This year’s edition of the Group-wide digital learning initiative “Your Campus” starts next Tuesday. Starting today, all employees can register for the online courses. “Your Campus” is a peer-to-peer learning format in which Bertelsmann colleagues share their knowledge and expertise with other colleagues in short virtual sessions.
Next Tuesday, May 10, marks the start of the new round of Bertelsmann University’s Group-wide “Your Campus” digital learning initiative. And starting today at 3 p.m. CET, all colleagues worldwide can register for the virtual courses via Peoplenet. This time was chosen to give all interested parties the same opportunity to register. As always, the principle of “first come, first served” applies – in other words, it pays to be quick. Experience from previous years has shown that many sessions – usually the more interactive workshops – were fully booked within a short period of time.
“Your Campus” is a peer-to-peer learning format in which Bertelsmann colleagues share their knowledge and expertise with other colleagues in short virtual sessions (see below). However, it is also about informal networking and exchange between like-minded people and those with similar interests. For the trainers, “Your Campus” is an ideal opportunity to disseminate information beyond the boundaries of their company or division on a topic that they particularly care about.
Exciting and very varied course topics are again available in the upcoming round – so far, more than 120 sessions in German and English. Nina Behrmann opens this year’s “Your Campus” with a training on methods and tools: “Interactive training for virtual workshop and meeting methods and digital visibility.” The range of topics also ranges from personal development topics (for example, “Self-Leadership – What’s it all about”) and creativity topics (“She jogs, he runs – From idea to finished podcast”) to courses in the field of Tech & Data (such as “Speech Analytics in Practice”) and topics from the new world of work (such as “How to make Hybrid Meetings not suck”). Colleagues will also present their own experiences. For instance, RTL anchorman Peter Kloeppel reports on his experiences and insights from 30 years of presenting “RTL aktuell.” to date, 110+ trainers from more than 35 companies in nearly all the divisions have registered.
Registration still open for trainers
An overview of all sessions can be found in the program schedule on the Bertelsmann University website. Each online course contains a direct link to Peoplenet, where official registration is then possible. Employees can book up to five courses each. Since demand is strong, and the waiting list for some sessions is long, Bertelsmann University asks that you cancel a booked course in good time if you are unable to attend.
The official start of the online training courses is May 10, and the program period extends until September 19 – significantly longer than in previous years. This will allow trainers and participants to hold courses and benefit from them as flexibly as possible. Incidentally, colleagues can still register as trainers with their own session. Perhaps, for example, participating in a course will give people an idea about a topic that they could share with colleagues. Visit the program website to register as a trainer
‘We’re Looking For Colleagues Who Will To Share Their Knowledge!’
Interested employees can register as trainers for the new round of the Group-wide digital learning initiative “Your Campus” starting today.
Under the familiar heading “Know it. Share it. Learn it”, interested colleagues are once again invited to register as trainers for the Group-wide digital learning initiative “Your Campus” starting March 3. As trainers, they will share their knowledge and expertise with Bertelsmann colleagues around the globe in short virtual sessions. To keep the timing of training sessions as flexible as possible, they can register by July 15 using the online form under the link provided. This year, the period in which the online trainings will take place stretches over nearly 20 weeks, from May 10 to September 19. The schedule for “Your Campus” participants will be published on 3 May; BENET will announce this again in good time. In an interview with BENET, Dörte Wickenhagen, who is responsible for Learning Culture at Bertelsmann, talks about the response to “Your Campus” so far and what innovations await participants this year.
Ms. Wickenhagen, since 2019 the “Your Campus” initiative to enhance the learning culture at Bertelsmann has been an integral part of Bertelsmann University’s offerings. What has been your experience with it to date? What has the response been like?
Dörte Wickenhagen: From the very beginning, we set ourselves the goal of making it possible to learn from and with each other across all hierarchies and organizational boundaries. Beyond that, however, the idea is also to promote digital networking with colleagues one might have not known at all before. And as it has turned out, we were right on target with this offer in the three rounds carried out to date. The most recent one, on “Digital & Tech,” aimed to strengthen success-critical skills in the area of technology. Since the start of our initiative, a total of around 4,000 colleagues from more than 30 countries have registered for the trainings, many of them for several sessions. Together, we counted more than 11,500 registrations for the 350-plus training sessions. More than 300 colleagues from all over the Group took part as trainers. We are of course very pleased about this great interest.
How are the topics selected for Your Campus?
Basically, all topics from one’s immediate professional environment as well as beyond are welcome. This is exactly what makes the concept of “Your Campus” so special: We provide an organizational framework in which colleagues can contribute the knowledge and experience they have that they believe could be important and exciting for many other employees. In this way, supply and demand come together in an excellent way. The spectrum of content offered so far has ranged from practical training in communications or tools, training for personal self-development, to marketing and e-commerce training, from sessions on collaboration topics to technology-related sessions, for example on the latest tech trends such as non-fungible tokens or NFTs.
So the trainers themselves determine the format of their sessions, too?
