Meet Stefanie...

Year of Birth:


Degree Program:

Master of Science in International Business (MIB)


HEC Paris / Stockholm School of Economics

Previous Internships:

Phoenix Contact Deutschland GmbH, Deutsche Bank Luxembourg, Booz & Company, Bertelsmann AG


International Economics, Business Taxation, International Finance, Entrepreneurial Finance
Personal Interests: Sports (Jogging, T-Bo, XCO Training, Swimming), Painting, Travelling

Student Challenger since 2011

Describe your educational background. Where did / do you study, what degrees did / will you receive?
Starting in September 2008, I studied Business Administration at the WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management in Vallendar for 3 years and graduated as Bachelor of Science in June 2011. I decided to write my bachelor thesis in business taxation and did an empirical analysis on the influence of corporate and payout taxes on the investment behavior of firms. During my Bachelor studies, I spent one semester abroad at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, USA. In September 2011, I am going to start my Master in International Business / CEMS Master in Management at HEC Paris as well as Stockholm School of Economics in Sweden. 

Describe your career history. What have been your professional experiences?
Prior to my internship at the Corporate Development Department of Bertelsmann, I was with Phoenix Contact Deutschland GmbH, Deutsche Bank Luxembourg and Booz & Company for summer internships. During my internship at Phoenix Contact, I was employed in the Corporate Purchase Department and assisted several team in strategic purchase projects and moreover got detailed insights in strategic product marketing. In 2009, I completed an internship in the Private Wealth Management Business Division of Deutsche Bank Luxembourg. More precisely, I worked in the Booking Center Department, which is responsible for the booking of assets of extremely wealthy international clients. In this context, I supported relationship managers concerning issues of securities, remittances, time deposits and foreign exchange products and was in charge of opening, administrating and handling corporate and individual accounts for ultra-high net worth clients. Furthermore, I developed a “New Prospect Questionnaire”, which met the need to directly obtain a good summary of the complete company structures of all corporate accounts on an individual basis. Afterwards, I had the opportunity to complete an internship at Booz & Company in Munich where I worked as a member of two consulting teams. During my first assignment, I had the opportunity to work on a project for a client within the testing and certification services industry. The main focus of my second project was on the definition of a buy&build strategy for a leading specialty chemicals company.

What attracted you to Bertelsmann and your internships? What is / was your favorite aspect about your job?
What attracted me to Bertelsmann is the open, entrepreneurial and efficiency-oriented corporate culture that allows employees to actively shape their own career while being supported but also challenged. I had strong interests in the media industry but never had the possibility to work on strategic media projects in previous internships. Having the possibility to work for Europe’s leading media company while dealing with strategic issues in the Corporate Development Department represented a perfect fit to my interests. Furthermore, I was curious about looking behind the scenes of such a big media company to understand service offerings that sometimes remain invisible for end-consumers.

What has been your most challenging / rewarding / exciting task or project thus far?
After about three weeks with the Corporate Development Department, I was in charge of a project in the language services business. Developing a business expansion and internationalization strategy for a language service provider, including market and competitor analyses, investment calculations and portfolio selection for online marketing activities, was exciting and challenging at the same time. Even though I was supported by colleagues in case of questions, being in charge of a project on own entrepreneurial initiative remains special. At the last day of my internship, I had the opportunity to finally present the results of my analyses to several colleagues from different divisions. Not only their interest in the results and corresponding implementation plans were rewarding, but also the trust in the quality of my work from day one on made me feel a fully integrated team member right from the beginning.

What qualities do you feel are necessary to be a successful employee at Bertelsmann?
Be open-minded, think creatively and entrepreneurial, share your ideas, remain curious and have passion for any topics related to media. Bertelsmann offers a very supportive and inspiring environment as well as smart colleagues that help you to easily integrate and realize your ideas and projects.

What was / is a typical day during your internship like?
Fortunately, a typical day during my internship did not exist. Even though I did project work every day as there are no typical “daily business” tasks in the Corporate Development Department, the diversity of projects and related tasks made every day kind of unique. There were extremely stressful days, others were less timed and planned. Due to exciting tasks, ten weeks of internship elapsed very fast which may be the best proof that boredom did definitely not exist during my internship.

What are your professional goals? Any others ;-) ? Well, my short-term goal is to successfully finish my Master studies in International Business, improve my French and Swedish language skills and grow in my responsibilities. I am very open to work abroad or for a big international companies in the business development or strategy departments. I could also image myself to be with a strategy consultancy for some years to build up certain expertise in managing and analyzing strategic issues while getting good insights in many different industries and business models. 

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