Review Year-End Meeting 2014

On December 8th and 9th, 2014 the annual Student Challenge Year-End Meeting took place at our Bertelsmann Corporate Center in Gütersloh. 

This year’s meeting was even more exciting than usual, as this year’s group came from all over the world. We welcomed two Spanish participants from the TALENTUM program in Spain (a rotational program aimed at Masters graduates), as well as one participant from the winning team at the Chinese Talent Meets Bertelsmann workshop. Although the student from China certainly traveled the furthest, many of our German Student Challenge participants also had long journeys, coming from Cambridge, Lisbon, Berlin, and Munich, just to name a few. As a result, we had a very diverse group of people participating in this two-day event. 

The first day of the meeting revolved around the “Innovation Slam,” a lively workshop that introduced a range of techniques (i.e. petscha kutscha) to students. Students were then encouraged and supported to develop highly innovative and creative ideas, as well as new — and even disruptive —products. In the afternoon our participants pitched their ideas to a jury consisting of Bertelsmann’s senior management. It was very challenging, but also a lot of fun! 

After a full day of hard work, the group went to the restaurant and cooking school of Patrick Speck, a local Michelin star-winning chef. Students cooked alongside Patrick and then enjoyed the fruits of their labor: a delicious 4-course meal. The students were each given the recipes at the end and can now work towards cooking like a top chef. :-)

On the second day of the year-end meeting, our student challenger participants had the chance to listen to presentations from a range of Bertelsmann colleagues. They heard about the strategic priorities and challenges of arvato, the BPO-provider of Bertelsmann, as well as the financial performance and M&A activities of Bertelsmann corporate. Later that day, our student challenge participants participated in an intense speed-dating session with the participants of the Bertelsmann Entrepreneurs Program. They took advantage of this opportunity to learn more about the different Bertelsmann divisions and businesses worldwide and, most importantly, expand their own personal network within the organization. At the end of the second day our student challenge participants, now inspired and full of new ideas, returned to their homes and universities in the UK, Lisbon, China, Spain and Germany. 

Thanks again to everyone for these fantastic two days and for taking the time to visit our Bertelsmann Corporate Center in Gütersloh. See you next year! 

Yours Maria & Steffi