Exactly. They can have the participants see “beyond their own backyard” in presentations on things like forecasts and market developments of individual businesses, or host practical workshops to teach new skills in working with a given tool or a given method. They can decide on the format themselves. The trainings should be around 60-90 minutes long on average and can be held in the trainer’s respective native language. Of course, German- and English-language trainings are in particularly high demand.
What is the most important innovation in this year’s “Your Campus”?
Compared to the previous rounds, we have extended the period during which the trainings are held to nearly 20 weeks – from May 10 to September 19. Potential trainers have until July 15 to register. The most important reason for this is that we want to further mainstream the idea of learning from and with each other and make it something of a given in the Group – and this is an important step. In this way, we offer more flexibility for colleagues who want to share their knowledge, so that they can time the training sessions as conveniently as possible for them. In addition, colleagues who are still on the fence about whether they want to offer a session themselves can first watch a couple of trainings as a participant and then decide. For all who missed the Q&A Session, you have the opportunity to rewatch it. You don’t need to register for these sessions. However, there are also local contact persons who will be happy to answer any questions.
What do trainers need to consider if they want to register a training?
Preparation is an important aspect. Naturally our colleagues have the necessary professional expertise, but for many of them it is not an everyday occurrence to present in front of other people, many of whom they don’t know, and then to do so in a virtual setting. That is why we would like to support them with this. Among other things, we offer all trainers the opportunity to improve their own presentation skills in a virtual setting and to make their session interactive. This goes for beginners as well as more experienced trainers. We’ve also come up with two more new things this year, more or less as a thank-you and a token of our appreciation for them investing their time to support other colleagues: All trainers can participate in an exclusive pilot program called “Your Growth Booster.” The twelve-week program supports them individually in setting professional and private development goals, making learning even more effective, and to better integrating it into their everyday life. As "Your Campus" trainers, they can use it to boost and expand their toolbox, so to speak. With the help of highly practical methods and hacks, participants accelerate their learning speed and develop specific habits to integrate newly acquired knowledge and skills into their everyday routine – all of this at no additional cost. However, the number of seats is limited to 30, so it’s first come, first served. And that’s not all: this year we are giving away five attractive prizes to all trainers: exciting noncash prizes and participation in an exclusive program at Bertelsmann University, including the cost of accommodation. So participating is even more worthwhile this year!
If you have any further questions:
- please read the linked FAQ document
- approach your organizational Your Campus contact
- visit the Program website
- or rewatch the Q&A Session
‘Your Campus Makes The Diversity Of Existing Skills Transparent’
More than 180 online events, and around 2,200 participating employees – that’s “Your Campus” 2021 in a nutshell. This year’s edition of Bertelsmann University’s global learning culture initiative ended last week. In an interview, Dörte Wickenhagen and Sophia Ohlendorf from Bertelsmann University talk about the initiative and their further plans.
Last week saw the end of this year’s edition of “Your Campus,” Bertelsmann University’s global initiative to promote a culture of learning, which this year was once more conducted as a purely digital format. In the following interview, Dörte Wickenhagen and Sophia Ohlendorf from Bertelsmann University take stock and talk about future plans.
“Your Campus” took place virtually again this year, and demand was high. Can you give us a brief recap of this year’s edition?
Sophia Ohlendorf: We’re still stunned by the fact that this year, with more than 180 training sessions and 2,200 participants, we were able to actually top last summer’s registration figures. Veteran trainers who were eager to share their knowledge with other colleagues and use the virtual stage for their expertise, as well as many first-time trainers, invested time to amplify skills and know-how within the Bertelsmann world. Overall, colleagues from more than 26 countries took part in a “Your Campus” session, some of them even in their own national language in addition to German and English.
Dörte Wickenhagen: Compared to last year, when we ran the digital pilot of “Your Campus,” we are pleased to report that even more colleagues from over 180 company units across all divisions stepped forward as trainers this year. The more than 160 volunteer trainers, as well as the 6,800 course registrations by colleagues across the Group, are important signs for us that learning new skills and sharing knowledge is becoming increasingly relevant at Bertelsmann.
Can you give us some examples of the topics covered?
Dörte Wickenhagen: The variety of topics painted a great picture of the skills already available within the Group. Our content ranged from tech topics, such as the basics of new types of NFTs, to digital topics, such as digital marketing in the music industry, to personal development topics and solution-oriented team coaching.
Sophia Ohlendorf: The different formats also gave interested parties additional options. For example, presentations on forecasts and market developments of individual businesses made it possible to look beyond one’s own horizons, and practical workshops gave participants a way to learn new skills in a particular tool or technique. I, for example, have recently been learning to use Photoshop, and use a digital bot as an assistant to help me with everyday tasks.
Are there any other interesting observations, or aspects that could be improved?
Dörte Wickenhagen: Beyond the content presented, the virtual networking with other colleagues was exciting. We received great feedback, resulting in several additional keynote presentations for trainers and joint projects among the participants. In the future, we would like to further strengthen this spirit.
