Meet Johanna...

Date of Birth: 1996
Degree Program: Bachelor of Science 2017 in Business Administration
University: WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management
Previous Internships: Arvato, KPMG, German-Irish Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Trade Fair Düsseldorf
Student Challenger since: November 2017

Describe your educational background. Where did/do you study, what degrees did/will you receive?
Directly after finishing high school in 2014, I started my studies in Business Administration and International Management at WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management in Vallendar. During the three years of my bachelor’s degree, I spent one semester abroad studying at Singapore Management University. In this year’s summer, I graduated as part of Class of 2017. As I decided to take a gap year after my Bachelor studies, I am currently gather further practical experience, before I will start my master’s degree in September 2018.

Describe your career history. What have been your professional experiences?
During my Bachelor studies I had several opportunities to gain professional experience next to my bachelor degree. Therefore, I tried to see as many different industries as possible in my internships. After my first two semesters at WHU, I joined the team of Trade Fair Düsseldorf in order to get a deeper insight into project management and exhibitions. One year later, I was an intern at the CIO- & CFO-Consulting department at KPMG. After that, I joined the Marketing department at the German-Irish Chamber for Industry and Commerce in Dublin. Currently, as part of the “Gap Year Program” I support Arvato’s Account Management team in the ecommerce sector for consumer products in Hamburg.

What attracted you to Bertelsmann and your internships? What is/was your favorite aspect about your job?
I am doing my internship at Bertelsmann as part of the Gap Year Program. In my opinion, Bertelsmann was one of the most interesting companies in the program, as it operates in the rapidly changing media industry. Hence, to stay successful, companies need to think and act innovatively at any point making the daily work interesting and challenging. What I love most about my job in Account Management is that in this department, I get a look into many different parts of the company, as we coordinate how they work together in order to make everything run smoothly. Besides, the department has a lot of contact to our clients, as we deliver the services directly to them.

What has been your most challenging/rewarding/exciting task or project thus far?
During my internship at Arvato I organized a workshop with the goal to transfer customer service processes to a new IT system and optimize them. To achieve this, I brought all departments together to define possible contact points and thus assure a smooth transition. Within this project new customer-friendly processes have been created, which, if implemented correctly, will lead to a long-term improvement for all parties involved.

What qualities do you feel are necessary to be a successful employee at Bertelsmann?
To be successful at Bertelsmann you need to be a team player because the ecommerce business is extremely diverse. Hence, you have to work together in order to guarantee a well-functioning business. Furthermore, in my internship, it was very helpful to pay attention to detail in my everyday life. Analyzing my own preferences and proactively thinking about how to improve the overall online experience allowed me to optimize our clients’ online shops from a customer’s point of view.

What was/is a typical day during your internship like?
Every morning, as part of my daily tasks I check my mails, solve upcoming problems and try to structure my day. Afterwards, I usually join internal telephone conferences or get in touch with the Finance, Logistics and Customer Service colleagues to get an overview of the operational business and to monitor the progress of ongoing strategic improvement measures. Furthermore, I prepare the sales KPI’s and create presentations for monthly and quarterly business meetings with our clients I was able to take part in.

What are your professional goals? Any others?
For me, it is really challenging to define my professional goals precisely because there are so many interesting fields and jobs I do not even know they exist. I would like to work in a fast changing and dynamic environment in Germany or abroad with a focus on strategic development. In my opinion, it is important to have a feeling for the global economy as boarders and time zones will become even less important within the next years.

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