Internship in New York

Dear Student Challengers, 

Hi from New York! For the last three months, we, Anna and Philipp, are here in New York interning at Bertelsmann. Unfortunately, the time to say goodbye has come – our flights back to Germany are booked for next week – and we would like to tell you about our experiences in this amazing city. Let’s start by giving you some background on ourselves: Last summer, we both finished our Bachelor’s degree, Anna at the WHU in Vallendar and Philipp at Maastricht University. During the last year, we did internships at different companies. Our last stops before New York were internships at Bertelsmann in Gütersloh and Berlin, where we were offered to go to New York for another few months. Neither of us had to be told twice so we packed our things an jumped on the next plane to the Big Apple :). 

The Bertelsmann office in New York is located on the 20th floor of the Penguin Random House building on Broadway next to Central Park, which gives you a stunning view of the surroundings. Depending on which side of the building you look out of you’re able to see the Hudson and New Jersey, Central Park and some fancy hotel skyscrapers just in front of it or even down south to the financial district with its iconic Freedom Tower. The same building also accommodates BMG, Bertelsmann’s music rights management division and obviously the recently merged Penguin Random House. The offices also meet the expectation of a typical US office space: we interns usually sit in our own little cubicles as known from famous TV shows. 

Both of us are in charge of interesting projects during our time here. Anna, that’s me, also worked in Digital Development & Partnerships in Berlin prior to my stay in the US. It’s a small team dedicated to the digital media market and finding suitable partners for cooperation with any of the Bertelsmann divisions. Tasks include research insights about the critical tech industries, especially concerning startups and later stage businesses in digital advertising, content verticals and online video as well as the matching venture capitalists. What I especially like about being in the US is the great exposure to the market and thus being able to participate in meetings with some potential future partners. Most tech businesses are still founded here and the European capital market in no way compares to the US one. Bertelsmann is in the midst of digital transformation and forming partnerships with digitally leading companies is crucial. The most interesting project I had was creating a database of all portfolio companies of twenty leading US and European venture capital firms. By doing so I gained great insights about their term sheets, the investment rationale, tech trends and successful companies. 

Philipp is working in Corporate Development – New Businesses. We are a small team of people dispersed around the world who work on implementing Bertelsmann’s education strategy. We are aiming to invest into education companies with focus on the US. My tasks consisted of preparing overviews and research in insights of these companies, prepare financial models, as well as evaluate the fit to our strategy. One of the highlights of the internship was the regular meetings with the heads of companies to talk about strategic partnerships and investments. The small team also gave the entire work an entrepreneurial spirit that I hugely enjoyed. 

Of course, there was also more to our time here in New York than the internship, as we had the opportunity to discover New York. Many people say that the Big Apple is city that never sleeps and from our experiences we can absolutely confirm that. It is never getting boring over here. Every evening, there are free concerts, movies or theatre plays in Manhattan and the nightlife is of course overwhelming. The German-American Chamber of Commerce that was the sponsoring organization for our visa also regularly held events and connected us to other German interns here in New York. And if we wanted to get out of New York, there were several opportunities. Anna travelled to Miami and Las Vegas, while Philipp visited the nation’s capital Washington and went on a wild water rafting trip in Pensylvania. 

We had a great time here in New York at Bertelsmann that will stick in our memory. 

Anna & Philipp