Meet Justus...

Year of Birth: 1995
Degree Program: MSc. Financial Economics
University: Oxford University
Previous Internships: KPMG, Allianz Capital Partners, Greenhill, Roland Berger-
Interests: Corporate Finance, M&A, Controlling

Student Challenger since October 2017

Describe your educational background. Where did/do you study, what degrees did/will you receive?
I have done my undergraduate in International Business at Maastricht University with a major in Finance and Minor in Quantitative Economics. In my Bachelor, I really enjoyed all quantitative courses with special interest in Corporate Finance, Accounting and Economics. To do justice to my academic interests, I decided to pursue the MSc. Financial Economics at Oxford University.

Describe your career history. What have been your professional experiences?
I have done certain internships in different industries. During my Bachelor, I interned at KPMG in the Deal Advisory team. In the preceding year, I undertook a Gap-Year with internships at Allianz Capital Partners in Private Equity with Infrastructure focus, at Greenhill in Investment Banking, at Roland Berger in Restructuring and eventually at Bertelsmann in ZI.

What attracted you to Bertelsmann and your internships? What is/was your favorite aspect about your job?
Bertelsmann as a globally leading media company with an exciting portfolio of companies strongly attracted me. I wanted to get first-hand experience in the work of Finance and Controlling professionals in that industry, which was completely fulfilled during my internship. The most rewarding part of working at Bertelsmann was to be treated as a full-fledged team member and employee, a feeling which I not always had atpreceding internships.

What has been your most challenging/rewarding/exciting task or project thus far?
My most exciting task at Bertelsmann was the coordination of the monthly controlling report. During my internship, the person responsible for that task unfortunately left the company and transferred all responsibilities to me for the time being. I had to ensure that all controlling units input relevant updates on Bertelsmann’s investments in a timely manner and I subsequently had to combine all information in a consistent reporting format. Ultimately, I was the person in charge and had to explain any details in front of the ZI team.

What qualities do you feel are necessary to be a successful employee at Bertelsmann?
From my point of view, there are three fundamental qualities a Bertelsmann employee must show in both the ZI and M&A teams to have an impact. 1) A long-lasting investment horizon is important to be aligned with Bertelsmann investment strategy to build a long-term and sustainable global conglomerate. 2) Furthermore, employees must be strong in innovative thinking to constantly search for opportunities to grow Bertelsmann’s changing portfolio and to strengthen existing businesses. This is especially important in Bertelsmann’s current quest to grow in education and boost digital revenues in all divisions. 3) Lastly, strong analytical and numerical skills are an essential prerequisite for the nature of the work encountered.

What was/is a typical day during your internship like?
I came in the office around 9am and responded to any emails which came in after I left my place on the prior day. Then I continued to work on assignment that still needed some wrap-ups before being discussed with the team later the day. At noon, I took an active part in the lunch culture at Bertelsmann and most of the time I had planned ahead “lunch dates” on every single day for the upcoming one or two weeks. After lunch, we usually had team meetings in which we discussed the status of current assignments or where I was provided with new tasks. Generally, I spent a lot of time with Powerpoint or Excel to prepare new discussion materials or engaged in research for market or competitor analyses.

What are your professional goals? Any others?
In the next summer, I will start working at JP Morgan in M&A in the London office. I am convinced that the graduate programs offered in Investment Banking provide a profound skill set that I can apply and further develop in my future career path in Finance/Controlling. In the mid-term, I can depict myself to step out of the advisory role at the bank and move to the buy-side. Bertelsmann has an exciting and very active portfolio of companies and is therefore highly interesting for me. Both the ZI and M&A teams would be my preferred destination within the Group.

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