Meet Nicolas T. ...

Year of Birth: 1991
Degree Program: International Business Administration
University: Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University
Previous Internships: Anheuser-Busch InBev Prague, Rödl & Partner Italy
Interests: Travel, technology, field hockey, acting

Student Challenger since January 2015.

Describe your educational background. Where did/do you study, what degrees did/will you receive? 
From 2011 to 2014 I studied in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, pursuing a BSc degree in International Business Administration. During my studies I also went on a 4 months exchange program to Hong Kong, studying at the University of Hong Kong (HKU).

Describe your career history. What have been your professional experiences?
Before coming to Bertelsmann I have had various teaching jobs at university, teaching regular workshops and lectures in mathematics, statistics, and business strategy. In summer 2013 I completed an internship for AB InBev, the world’s largest beer manufacturer, in Prague.

What attracted you to Bertelsmann and your internships? What is/was your favorite aspect about your job?
Home to impressive brands such as the world’s largest publishing house Penguin Random House, or Europe’s leading media brand the RTL Group I felt that working for Bertelsmann could provide me with great insights into the media sector.
Highly interested in the technology sector, I was lucky to be assigned to work with Bertelsmann’s technology venture capital funds, BDMI, BAI and Bozano. I particularly enjoyed analyzing the funds’ various business proposals on their financial and strategic impact on Bertelsmann, as well as aiding in the preparation of an appraisal of BAI’s strategy for the coming five years, for Bertelsmann’s executive and supervisory board.

What has been your most challenging/rewarding/exciting task or project thus far?
In 2010 I set out to complete one year of community service in the Dominican Republic. With initially only rudimentary Spanish skills, I set up an after-school program for children of the surrounding schools, and taught English and mathematics for the better part of that year. Seeing the progress most children made since the beginning of the project until its completion was particularly rewarding.

What qualities do you feel are necessary to be a successful employee at Bertelsmann?
Throughout my internship I found that taking initiative is truly valued at Bertelsmann. The more you are willing to put in to your work, the more you will be able to get out of it. Coming straight from university, working in the Corporate Controlling & Strategy department (ZI) also taught me to develop an eye for detail. Since the ZI department reports directly to Bertelsmann’s executive board, the accuracy of all information provided is absolutely crucial.

What was/is a typical day during your internship like?
It is difficult to describe a typical day at Bertelsmann, since no day was quite like any other. An example would be to start the day at 9am checking emails for feedback or urgent requests from my team members. Often I would find a business proposal for a new technology start-up in China or the US, which I then analyzed and subsequently reported my results with critical questions to my supervisor. We then sent a summary of our work to the respective fund, awaiting a detailed response. Once every other week we also held a general team assembly during which all of nearly 20 team members reported on their latest activities. This proved particularly interesting, since it allowed me to get a good sense of all of Bertelsmann’s businesses around the globe.

What are your professional goals? Any others?
In the future I aim to work in a fast-paced, intellectually stimulating environment, which continues to challenge me and force me to learn something new every day. This being the main premise, I can imagine to work on the intersection of finance and technology, perhaps building on my experiences at Bertelsmann and work in a venture capital fund.

If you have one word to describe Bertelsmann – what would it be?
Diverse – for its wide range of activities as well as the people that drive them.