Sophia Ohlendorf: We’ve already made a lot of improvements to the technical user experience this year. For example, we introduced an interactive program schedule. In the future, we would like to keep increasing usability so that we can offer even easier access to the great course content. In addition, this year we used participant feedback to ask for additional topics that employees would like to explore in greater depth. We will actively call for these topics in the next big “Your Campus.”
You just said: “big Your Campus.” Are there smaller editions as well?
Sophia Ohlendorf: There are, of course, some very similar formats for employees at the local level. Besides, we’d like to expand the Group-wide format so that we can also offer additional sessions during the year and move closer to our goal of continuous, self-directed learning. All “Your Campus” team members from the divisions have now spoken out in favor of additional, smaller “special editions” with a particular focus on specific subject areas.
Can you already say which subject area you would like to start with?
Dörte Wickenhagen: We’ve jointly decided to focus the first smaller “Your Campus” special edition on the strategically important topics of “Digital & Tech.” The “Digital & Tech Edition” is intended to create a low-threshold offering that on the one hand helps participants to better grasp concepts and topics and to transfer them to one’s own work, and on the other hand shows advanced participants and decision-makers emerging developments to stimulate discussion. As business becomes increasingly digital, employees have a growing need for skills and knowledge in precisely these areas.
Can you give us some examples for topics you’d like to see in the Tech & Data Edition?
Dörte Wickenhagen: Based on the feedback from the tech sessions of the current “Your Campus” round, and after a joint brainstorming with our colleagues in the tech community, we’d like to see input from employees on how to get started with programming languages, for example, or how interfaces (APIs) can support our collaboration, but also tips on the use of Google Analytics and cookie management..
Sophia Ohlendorf: We welcome basic or in-depth training on digital publishing and e-commerce, but also on exciting new technologies, such as a non-technical introduction to blockchain or digital storytelling.
‘Kollegen-Campus’ Successfully Concluded'
After 160 courses offered, over 5,300 registrations, and more than 1,800 participants around the world, Bertelsmann University draws a positive conclusion for this year’s “Kollegen-Campus” (Campus of Colleagues). The content of the events covered all sorts of topics from communication to sales techniques to data science.
A new round of Bertelsmann’s “Kollegen-Campus” (Campus of Colleagues) had started in early November – exclusively in digital form due to the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, not only could many colleagues in Germany participate, but also employees from various Bertelsmann companies around the world. Under this year’s heading “#BeALearnfluencer,” employees were able to register as “Kollegen-Campus” coaches to share their knowledge in workshops or presentations lasting around 90 minutes. Around 140 colleagues responded to the call, including employees from Bertelsmann Investments in China and Brazil, BMG, Prisma Media, Smartclip Europe, and Arvato Digital Services Shanghai. And the demand for the more than 160 training courses on offer was high: a total of 5,300 registrations were received from some 1,800 employees in 18 countries, including Germany, India, the U.S., and Australia. Since some of the courses were fully booked within minutes, additional dates were offered after consultation with the respective coaches. Their content covered all sorts of topics from communication and personal development to sales techniques, from e-commerce to tech topics such as artificial intelligence and data science.
Anissa Brinkhoff’s workshop on “Solving the financial chaos and starting my retirement planning – my biggest learnings from my ‘What The Finance’ podcast?” workshop garnered more than 200 registrations, making it one of the most booked courses.
“I’m delighted that so many colleagues were interested in my workshop on finance and retirement planning,” says the head of “Brigitte Academy” at G+J. “The ‘Kollegen-Campus’ is the perfect format to talk about their importance in a relaxed way and pass on knowledge at the same time. The atmosphere was so relaxed and interested that it was really fun.”
“In a year when Australia feels further away than ever, the ‘Kollegen-Campus’ was a great opportunity to be in touch with employees from different parts of the company,”
says Heath Johns, Managing Director of BMG Australia and New Zealand, who was the coach for the “Executing innovation – fearlessly (not flawlessly)” course.
Jan Reichold, CFO and COO of “rtv media group,” who attended the course as a participant, agreed:
“Beyond the presented content, the opportunity to network with other Bertelsmann colleagues from the various divisions was so valuable.” Sigrid Heiss, a participant from “DeutschlandCard,” adds: “The ‘Kollegen-Campus’ gives us the opportunity to encounter new colleagues we would otherwise have little opportunity to meet, and to help us look beyond our own horizon.”
As initiators of this year’s cross-divisional “Kollegen-Campus,” Dörte Wickenhagen and Sophia Ohlendorf from Bertelsmann University also draw a positive conclusion.
“We were and still are overwhelmed by the success of this first global, digital ‘Kollegen-Campus.’ The opportunity to quickly share or further develop your own knowledge while meeting colleagues from other divisions and countries in the digital realm, gives the format its uniqueness,” says Wickenhagen, who is responsible for “Learning Culture” at Bertelsmann University. “Its success also shows that a digital implementation was in keeping with the mood of the times this year,” adds Ohlendorf. “We will therefore offer a digital ‘Kollegen-Campus’ again next year, and we look forward to expanding the offer by involving more companies and colleagues.”