International Students Testimonies

Social media marketing and strategic storytelling at the agency StoryMachine

Tessa Behrens successfully completed her bachelor's degree in Media and Event Management and will soon complete her master's degree in M.A. International Marketing and Media Management. In addition to her studies, Tessa Behrens has already worked for Apple Retail Germany and has since gained a foothold at the social media agency StoryMachine, which specializes in strategic storytelling for top international brands, personalities and political institutions.

Tessa Behrens works as Associate Director at the social media agency StoryMachine in Berlin.

Tessa Behrens works as Associate Director at the social media agency StoryMachine in Berlin.

What comes to mind when you think about your studies at HMKW?

"Something with media" sums it up pretty well. During my time at school, I completed various internships in a wide range of fields. I was particularly interested in the fields of HR, journalism and media. Even before my final exams, I searched the Internet for suitable study programs until I found the bachelor's program "Media and Event Management" at HMKW - and it was a perfect fit.

Why did you decide to study “M.A. International Marketing and Media Management”? And what made you choose HMKW Berlin?

During my bachelor's degree in "Media and Event Management", I focused more and more on the field of media over the course of the semesters. It was always clear to me that I wanted to continue straight away with a master's degree in order to further reinforce my knowledge and gain an in-depth understanding of media, target groups and (international) goal-oriented communication. As chance would have it, the opportunity to study for a master's degree in International Marketing & Media Management at HMKW in Berlin came along at the right place at the right time.

Did you get any work experiences prior to your master studies that you would like to share with us?

During my bachelor studies I worked for Apple Retail Germany in the Berlin store at Kurfürstendamm for about two and a half years. My responsibilities included classic sales opportunities, the support of business customers, as well as the support and organization of events, which at that time still took place above the store in an old renovated historic theater. Furthermore, there were various opportunities for internships during the master's program or the practice-related exchange with companies within the framework of the project week organized by HMKW.

Are/were you working during your studies? Tell us more about it.

I really wanted to deepen my acquired knowledge during my studies: That's why I started as a working student at the social media agency StoryMachine in October 2018. The agency was founded in 2017 by ex-BILD editor-in-chief Kai Diekmann, ex-Stern editor-in-chief Philipp Jessen and event manager Michael Mronz. The agency's focus is on strategic storytelling for top international brands, personalities and political institutions. The basis of our integrative storytelling is journalistic and completely data-driven. We don't look at social channels individually, but highlight their strengths and special features and use them to the advantage of our clients.

As a working student, I was able to accompany a young start-up in its rapid growth through all areas and write my part of the success story: Today, as Associate Director of Business Operations, my team and I support the management in the implementation of cross-divisional tasks. Our goal is to establish innovative, technologically oriented and cross-divisional processes and structures that contribute to the company's goals. In the operative day-to-day business, this means above all monitoring the performance and content trends of the company and the individual departments. Based on this, processes and structures are developed that work consistently and, above all, can be further developed in day-to-day business with our customers.
If you would like to be part of this development and a fantastic team, you can find our job vacancies here: https://storymachine.jobs.personio.de

Which seminar/project did you like the most so far?

The answer will probably surprise my private surroundings as well as my lecturer Prof. Dr. Kilian: In fact, it was the seminar "Methods & Statistics". This module is about the basics and in-depth application of quantitative research methods, including descriptive statistics or the translation of data into a corresponding visualization. The really exciting part is hidden in the analysis of hypotheses and their verification. Through certain procedures (e.g. ANOVA, regression or cluster analysis), correlations can be transferred from theory to practice and derived in the form of recommendations for action.

Do you already have an idea in mind for your master's thesis?

The way people communicate in public and exchange information has changed significantly with the use of new media or, more specifically, social networks. In this context, people are enabled to become agenda setters and thus senders of their own messages. A par excellence example is international CEO communication and its impact on corporate reputation on Twitter & LinkedIn! According to the motto that is widespread in the social network: All views are my own. In my master's thesis, I will therefore address the question of which determinants constitute or influence successful DAX 30 / Dow Jones CEO communication in the social networks Twitter and LinkedIn.

How are you experiencing life in Berlin?

For me, Berlin is: Loud. Quiet. Colorful. Dirty. International. Beautiful (in summer). Diverse. Talented. Musical. Green. Political. Tolerant. Creative. Technological. A culinary highlight in every respect. At the end of the day: the quintessence of fulfillment.

What are your plans for the future?

My daily work consists of learning from the past, mastering the present and planning the future. What is planned today can be thrown out tomorrow and rethought. I have therefore said goodbye to typical 5-year plans, because they have never worked in the past. I've learned that the best things happen when you just jump in the water - not knowing how cold or deep it is. I love change, challenges and the privilege of making decisions for my life. Following the motto: Go through things. Grow through things. Glow through things.

What’s your advice for students who decide to come to HMKW to study? 

„You just have to keep moving forward. You just have to keep doing something, seizing the next opportunity, staying open to trying something new. It doesn’t have to fit your or anyone elses version of the perfect or the perfect life. Perfect is boring and dreams are not real. Just… Do.” – Shonda Rhimes

The opportunity can mean something different for everyone: For one person, it means unconditional dedication to science and research and the professional success or recognition that comes with it. For another, it may mean a career decision to the detriment of study, but instead the realization of oneself. For yet another it is the chance or possibility to start a family and to realize one's true self. It's about moving on, taking on challenges - regardless of the scope - and mastering them or even sometimes making mistakes. And learning from them. It's up to you to decide how you want to move forward.

Which characteristics should students have that want to study „International Marketing and Media Management“?

Students should have an understanding of audience-focused, cross-channel communications, a passion for cross-cutting issues, an appetite for challenges, and analytical skills.

Thank you for your insights into your studies and for telling us more about your first professional experiences. We wish you much success and all the best for the future!