New York City – Penguin Random House

Anna is a member of the winning team in the Talent Meets Bertelsmann 2013 competition. She tells us about her trip to New York City.

New York with Bertelsmann

The journey
… was smooth. Unphased by the challenge of ferrying eight people (and themselves) from all over Europe to New York City so that they would arrive there at the same time, the Bertelsmann Team planned excellently. Luckily, all the cogs in the wheel of transportation worked well too (unaffected by, say, a government shutdown): the airline, the trains and subways.

The Food
… was amazing. First New York Pizza, then Starbucks coffee for breakfast at Penguin Random House, more Pizza (I grabbed a slice when racing to the musical venue), and even a four-course menu on top of Times Square, seated in a revolving restaurant and enjoying lit-up NYC. And of course, Breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien - even though they are a Belgian chain, they know how to make excellent breakfast.

The insights
… were illuminating. The talks given by experts from Penguin Random House, Bertelsmann Digital Investments, Arvato Systems North America and BMG Rights Management were very interesting.
We learnt about the influence of ebooks on the publishing industries, and that, to my relief, that physical books are not going anywhere. The trials and tribulations of a huge merger such as the one between Penguin and Random House was talked about. The approach that BDMI has was very interesting for people with a startup background like myself: investing in a strong team rather than a superstrong idea - for it is all about pivoting and reorienting, and only a strong team can do that successfully. Arvato Systems showed us the strength they have built up in the past couple of years and how they are now able to pull off a round the clock, multilingual, service. And finally BMG Right Management got me interested in the music business and how the different branches work, who works together - again, the cogs in the wheel.
All this was presented to us in lofty heights above Broadway and Central Park, and the excellent view could have been distracting - if the topics covered wouldn’t have been as interesting, that is.

The Entertainment
… was Irish in the best way possible, for it was the musical Once, formerly a small Irish film with an Oscar-winning soundtrack, now a successful musical both on Broadway and in the West End. Sadly, for my Doctor Who fandom heart, Arthur Darvill (former companion Rory Williams on the BBC show) did not head the cast as “Guy”. Instead, it was an American who pulled off a very convincing Dublin accent. Feast yer eyes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ehVXwFMQqs  

The sightseeing
… was stunning, sunny and hilarious. We chose the right day to do the touristy things - the one with sunshine. The Rockefeller Center provided some excellent views of “Empy” (a Ted Mosby-ism for the Empire State Building), Central Park and the Hudson River, as well as a lot of wind.
We then proceeded to take a tour of the North River - or River North, or Hudson, on a boat with our guide Daniel, who knew many funny stories about the shenanigans in New York’s docklands and other interesting tidbits, including Lady Liberty’s origins and design specifications. Of which, of course, I can remember hardly any, except that her crown is significant and has lots of symbolism.

The company
… was awesome. I really enjoyed spending some more time with my teammates, getting to know them better, as well as our team captains from RTL and the team behind TMB - it was truly a pleasure to spend this mini-vacation with all of them and discovering the Big Apple alongside them.

 
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Winners of #TMB13!