a lot and not one day was like the other. Of course, there were typical intern tasks connected to research and incorporate these findings later into presentations for the supervisors. We also worked on the Digital Market Update for some 50+ senior management members of the Bertelsmann corporation. However, there were also short-notice inquiries with important and urgent tasks, but also project work with a longer time horizon such as the video project for Gruner + Jahr.

What are your professional goals? Any others?
After graduating at ESCP in summer 2016, I want to start working in a competitive and challenging environment on current topics and trends by thinking innovative and working results-driven in an inspiring team where I can also learn from others a lot. The media industry is particularly interesting for me because to stay a big player, innovation and openness to new models is needed.

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