As part of his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Victoria in Canada, Andrew Brown had the opportunity to spend his semester abroad at WHU. His experience was enough to encourage him to apply to the Master in Finance Program at WHU, which he started in August 2018. We spoke to Andrew to find out about his exchange experience, why he chose to apply for the Master in Finance Program, and his opinion on being an international student at WHU.
I hadn’t actually planned on doing a semester abroad. Originally I wanted to stay in Canada and focus on on-cycle finance recruiting. Due to an unexpected internship my graduation dates shifted so I signed up to a semester abroad. This would be my first time traveling outside of North America and living alone, making it an experience outside of my comfort zone.
I was excited to arrive in Vallendar for the first time. Compared to the University of Victoria, which is a large, public university offering a broad range of subjects, WHU’s smaller campus and business focus was very different. As an exchange student there was always something going on, such as activities for exchange students, company presentations, and guest speakers. Now I’m a full-time student this is much the same, and I feel integrated into the WHU community. I hold the Campus for Finance scholarship this year, which I found out about while interning in Frankfurt. For anyone thinking about participating in the Campus for Finance conferences, I highly recommend them. They offer amazing opportunities, as well as the possibility of the scholarship.
“The WHU spirit makes Vallendar a very special place.”
The exchange semester was a great foundation for establishing a life here. One of the many highlights was the introduction to Germany and its culture. Navigating the bureaucracy was perhaps one of the biggest challenges, but WHU’s International Relations Office was an excellent source of support. I met a lot people from around the world and have kept in touch with many WHU students as well as fellow exchange students – it’s an international community.
As a result of my semester abroad, I decided to apply for the Master in Finance Program. Three main factors motivated my decision. First of all, WHU is strong in finance coursework and research, and I knew this would complement my undergraduate studies. Secondly, WHU offers outstanding industry networking opportunities and this connectivity will be a valuable support if I choose to pursue a career in Europe. Finally, I wanted to study a Master’s at a university with a diverse, interesting, and highly-motivated student body, and this is something WHU definitely offers. Grades from my exchange semester were transferred back to the University of Victoria and this incentivized me to work hard. The teaching at WHU is quite theoretical and quantitative, and I really enjoy the strong finance focus.
“WHU offers a diverse, interesting, and highly-motivated student body.”
Studying at WHU as an international student offers a tremendous value proposition. The sense of community between everyone studying a Master’s is very strong, both amongst international students and between international and German students. WHU’s excellent reputation within Germany is a huge advantage, particularly considering the low unemployment and increasing international diversity within the country. If you’re concerned about learning German, it is possible to find interesting career opportunities in English – you’re also able to learn German during the program.
I’m really happy to have returned to WHU – I’ve gained new knowledge, met a lot of interesting people from around the world, and have had a lot of fun.