RUB » Alumni » Talks with alumni » Business » Ralf Schremper


Dr. Ralf Schremper

until 2008 Senior Vice President Bertelsmann

Dr. Ralf Schremper studied Economics and Business Studies at the Universities of Cologne, Bochum and Berkeley. He completed his doctorate in Bochum in 2001.

From 1998 to 2001 Dr. Schremper was a research associate at the department of International Corporate Accounting at the RUB, dedicating himself to teaching as a lecturer at the University Seminar in Economics (USW). In 2002 he joined the Bertelsmann group and in April 2004 he became Vice President Corporate Strategy & Business Development at the RTL Group in Luxembourg. In September 2005 he was appointed Head of Corporate Network and Senior Vice President at Bertelsmann. Today, he is CEO of scoyo GmbH in Hamburg.

There were always two rumours: the first is that one always gets lost; and the second, that the RUB has the highest suicide rate. I can’t confirm either.

RUB Alumni: What made you choose the Ruhr-Universität Bochum?

Dr. Schremper: At the beginning I had not yet decided if I wanted to do business studies or economics and liked the idea of an integrated course. During the foundation years I realized that business studies was my interest. For the advanced years I went to Cologne because the department there concentrated on those areas of my interest.

RUB Alumni: Do you have an anecdote about your student days in Bochum?

Dr. Schremper: A humerous anecdote? To be honest, no. During my foundation years I worked a lot and had no time for a “real” student life. The problem with Bochum is that is more or less a commuter university. This was one of the reasons I decided to switch to Cologne. This is the real difference between those universities that are either small or in a city that attracts students; it’s there that you find other student communities.

RUB Alumni: Did you ever get lost on the campus?

Dr. Schremper: Never. But there were always two rumours: the first is that one always gets lost; and the second, that the RUB has the highest suicide rate. I can’t confirm either.

RUB Alumni: Do you still have anything from your student days.

Dr. Schremper: Of course. I still have a pile of files from my days as research and teaching assistant. On top of that I have university T-shirts. At Bertlesmann I usually wear a suit, but I regularly wear an RUB T-shirt when I go jogging.

RUB Alumni: Is there a close relation between your degree and your job?

Dr. Schremper: Of course. If you want to work in a corporate environment then a degree in business studies, economics, or something applied is important. There are even engineers who do a doctorate in business studies. What is important is a highly developed analytical ability.

RUB Alumni: What is it that you miss the most from your student days?

Dr. Schremper: I miss the basic freedom that one has at a university. I now have diary that is packed from eight in the morning to eight or nine in the evening. As a student life was simply more flexible. Even when I was with Prof. Pellens at USW and completing my training as a Financial Consultant as was able to do quite a bit of teaching. Actually, I miss teaching.

RUB Alumni: If you were chancellor or rector of the university, what would you change or try to initiate?

Dr. Schremper: I would try to create a stronger integration with the corporate sector. I am also very engaged in recruiting for Bertlesmann. We have our target universities in Germany and abroad, in particular in the USA. The US universities have a much more professional approach to the link to praxis and how you create career opportunities for people. In Germany universities one is more or less left alone. This is something I would like to change. Here is the conflict: universities don’t want to commit themselves and curry favour with business. This is something “foreign” for universities to do things over networks. I would also try to strengthen this networking in the praxis as well.

RUB Alumni: Would you still choose business studies today?

Dr. Schremper: Yes, of course!

RUB Alumni: What advice could you offer Bochum students?

Dr. Schremper: I got through my studies relatively quickly and got quite annoyed with those who would complain about the conditions. Complaining is typically German. I don’t deny that things are not perfect here as in the USA but I believe people should give much more attention to what they themselves are doing. Every student has a chance in Germany. It is much different in England or the USA in which the choice of the university has a great influence upon one’s career path. Students in Germany should use every opportunity to complete their studies as fast as possible and take their own future in their hands.