Report by Florian Kulzer
Florian Kulzer is an assistant to the Executive Board of arvato AG (Bertelsmann) in Gütersloh.About TMB:
For me, one of the highlights of last year was taking part in Talent Meets Bertelsmann and then traveling to New York. I had already finished an internship with Gruner + Jahr when I applied for TMB, so I had some experience and affinity with media issues, and that was undoubtedly helpful for our project (digital products for Random House).
TMB was very intense: lots of new faces, stimulating presentations, a fabulous atmosphere, great organization and good food. And best of all, our team won the competition.
Late one evening I had the chance to talk with Sven Deutschmann, CEO of arvato Entertainment Europe. He gave me an overview of his business unit, and then offered to pass on my contact information to his boss, the CEO of the Entertainment division and the IT & High-Tech business sector. The next day, TMB ended with a personal coaching session by Mr. Steilberg. I had a chance to talk with him about entry-level positions with Bertelsmann and affiliated companies, and about opportunities for advancement.
What happened afterwards:
It wasn’t long before I received an invitation for an interview. Since I was spending a semester in Canada at the time, arvato suggested that the interview be conducted there. Luckily, my current boss oversees all of our American business activities and frequently visits customers and arvato sites in the region. Mr. Hülskötter and I talked for two hours in Seattle, and he gave me an overview of arvato’s divisions and discussed some of the company’s current focus areas. By the end of our conversation he had offered me a job.
What I’m doing now:
I was hired in February 2012 as an assistant to Hans-Peter Hülskötter, CEO in charge of arvato’s Entertainment Europe and High-Tech EMEA divisions as well as the North and South American regions. What influenced my decision? The opportunity to deal with a broad range of topics, both internationally and functionally, exciting strategic and operational challenges and the chance to be involved in crucial processes and decisions. My primary responsibilities include support for strategic planning and day-to-day business activities (preparation and follow-up for presentations and meetings). I have also worked on topics and projects of my own right from the start. I have benefited from a steep learning curve, thanks to direct feedback from my boss and opportunities to share results with colleagues. This is an advantage that few entry-level jobs can match.
The wonderful experience I had with TMB – in particular, getting to know Bertelsmann’s values and corporate culture firsthand – and the constructive application process played a crucial role in my decision to start my career at arvato.