Getting to Know Strategy and Controlling in an International Environment

Ellen Talks About her Significant Responsibilities

What are you studying?

In summer 2020, I completed my bachelor studies in International Management Double Degree at the ESB Business School in Reutlingen. It's a four year program, of which two years take place at a partner university abroad. I spent my first two years of study at the Avans University of Applied Sciences in Breda in the Netherlands.

Why did you decide on an internship in Controlling/Strategy at the Holtzbrinck Publishing Group (HPG)?

The Holtzbrinck Publishing Group is an innovative, successful, diverse and - particularly important for me - internationally-active company with offices in more than 100 countries. At the same time, there is an informal atmosphere in the office with a very open and friendly corporate culture, which impressed me in my job interview. I decided on the Controlling/Strategy department because I became interested in the finance sector in my studies. In addition, the internship offers very diverse tasks in different areas, and the combination of controlling and strategy was of particular interest to me.

What were your projects and tasks in your internship?

My projects and tasks during my internship can be divided into the two fields of strategy and controlling. My main tasks in the strategy area included the independent creation of a weekly bestseller report, performing data synchronization by means of a business intelligence system, as well as regular market and competition analyses in the trade publishing sector on a national and international level. In addition, during my internship I had the opportunity to cooperate on a strategy project of a subsidiary.

My daily tasks in controlling included assisting management reporting on holding level. This included the reconciliation and preparation of data for monthly and quarterly reports on corporate level, assisting in annual accounts, as well as working on cost center planning. I also worked on the creation of documents for the Supervisory Board and Management. In addition, I was allowed to support the team in the central reporting with regards to venture capital investments, and this way I was able to gain exciting insights into the VC area in addition to the usual management reporting.

How would you describe your time as an intern?

My time as an intern at HPG was very educational and exciting, and I enjoyed going to the office every day. I was integrated as a full member of the team from day one and was very happy there. All colleagues, especially my supervisors, were always open to questions and took a lot of time to explain all the topics to me. In addition to many exciting tasks and projects, the company also offered a lot beyond work, for example a table football tournament, various sports offers, a Diversity Day, a Healthy Week, a company outing and much more. This gave me the opportunity to also get to know colleagues from other departments better. I very much enjoyed my time as an intern at HPG and I am happy to still be connected to HPG through the student program INSIDE MEDIA.

What experiences did you gain from your internship?

During my internship at Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, I was able to gain valuable learning experiences and deep insights into the work field of controlling and strategy as well as the tasks of a holding company. Since HPG only has approx. 70 employees at the Stuttgart site, the individual departments are well connected, which allowed me to not only get to know the Controlling department but also provided me with an insight into the work of the other departments. From the start, my team and my supervisor had great trust in me and assigned responsible jobs to me, which allowed me to learn a lot during the six months. Besides the many positive life experiences I gained, the internship also gave me the opportunity to meet lots of nice colleagues and forge good contacts. Additionally, the many experiences from my internship also encouraged me to pursue a master's degree in finance and to later work in this field.

What are your professional goals?

I am currently preparing for the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) and would like to start a master's degree in finance next year. I am particularly interested in gaining even more insight into the venture capital area which I got to know at Holtzbrinck. In the future, I would also like to work in an international environment.

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Ellen

Intern at Holtzbrinck Publishing Group

"I was integrated as a full member of the team from day one..."