Second Prize: Hamburg – Gruner + Jahr

Aimie-Sarah is a member of the second-placed team in the Talent Meets Bertelsmann competition. She describes the Gruner + Jahr workshop in Hamburg.

After spending three exciting days in July 2012 at Talent Meets Bertelsmann in Berlin, the Gruner + Jahr team met up again for two days in Hamburg.
Hamburg, we’re on our way!

Hamburg is a lovely Hanseatic city on the banks of the Elbe River – and Gruner + Jahr has its headquarters in the heart of the city. The magazines displayed on the walls of the reception area hint at the many facets of Gruner + Jahr, an impression that was confirmed by our two-day visit. 

360° Gruner + Jahr!

We were welcomed by familiar faces: Nico Rose (Senior Director of Corporate Management Development, Bertelsmann) and Johanna Scheffer (Project Manager, Employer Branding), who accompanied us throughout during our stay in Hamburg.

After getting reacquainted with our teammates, we were welcomed by Katrin Strohbach (Head of Personnel Development), who drew our attention to the permanent construction site at the Elbphilharmonie concert hall. Dr. Thilo von Trott zu Solz (Head of Public Affairs) gave the first presentation: a summary of the most important facts about Gruner + Jahr. After a fascinating morning, we had lunch with the company’s trainees, who were eager to answer our questions. Following lunch, Dr. Günter Maschke (Head of HR) discussed current challenges in the publishing industry and digitization strategies, then described career opportunities at Gruner + Jahr.

And then it was on to the next activity: We had an exclusive opportunity to visit the test kitchen of the magazine Essen & Trinken (Food & Drinks), where we learned that every recipe is prepared and tasted three times before it appears in the magazine. Our next meeting was with Jens Schröder (Editor-in-Chief of GEO), who told us about his career path at Gruner + Jahr and described how stories for GEO are developed. A tour of the building, beginning with the boiler room in the basement and finishing with the impressive 360° view from the roof, was a perfect conclusion to our first day at Gruner + Jahr.
A visit to the kitchen and the rooftop!

At the end of a most informative day, we checked in to our hotel, looking forward to a Mediterranean cooking class at LaCocina. After sharing an aperitif, receiving instructions from the chef and donning matching aprons, we began our culinary journey through Europe’s warmer countries. Our trip began in France with a velouté of prawns accompanied by tomato salsa and fried arugula. We then moved on to Italy, with veal saltimbocca served on a bed of tomato spaghettini and warm artichoke cassoulet with sage sauce. But the best was saved for last. The self-appointed cooks used a Bunsen burner to put the finishing touches on dessert: crema catalana with caramelized orange segments, a Spanish speciality. Delicious!
Our first day in Hamburg ended with cocktails at the Empire Riverside hotel’s 20Up Skybar, which is located on the hotel’s 20th floor and offers a panoramic view of the glittering harbor below, through seven-meter-high windows.

The publishing business, up close and personal!

Katrin Strohbach welcomed us again on our second day at Gruner+Jahr. She discussed our personal career goals with us, told us about opportunities with Gruner + Jahr, and gave us a few tips for starting our careers. Next was the Financial Times Deutschland editorial conference, where topics for the following day’s issue were reviewed and selected or discarded. Colleagues elsewhere in Germany participated via video conference.
Then it was time to say goodbye, for now.

The bottom line

Johanna Scheffer did a superb job of organizing and coordinating our two-day visit to Gruner + Jahr. Stimulating presentations, conversations and tours taught us a great deal about the company and its operations. Once again, Gruner + Jahr demonstrated that it is an attractive employer. The cooking class, cocktails overlooking the city of Hamburg, and two fascinating days at Gruner + Jahr all combined to make this an unforgettable trip.

Offizieller TMB2011 Film

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