Meet Sebastian...

Year of Birth:


Degree Program: 9/2013 - 2/2015 Master of Science in Finance

ESADE Business School, Universitat Ramon Llull Barcelona

Previous Internships:

Family business experience, Raiffeisenlandesbank Nö-Wien, Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments


Entrepreneurship, Venture Capital, Corporate Finance, Capital Markets, football, rock climbing and many other sports

Student Challenger since August 2012.

Describe your educational background. Where did / do you study, what degrees did / will you receive?
I will receive my bachelor’s degree from the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU Wien) in September 2012. During my undergraduate studies I focused on the areas of finance and SME-management/entrepreneurship. In order to gain international experience, I spent the last semester of my studies at the Aalto University School of Economics (former Helsinki School of Economics) in Helsinki (Finland). 

Describe your career history. What have been your professional experiences?
After graduating from highschool (Abitur) in June 2008, I started to work in the optician retail chain owned by my family in order to gain first work experience. During my one-year stay as a full-time employee, I worked in different departments of the company ranging from marketing and sales to finance, accounting and IT. Hence, I got a first insight into how a company is operationally run. Following my enrolment at WU Wien in October 2009, I spent further 22 months in the family business as a part-time employee responsible for several tasks in the fields of finance and IT. In 2011, after my fourth semester, I did a summer-internship at the Raiffeisenlandesbank Nö-Wien, one of Austria’s largest banks. Here, I worked in the areas of private and commercial banking. During my stay in Helsinki I then received an offer to work as an intern for Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments (BDMI) after having passed through their selection process. I immediately accepted the offer and started my internship in July 2012. 

What attracted you to Bertelsmann and your internships? What is / was your favorite aspect about your job?
I generally wanted to do an internship in a corporate venture capital fund because I was very keen to experience the mixture of a big enterprise on the one hand, and small, prospering start-ups on the other hand. Hence, I took notice of BDMI – a leading corporate venture capital fund. From the very beginning of my research about BDMI, I was very excited about their ambitious approach of not only providing capital to young start-ups, but also leveraging the tremendous Bertelsmann network in order to create synergies between all parties involved. This was the most important reason for me to apply for an internship at BDMI. My favorite aspects about my job are the extremely high level of responsibility I get as an intern as well as the great diversity of tasks I am allowed to fulfill.  

What has been your most challenging / rewarding / exciting task or project thus far?
At the beginning of the third week of my internship, me and two other BDMI interns were entrusted with further developing an Excel model which is supposed to improve the controlling of the fund’s portfolio companies as well as its overall return calculation. This task proved to be very challenging since we only had limited practical experience in the fields of controlling and VBA programming. However, due to continous effort and a high degree of collaboration within our intern team, we are currently on a very good path to develop a tool which is likely to be of significant value for BDMI. 

What qualities do you feel are necessary to be a successful employee at Bertelsmann?
In my opinion, it is crucial to be enormously goal-driven, passionate and entrepreneurial-minded in order to be able to fully leverage the high degree of responsibility you receive as a Bertelsmann employee. Moreover, I think that working in the truly international environment of Bertelsmann requires a very high degree of cultural awareness. 

What was / is a typical day during your internship like?
Admittedly, it is very hard to say how a typical day during my internship is like because the spectrum of tasks I am assgined to has a very diversified nature. In fact, I am involved in the whole process of venture capital financing, ranging from the evaluation of business plans over due diligence operations to investment management related tasks like portfolio controlling. 

What are your professional goals? Any others ;-) ? 
In the short run, my professional goals are to do a very good job at BDMI, complete a finance-related master’s program at one of Europe’s leading business schools and, thereby, learn as much as possible. What comes right after that is currently pretty difficult to say for me since I can imagine pursuing a career in many different sectors and industries. However, due to the fantastic experience I had at BDMI thus far, an entry position in the area of new media and technology is certainly a very interesting option. In the long run, my goal is undoubdetly to be an entrepreneur. I can imagine this to happen in the form of starting my own company as well as setting up a new business within an existing firm. 

On a personal level, my primary goal is to learn at least one additional foreign language until the completion of my master’s studies.

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