Meet Markus...

Year of Birth: 1992
Degree Program: Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration
University: University of St. Gallen / Harvard College
Previous Internships: BC Partners, Deutsche Bank, IDEO
Interests: Technology, Design, Travel

Student Challenger since February 2015.

Read Markus’ blog entry on Create Your Own Career: 

Describe your educational background. Where did/do you study, what degrees did/will you receive?
Since 2011, I have been a student of business administration at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland. To broaden my horizon a little bit, I spent the academic year 2013/14 at Harvard College, where I took classes from biotechnology to classic philosophy. Now I am back in St. Gallen to finish my degree.

Describe your career history. What have been your professional experiences?
I have gotten insights into different industries by spending a summer at private equity firm BC Partners, being a campus ambassador for Deutsche Bank, and participating in the intrapreneurship lab by design consulting firm IDEO. If you are interested in more details, please consult my LinkedIn profile.

What attracted you to Bertelsmann and your internships? What is/was your favorite aspect about your job?
I was particularly interested in Bertelsmann because of the change the company is currently undertaking: to make the portfolio of traditional media, such as television and books, more creative, digital, and international. I was really pleased about being placed in the emerging markets team, which supports the activities of the corporate centers in São Paulo, New Delhi and Beijing as well as the strategic investments in new businesses in the growth regions.

What has been your most challenging/rewarding/exciting task or project thus far?
My most exciting project was analyzing the portfolio of Bertelsmann Asia Investments (BAI), a growth fund aimed at digital and education investments in China. For me, it was fascinating to learn that Bertelsmann does not expand into the Chinese market by merely opening TV stations or selling imported books, but instead invests small stakes into local ventures. Through this approach the company can establish itself as a viable business partner, get to know the business climate, and establish connections to local entrepreneurs, before building a stronger presence in the country.

What qualities do you feel are necessary to be a successful employee at Bertelsmann?
Working at Bertelsmann requires an understanding of the business model and the activities of all divisions. Given the variety of the latter, this is quite a task. Additionally, the willingness to work hard and the ability to think analytically are paramount. Last, as one individual among 110,000 employees in a complex corporate structure, one should not be shy to speak up and ask for help.

What was/is a typical day during your internship like?
My daily activities included supporting immediate superiors in their tasks as well as working on my own projects. I really appreciated that I got my own responsibilities and was encouraged to present my own ideas right from the beginning of the internship. Periodically I received extensive feedback regarding my work and also regarding my interpersonal skills. Through this coaching I had the opportunity to not only improve my performance, but also to grow as a person.

What are your professional goals? Any others?
As of now, I am looking to start working in a high-growth setting, to learn more about building and scaling digital businesses. After gaining some practical experience, I might apply for a master degree.

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