Current position and company: Partner at btov Partners AG
Home/Host School: WU / SSE
Benedikt Kronberger, born and raised in Salzburg, studied international business administration at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, international management at the Community of European Management Schools (CEMS) as well as public administration in international development at Harvard’s Kennedy School. Today he is Partner at btov Partners, where he focuses on industrial tech investments. Prior to btov, Benedikt has worked in corporate development for the Austrian oil & gas company OMV and in M&A at Rothschild. He co-founded the online drugstore AllesAnna.de, and the second screen social tv platform mccheckin.com.
In which way is your current role different than you expected it to be?
When I was studying at WU I was thinking about two careers: one in international development (I did another Masters in Development Economics and International Development afterwards) or one in the finance sector. I have always been interested in finance and pursued internships in an investment bank and in the financial controlling department of Henkel as my CEMS internship. Influenced by my brother who was also working in the finance sector, I got great insights making me start my career as an Analyst at Rothschild. At this time, I did not imagine that I would end up working in a VC firm investing in early-stage companies, but I am really happy with my profession.
How has your CEMS experience helped you in fulfilling your current role?
CEMS has always been very international, and it is getting even more international by extending the CEMS alliance in countries outside Europe. For my career the international mindset conveyed in the CEMS program was very important, you have to be connected internationally – professionally and privately. Especially the exchange semester provided a great opportunity to learn from the intercultural experience. I believe that CEMS offers a special community with interesting and open-minded personalities. Many of my former fellow students are very successful with their various career paths and I always find it enriching to meet these people.
Which is your favorite leisure time activity on WU campus?
I studied on the old campus and my favorite leisure time activity was drinking a coffee in front of the library, together with my friends.
Which were your favorite 3 CEMS-moments?
My favorite CEMS-moment was definitely the crayfish-party during my exchange semester in Stockholm. We all sang typical Swedish songs while eating crayfish and drinking Swedish Schnapps after going by boat to an island close to Stockholm. My second favorite CEMS-moment was the company visit of Frankfurt Airport and Lufthansa in Frankfurt. We got sponsored flights from Vienna to Frankfurt and the opportunity to visit the airport. The Lufthansa team showed us around and we learned about the processes in the airport. Last, I really love the reunions after having finished my CEMS master. It is great to meet those cool people from time to time.
What has your CEMS experience taught you about life?
What CEMS taught me about life is definitely that network matters. It is really important and enriching to stay in contact with the great CEMS students I got to know during my Master studies. I met really interesting and intelligent people with similar interests. So, I became part of the CEMS network which also helped me during my later career.
If you started all over with CEMS, what would you do different?
I really liked the CEMS program as it was. The only thing I would have improved would be a stronger CEMS community during the semester at home, but I guess it developed much since I finished my Master at WU. Further, I personally would recommend gaining some professional working experience before starting the Master program for a better understanding of many classes.