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Bertelsmann Future Leaders

Graduate Program

Are you a Future Leader?

The world has changed a lot in recent years: globalization and connectivity, neo-ecology, digital health and individualization. At Bertelsmann, we embrace change and are always on the lookout for new talent with fresh ideas and leadership potential. We are looking for Future Leaders.

But you don’t have to be a Future Leader yet! With our graduate program, we will guide you along your career journey and help you in becoming the Future Leader you are meant to be.

Join our graduate program starting in September each year and you will

  • Get to know your fellow program participants and Bertelsmann during onboarding
  • Change locations and teams every three to four months
  • Regularly attend trainings and events

After our graduate program you will be ready to take on a leadership role – as an expert or manager.

How you’ll become a Future Leader

  1. Discover the world of Bertelsmann and choose stations that interest you
  2. Complete rotations abroad in Europe
  3. Experience a large career network and events
  4. Provide and receive support within the trainee community
  5. Grow through trainings and career coaching
  6. Benefit from excellent career prospects and an attractive salary

Data Science, Creative Management Business?

To succeed in an ever-changing business and media world, we need three kinds of Future Leaders: we’re counting on experts who can turn data into insights and recommendations for action. We’re also looking for creative minds with backgrounds in the humanities and social sciences who can bring new perspectives and fresh, innovative approaches to the table. And we highly depend on entrepreneurs to develop and implement new business concepts with their imaginative and future-oriented mindset.

That’s why the Future Leaders Graduate Program has three tracks:

„The age of prefabricated careers straight off the drawing board is over. If you are looking for the freedom to create your career, you’ll find it here.“
Immanuel Hermreck, Chief Human Resources Officer at Bertelsmann

What our Graduate Program is all about

Your application

The application process

  1. 1.
    Apply online
  2. 2.
    Take part in an online test
  3. 3.
    Prove your potential in interviews and an assessment center
  4. 4.
    Start as a Future Leaders Trainee

Our current Future Leader


  • Bertelsmann Future Leaders

    • When does the graduate program start?

      Our graduate program starts on September 1 each year. Please note that this is a full-time position. You are welcome to apply before you have your final Master's certificate.

    • How does the graduate program work?

      During several days of onboarding at our Corporate Center in Gütersloh, you will get to know the other participants of the program and receive further information about Bertelsmann. Then you will start your first rotation. Every three to four months you will change your location and join a new team. During the course of the graduate program, you will regularly attend trainings and events.

    • Do I have to move during the graduate program?

      In general, you should be willing to move to the respective locations of your different rotations during the graduate program. That means, for example, that you move to Cologne for the time you are working at RTL Germany. Bertelsmann will be happy to help you with visa matters or to find an accommodation, if necessary. 

    • Can I choose my own stations?

      Generally, you can, but of course we make sure that you can actually work on an exciting project in the division you wish to go to during the period in question. To ensure that, we offer a “Pitch Night” before the start of the program, where different companies can introduce their teams and projects. We are happy to support you afterwards when choosing your rotations and will stay in contact about other opportunities available to you within the Group.

    • Is the contract limited to the duration of the program?

      Yes, it is limited to 18 months for the Data Science and Business track and to 12 months for the Creative Management track. However, of course, we will support you in your search for an entry position within Bertelsmann afterwards.

    • What remuneration do I receive as a trainee?

      The remuneration is based on the market and depends on your area of work and your qualifications. You can also find the salary range for each track in the job description.

    • Can I also apply by e-mail?

      Please apply online only. Unfortunately, we cannot consider applications by mail, fax or e-mail.

    • Is there an age limit? Can I also apply with work experience?

      There is no age limit for the Future Leaders Graduate Program, and a certain amount of work experience is generally considered an advantage. However, please be aware that the graduate program is generally aimed at graduates and young professionals.

  • Bertelsmann as an employer

    • Are there other graduate programs at Bertelsmann?

      RTL, the Arvato Group and SuperRTL also offer trainee programs for university graduates. Find more information here.

    • Which companies are part of Bertelsmann?

      Bertelsmann is a media, services and education company that operates in about 50 countries around the world. It includes the entertainment group RTL Group, the trade book publisher Penguin Random House, the music company BMG, the service provider Arvato Group, Bertelsmann Marketing Service, the Bertelsmann Education Group and Bertelsmann Investments, an international network of funds. The company has 165,000 employees worldwide and generated revenues of €20.2 billion in the 2022 financial year.

    • What values does Bertelsmann represent?

      Creativity and entrepreneurship are the core values that guide our actions. Through their interaction, they reinforce each other and thus form the cornerstones of our corporate culture, which is based on participation and partnership.

    • How does Bertelsmann ensure sustainable business?

      We want to be climate neutral by the end of this decade. The greenhouse gas emissions caused by the mobility of our employees and the manufacture of our products are to be reduced by 50 percent compared to 2018. We want to offset the remaining emissions through climate protection projects.

    • How does Bertelsmann want to develop in the future?

      We want to transform our company over the next five to ten years to be more growth-oriented, digital, international and diversified in the future. We want to achieve these goals by strengthening our core businesses, digital transformation, building growth platforms and expanding in growth regions.


Do you have questions about the Bertelsmann Future Leaders Graduate Program?

Get in contact with Steffi Heldberg (s.heldberg(at), she is happy to help!

Please note that we cannot consider applications by mail, fax or e-mail.

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