Zalando is a fairly unknown brand in the U.S., but the leading online fashion platform in Europe. Growing at a yearly rate of +20%, it was founded 10 years ago and it currently has more than 15,000 employees and is present in 15 different markets.

After having completed my first year of the Harvard Business School (HBS) MBA program, I will spend my summer as an intern in the company’s Strategy Department. It reports directly to the Management Board and works on projects that will steer the future of the company.

At HBS, we are constantly told that if there is a time to make a mistake, business school is the perfect one. Hence, my goal for the summer internship was to get out of my comfort zone and test the following hypothesis:

  • Can I thrive in an unstructured, fairly chaotic environment?
  • Is fashion the industry where I want to spend the next 30 years of my professional career? 
  • Can I easily adapt to a different culture in a professional context?

I landed in Berlin two weeks ago, directly from New Delhi, were I did my last course of the year. Without much time to settle down in the city, I started working as a member of the team. For now, I am involved in developing a strategic fore sighting tool and in the company’s omnichannel strategy.

Everyone at the company has been extremely welcoming and I already feel integrated into the team dynamics. Zalando is very proud of its open-communication office structure, which fosters transparent dialogue and efficient decision making. I was very grateful that on my first day in the office, my manager took me to the area where the management board is sitting so that I could meet them!

In my free time, I am also enjoying the city and exploring the innumerous amount of cafes, parks, hidden spots and other leisure activities that Berlin has to offer. It is a vibrant metropolis, packed with international young professionals full of energy and ambitions.

I will keep you posted on how my German adventure evolves!