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Media Management & Communication: A Look Behind the Scenes at newsaktuell

In an interview, our HSBA students Syster Petersen and Britt Oelrichs report about their dual studies at newsaktuell, market leader in the field of communication services and subsidiary of the German Press Agency dpa.

This post is an original post from the news aktuell Blog


Syster Petersen and Britt Oelrichs on their dual study programme (in times like these) 

A trip to Bologna or mobile working: The freshly graduated Syster Petersen and Britt Oelrichs, our new dual student, talk about the many facets of the dual study programme Media Management & Communication in our series "Behind the scenes at news aktuell". 

news aktuell: Britt, why did you want to study Media Management & Communication in a dual study programme?

Britt: For me, it's an ideal combination of business management and media topics. At the same time, it is a mix of theory and practice and therefore promises more variety than a purely theoretical course of study. I hope to be able apply directly what I've learned and work on projects straight away.

news aktuell: How did the application period go?

Britt: The first step was an online form from news aktuell. The online form included a cover letter, a curriculum vitae, job references and school certificates. Just a few days after I had sent my application documents, I received an e-mail with an invitation to my first interview. This took place in the news aktuell office. I also had to take a test which included topics from the areas of English, logic, maths and current affairs. An invitation to the second interview soon followed. I was overjoyed to accept the offer which I received only a few days after that. 

news aktuell: Do you have any specific tips for an application?

Britt: Basically I think you would need an interest in media. But also the willingness to apply what you've learned directly. Previous internships are an advantage. Good grades, especially in maths, German and English, not only look good on certificates, but are also necessary if you want to study at HSBA (Hamburg School of Business Administration). Another tip is: Apply early! Dual study programmes are becoming increasingly sought-after and numerous competitors are vying for the few places available.  

news aktuell: You have been with news aktuell for four weeks now, how did your first weeks go?

Britt: I've already been able to gather exciting impressions, as I'm working in two departments at once, Corporate Communications and Marketing. The tasks and projects are varied and working in a team is great fun. Corporate Communications is not only responsible for news aktuell's corporate communications but also for dpa's entire public relations work.

news aktuell: What specific projects have you been able to work on so far?

Britt: Among other things, I wrote a press release, did research, worked on presentations, managed social media accounts, wrote intranet articles, managed accounts, translated interviews and wrote magazine articles. This is called "learning by doing" (grins).

news aktuell: How do you feel about the working atmosphere?

Britt: I was very positively surprised. All colleagues here are on first name terms with each other and use the familiar “du” - from the managing directors to the interns. You can get involved and ask questions at any time. The entire team at news aktuell is very friendly, motivated and committed.

news aktuell: Syster, you started your dual studies at news aktuell in September 2017 and recently completed them successfully. Over the past three years, you have spent three months at university and three months at the company in alternation. In which departments have you worked at news aktuell during this time?

Syster: I have gone through almost all departments. From corporate communications to media research, operations, sales and sales management as well as product management, financial accounting and marketing.
news aktuell: Britt just described how her first weeks at news aktuell looked like. I bet the onboarding phase was a little different for you?

Syster: Pooh, that was a long time ago and a lot has happened since then. I also started in corporate communications and was thus able to get to know the company and the interrelationships thouroughly. I remember that I also had workshops in the different departments together with other new colleagues.

news aktuell: You have now completed your dual study programme and have been permanently employed by news aktuell. Since 1 October you have been working in product management. What challenges are there at the moment?

Syster: The main challenge here is the distribution of developer resources. In addition, there is a wide range of customer requirements to which we would like to offer a solution with our products. The Corona pandemic is also challenging, of course: on the one hand, the needs of potential and existing customers are changing, and on the other hand, everyday teamwork is being turned upside down, as stand-ups and meetings are digital only by now. 

news aktuell: Britt, you're only in the news aktuell office every fortnight for a limited period, otherwise you work from home. What are the differences for you? 

Britt: So far, I don't see much difference between working from home and working in the news aktuell office. We may not be sitting in the same room, but we still work closely together. The mobile working and therefore also the calls and meetings work pretty well. 

news aktuell: Syster, do you still have contact with other dual students from news aktuell?

Syster: Yes definitely, I’m in regular contact with current and former students. There are some who stayed with news aktuell after their studies. It's always nice to exchange information about studying and working at news aktuell. After all, we've all had the same experiences and know the situation of the new students. But contact with dual students from other companies is also exciting. In the course of project work and at university, many similarities but also differences emerge.

news aktuell: Is there a special experience or highlight from your student days that you particularly like to remember?

Syster: Our 5th semester study trip to Italy! We could choose from many different destinations and I decided on Bologna. During the official part we visited five companies. We got to know a family-run winery, learned what makes Parmigiano Reggiano so special and gained an insight into the challenges of the sustainable packaging industry. In our free time we felt we had tried every pizzeria and gelato restaurant in town, became real wine testers and enjoyed the Italian late summer.

news aktuell: What  piece of advice would you give to a freshman like Britt?

Syster: For working at news aktuell: Try yourself and be open. The next three years will help you find out whether you are a born salesperson, event planner or financial accountant. And for university: hang in there and always have enough coffee at home during the exam phases!

news aktuell: Britt, finally a little challenge for you: Describe news aktuell in three words!

Britt: Dynamic, open-minded, goal-oriented.

Interview: Beatrix Ta