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Willie Hernandez

“We are the bridges that facilitate connections”

Taking part in the Bertelsmann Future Leaders Graduate Program helped me discover my aspirations for the future. It allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of my strongest skills and a desire to pursue a leadership role that builds upon my project management abilities. Through the program, I learned how to effectively collaborate with individuals from different parts of the world, each with their own unique personalities and motivations. This experience has prepared me for my future role as a technical project manager, where effective communication and persuasion are crucial.

Find out who you are and what you want

An introvert with strong communication skills – that’s how I would describe myself. I am an analytical person who thrives on learning and embraces new adventures. Feeling deeply passionate about the societal transformation brought about by AI, I aspire to be one of the facilitators of this journey. While networking events can leave me feeling exhausted, I have also realized the importance of effectively promoting my strengths.

The Future Leaders Graduate Program is perfect for those who are eager to explore different countries and cultures and try new things. If you are looking to learn from talented individuals, travel and work in diverse teams, industries, and projects as a data analyst, data scientist or data engineer, this program definitely is the right fit for you.

To succeed in this program, in addition to technological skills, you need to be a quick learner and be prepared to learn from failures and bounce back stronger. You should be open-minded, enjoy networking, and always be ready for your next adventure. Don't be afraid to voice your desires and ambitions.

From Berlin and Oslo to London and Munich

So far, my rotations have taken me to We Are Era in Berlin, Riverty in Oslo and Dorling Kindersley in London. At We Are Era, I worked with YouTube influencer data, aiming to create a BI tool using Python to identify trends on YouTube channels. This tool helps determine, for example, whether a decrease in views on a Wednesday night is normal or requires discussion with the operations team.

At Dorling Kindersley, I automated a weekly report using Python and Google Suite, saving over eight hours of work every week. Additionally, I shared best practices on coding in Python and optimizing code efficiency with the Data Analyst. Next, I will be working at Penguin Random House in Munich, where I will analyze data to identify the appropriate pricing for e-books.

You’ll never walk alone

The name of the graduate program, "Future Leaders," can be intimidating, and I speak from experience. However, at the end of the day, a Future Leader is someone who easily adapts to working in different industries, countries, with diverse people, and across various tasks. Joining a large multinational group like Bertelsmann was a significant step for me as someone from Colombia, but the provided tools and guidance from coaches in different divisions helped me succeed. I feel fortunate to have learned from some of the great leaders within this organization.

Within Bertelsmann, the Future Leaders trainees serve as connectors between divisions and the Group. It's easy to forget, in a decentralized organization, that we are all part of the greater Bertelsmann universe. However, as trainees, we serve as a constant reminder that we are here to support and learn from each other. We are the bridges that facilitate connections.

For me personally, participating in the Future Leaders Graduate Program has allowed me to explore the significance of data. One of the best aspects of being part of Bertelsmann is the opportunity to participate in events like the data summit and the data conference, where I can connect with individuals from different divisions who share their ideas and insights. At the end of the day, our customers are people, and understanding them is crucial. Data enables us to provide them with the best products and services.

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