At the end of June, I went through a truly exciting opportunity: taking part in Talent Meets Bertelsmann 2015, a 3-day conference with the media conglomerate based in Berlin. I heard about TMB through my career consultant at Judge (thanks Camila!) and it seemed to be simply perfect. Three days of meeting people in media and discussing both creative and business issues facing the industry today and in the future? Sign me up! During TMB, about 50 students from around the world had the chance to learn a lot about some of Bertelsmann’s businesses, including RTL, Penguin Random House, Arvato, Be Printers, Gruner & Jahr and the overall Corporate organization.
On Day 2, we took part in a case competition in teams of 7 or 8. This was my second competition of the year, after the Hult Prize. Our task? Solve a business case facing one of Bertelsmann’s operations and present a 10-minute pitch to members of the executive board, including CEO Dr. Thomas Rabe (and also the CEOs of several of the business we were presenting on). Talk. About. Pressure. I was a member of Team Corporate and have team members from Germany, Togo, the States, Vietnam and other countries. All of the teams worked tirelessely for 6 hours developing financial models, business plans, marketing schemes and other pieces of information for the final presentation. Fellow Judge Business School colleague David Pepper was on team Be Printers (read about his experience here) and his team, along with all the others, presented exceptionally well, especially given the fact that we were face-to-face with some of the biggest executives in the media industry. Once the case competition ended, it was time to celebrate and Bertelsmann ensured we had a wonderful time seeing the city of Berlin through a party at Neue Heimat, complete with a show featuring Jonathan Jeremiah who is signed by BMG (and is amazing)! It was a beautiful night, to say the least. The best part? Team Corporate won 1st place! Being a part of the winning TMB team has been a huge highlight of my MBA experience. Going through the experience solidified many of the learnings I’ve gathered over the past year. Not only was I able to help create the financial model for my team, I also served as the “project manager” for the day, primarily making sure that our team stayed on task and on on time. I worked with a team of phenomenal students who have already accomplished so much and were completely committed to our case. From an Oxford Master’s student to an undergraduate entrepeneur at IE in Madrid to a young German who is a VP of one of the largest student-run non-profits in Europe, my team members (and everyone else at TMB), came with experience, drive and passion. We went into the day vowing to come up with a product that would be impressive and eventually useful to our TMB coaches and in the end, our teamwork and energy completely paid off.
Talent Meets Bertelsmann was also a great experience in terms of meeting people. Bertlemsann invites many of its employees from across all of its businesses to attend TMB, and everyone was excited to meet and build with the students there. I was able to pitch Meraki to several members of the corporate team and employees from BMG and was thrilled with the feedback I received. I really couldn’t ask for anything more – but in true MBA fashion, there is always more. The prize for the winning TMB15 team is an all-expenses paid trip to New York City to meet with Penguin Random House over a period of 4 days! Yes, you read right – I get to go home! I couldn’t be happier; not only did I get the chance to prove that I can crack cases, I get to see my family and friends as a direct result (and be a tour-guide for my team!).
I speak more on the specifics of TMB and the music/media industry in general with Conrad Chua, Head of Admissions and Careers at Judge Business School. If you’re interested in the conversation, take a listen to the podcast below! As always, thanks for reading🙂