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Bertelsmann Future Leaders – Create Your Own Career

Bertelsmann Future Leaders Graduate Program

Do you have what it takes to be a Future Leader?

The media are subject to constant change, and with it the world of Bertelsmann is spinning faster and faster. We're looking for people who can actively frame this change with fresh ideas. With our Bertelsmann Future Leaders Graduate Program, we prepare graduates and young professionals to take on responsibility while shaping the future.

If you want to grow with the challenges of a global corporation, if you want to be at the forefront of the media business, and if you enjoy creating new things, you have what it takes to become a Future Leader. With our graduate program, we offer you everything you need to shape the world in the future.

„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

Your advantages as a Future Leader

  1. Insights into the world of Bertelsmann
  2. Various rotations abroad
  3. Large career network and events
  4. Supportive trainee community
  5. Tailored training and career coaching

Data Science, Creative Management or Business?

The transformation of our world has a lot to do with digitalization, big data and machine learning. We thus count on experts who can turn data into insights and recommendations for action. As we need fresh, innovative ideas to keep pace with change, we are increasingly counting on creative minds with humanities and social science degrees in leadership positions. And, of course, we need talented entrepreneurs who will develop and implement business concepts.

The Bertelsmann Future Leaders Graduate Program therefore entails three tracks:

Data Science

Data-driven with determination: Make your move.

We offer enthusiastic data specialists an internationally oriented graduate program that extends over 18 months. The trainees will add their fresh ideas and problem-solving mindset to our digital philosophy in order to find more data-driven solutions for the media, services and education industries. In multiple rotations, they get to know Bertelsmann and build a large and valuable network.

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Creative Management

From creativity to opportunity: Make your move.

This exceptional 12-month program was specifically designed for humanities and social science graduates and is a stepping stone to a management career. At various locations, including other European countries, the trainees get to know the media world and develop business models for the future. In the process, they enrich the teams with their creative ideas and new perspectives.

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From numbers to values: Make your move.

Participants in the Business track are emerging entrepreneurs with an MBA or equivalent graduate degree, who want to write their own chapter in the Bertelsmann success story. During the 18-month rotational program, participants will be involved in implementing a number of entrepreneurial projects throughout different Bertelsmann divisions worldwide. The aim is to prepare participants to assume responsibility within a very short period of time.

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  • Bertelsmann Future Leaders

    • When does the graduate program start?

      Our graduate program for the Data Science and Creative Management track starts on September 1 of each year. The beginning of the Business track is usually more flexible, but the program has to be started within the following year of the application period.

    • How does the graduate program work?

      After several days of onboarding at our Corporate Center in Gütersloh, you will start your first station and then change your location every three to four months. During the course of the graduate program, you will regularly attend trainings and events. At the end of your time as a trainee, you will be ready to take on responsibility and continue to grow.

    • Where will I be based during my time as a trainee?

      Normally, you will be based at the location of the respective business unit. However, due to the current pandemic, working from home is also an option in many teams.

    • 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. We will be happy to support you in choosing your stations and let you know about the 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. But, of course, we will support you in your search for a follow-up position within Bertelsmann.

    • What salary do I receive as a trainee?

      The salary depends on your area of work and your qualifications.

    • Can I also apply by e-mail?

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

  • Bertelsmann as an employer

    • Are there other graduate programs at Bertelsmann?

      Gruner + Jahr, applike, RTL, Arvato and SuperRTL also offer trainee programs for university graduates. Find out more here.

    • Which companies are part of Bertelsmann?

      We operate in about 50 countries around the world. The Group includes broadcaster RTL Group, the trade book publisher Penguin Random House, the magazine publisher Gruner + Jahr, the music company BMG, the service provider Arvato, the Bertelsmann Printing Group, the Bertelsmann Education Group and Bertelsmann Investments, an international network of funds. The company has 130,000 employees and generated revenues of €17.3 billion in the 2020 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?

Steffi Heldberg ( and Kai-Uwe Krotoschak ( are happy to help!

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

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