I work at Axel Springer in Berlin and spent two months working out of Insider Inc.’s NYC headquarters. Here’s what I learned.

Leonie von Petersdorff-Campen

Leonie (left), with the Insider Inc. Talent Team.

Leonie (left), with the Insider Inc. Talent Team.

“Confirmation for your flight to New York’s JFK.” As I read the email from the travel agency, I slowly realized that my adventure of traveling from Germany to New York City to spend two months at Insider Inc.’s headquarters was about to begin. I was excited and ready to get started!

I work at Axel Springer SE, the German digital publishing house. The company is the largest publishing house in Europe, and has a large brand portfolio that includes a number of classified media, marketing media, and news media businesses, including Insider Inc.

Axel Springer offers employees the opportunity to participate in trainee (or rotational) programs. These programs are mostly intended for recent university graduates, and typically last 18 months. These cross-divisional programs offer early-career employees the opportunity to work across the Axel Springer family of brands in different departments for two to four month periods, giving early-career employees hands-on exposure to different areas of the business. The programs are either focused on general management or on a specific area of specialization, such as Corporate Communications, Sales, or IT.

I joined Axel Springer’s People & Culture team about one year ago, and am in a Trainee Program for Human Resources. I had been brainstorming opportunities for a rotation abroad with my boss, Florian Klages.

Insider Inc. was my first choice for several reasons. Business Insider Germany recently expanded their editorial office and moved their whole team to Berlin (where Axel Springer is also headquartered), so I’ve seen and heard a lot from the company recently. Also, Axel Springer is looking to strengthen their international market and brands, and become more international and diverse. And from a personal perspective, I was interested in experiencing the American work culture and learning how it differs from Germany.

The Insider Inc. Talent Team

The Insider Inc. Talent Team

After spending 8 weeks at Insider Inc., I’ve had a chance to reflect on my experience. Here’s a quick overview of what I’ve noticed, and what I value the most about the company’s culture and team.

  • It’s easy and efficient to work across departments due to the company size and office structure.

  • There’s a high amount of transparency at all levels of the company thanks to regular all-hands meetings and Q&A sessions with the CEO, Henry Blodget.

  • Decisions are made quickly.

  • The atmosphere and culture is welcoming, respectful and trusting.

  • Diversity and inclusion is a high priority. Insider Inc. offers employees a number of ways to get involved, from regular panel programming to culture clubs that are open for anyone to join.

I could go on. I’ve enjoyed my time at Insider Inc. and think these rotational programs are an effective way to bring the companies of Axel Springer SE closer together and promote networking, new ideas, and new opportunities.