Meet Charlotte...

Year of Birth: 1991
Degree Program: Master Business Administration
University: University of Cologne
Previous Internships: Bayer Business Consulting, Ebner Stolz Management Consultants, German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs
Interests: Rowing, Debating, Economic and Education policy, Corporate Development

Student Challenger since May 2015.

Describe your educational background. Where did/do you study, what degrees did/will you receive?
Driven by my interest in economic interrelations and societal developments I completed a Bachelor’s degree in Economics at the University of Cologne. For my Master’s degree I was then seeking for some more applicable knowledge and chose Business Administration with a focus on Corporate Development and Controlling. During this degree I studied for one semester at the University of Sydney, a delighting experience.

Describe your career history. What have been your professional experiences?
I did my first internship in the German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. Here I worked on topics such as the report on poverty and wealth or the Troika reports on Greece. At Ebner Stolz as well as at Bayer Inhouse Consulting I gathered insights in the consulting business, which triggered my interest in the field of strategy. During my internship at Bertelsmann I could gain deep insights in the corporate development of an international corporation and the dynamics of the media industry.

What attracted you to Bertelsmann and your internships? What is/was your favorite aspect about your job?
Bertelsmann as a media company is an exciting place to work, since the media business serves as a central pillar for our democracy by providing news and information. It also provides great entertainment for many people in a large variety of ways. Against this background it is especially interesting to see how Bertelsmann handles the change due to the digitization of media content, which was motivation for my application. The Emerging Markets departments attracted my attention, because since I worked in a social project in Brazil, I am fascinated by the country. The internship offered a great opportunity to learn more about both the media industry and the challenges of doing business in the emerging world.

What has been your most challenging/rewarding/exciting task or project thus far?    
The most rewarding project during my internship was to prepare a strategy meeting with all of Bertelsmann’s top executives involved in the businesses in emerging markets. Since my team was responsible for the content wise organization of the conference, I quickly learned a lot about all Bertelsmann businesses and investment activities in growth regions, their growth options and challenges. Due to the different work styles in the emerging countries we were concerned with, the alignment and wrap-up of business figures required a lot of effort and was only possible in close collaboration with the colleagues from Brazil, India and China. This cross-cultural work was a valuable experience and the very positive feedback of the participants was a great reward for our efforts.

What qualities do you feel are necessary to be a successful employee at Bertelsmann?
True to the motto “Create your own career” there are no predetermined career paths at Bertelsmann. That is why you should be creative, forward thinking and motivated to bring in your own ideas to seize the opportunities of this global company. At the same time, you should be a team player. The team spirit at Bertelsmann is unique, fostered by many after-work-activities, e.g. sport groups (my Wednesday evenings were booked with soccer!) or bowling events.

What was/is a typical day during your internship like?
Since I worked on many different projects, it is hard to define what a typical day looks like. However, I will have a try: After a team meeting in the morning, I usually started working on my own task, which could be the processing of quarterly figures of Bertelsmann’s business in Brazil, India and China or the analysis of business models of young enterprises in which Bertelsmann’s funds were considering to invest. Around noon I always had lunch with colleagues from various departments. It is very common at Bertelsmann to have “lunch dates” and they are a great opportunity to build a network within Bertelsmann. In the afternoon I would probably present the current status of my work to my colleague and discuss questions and ideas. He would then provide me with constructive feedback on my results which I incorporated afterwards. Before finishing the day, I might help another colleague with a short request for a research on e.g. one of Bertelsmann’s fund portfolios.

What are your professional goals? Any others?
After finishing Uni I aim to work in a company that creates societal benefits and acts responsibly especially in countries of lower development stages. At the same time I am looking for a dynamic and inspiring working environment that is challenging and gives room for professional and personal development.

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