This fall, 269 students started their Bachelor studies at WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management. Spread across the Bachelor in International Business Administration as well as the newly established Bachelor in Business Psychology, all of these students have one thing common: they successfully completed WHU’s admission process. During the rigorous multi-stage process, applicants must demonstrate not only academic skills but also personal competencies such as a strong sense of responsibility, determination, openness, and the ability to work in a team.
By the end of the admission process, three students stood out from the crowd: Julius Höllerman, Magdalena Mähler and Antonia Pohl. For their outstanding performance throughout the process, they were honored with the Admission Process Award. Since it’s not possible to apply for the award, which comes with a partial waiver of 20% of the semester fees, the news came as a surprise to the three winners: "I was on vacation with my family when I found out that I had won the Admission Process Award. I hadn’t expected to win at all, so this was an extremely happy surprise. Moreso, it confirmed that choosing to study at WHU was the right decision”, says Magdalena. Similarly, to Antonia, winning the award has proven that WHU is a perfect fit for her. And Julius remarks, "Honestly, the news of winning the award blew me away! My cohort is full of outstanding and talented students. Studying together is a lot of fun, and it makes me proud that I was able to stand out from such a special group of people."
Real team players.
Magdalena is studying International Business Administration at WHU. Originally from Berlin, she is open-minded, communicative, enthusiastic, and likes being part of a community. Knowing that she would pursue a business degree early on in her life, these personality traits played a significant part in her decision to apply to WHU: "So many students and alumni talk about this special sense of community—the WHU spirit, which I can only confirm, even after such a short amount of time."
Julius also discovered his interest in business and economics at a young age, “however, it was not until I founded my own start-up in 10th grade that I became enthusiastic about the topic. Together with a close friend, we developed and launched a platform for brokering local services. It was incredibly exciting to work as a team to tackle entrepreneurial issues hands-on, and to bring our ideas to life. This experience made me realize that this is what I want to study. During my first few weeks at WHU, my expectations have been fully met. Of course, the program is very demanding, but together with the other students you can achieve so much, and the older students do a great job supporting us. I am thrilled by how close we are as a cohort. Of course, we see each other a lot during the lectures, but we also have a lot of fun together outside the classroom."
This is also an important aspect for Antonia. Born in Munich, she grew up in Dubai, where she attended an international school and discovered her passion for swimming as a competitive sport. When her family moved back to Germany after 12 years, Antonia went to a boarding school in England, where she completed the International Baccalaureate (IB) while still pursuing her passion for swimming."The time in Dubai surely left its mark on me. Not only the country and its culture, but also daily life was different from life in Germany. All my friends came from different countries with different cultures, rules, and traditions. Through swimming, I became a good team player, and my time at the boarding school made me do well in groups—I integrate well, but also know how to assert myself."Antonia is studying Business Psychology at WHU: "I had actually planned to study International Business, but when WHU launched its new degree program, I was thrilled. I took Psychology as a Higher Level IB-course and really enjoyed it. I believe that psychology will become more and more important in business. Not many universities offer the combination of psychology and business as a degree program, so I was very happy to be accepted to WHU’s new program."
Preparation is key.
When asked about the key to their outstanding performance throughout the admission process, all three awardees emphasize the importance of being well prepared. As a first step, Magdalena did a lot of research and talked to friends who have studied at WHU: "WHU was my first choice, and I knew exactly why I wanted to get into this program. This clarity helped me a lot throughout the process. Two friends who had successfully completed the admission process in the previous year, gave me valuable tips and answered all my questions, which allowed me to prepare for each step of the application process." In addition to practicing for the analytical test, Julius prepared himself for the interviews: "I carefully thought about how to present myself and what to say about me and my previous accomplishments. What are my important messages and how can I best get them across. You only have a small window of time to convey your messages." Antonia searched online for questionnaires to familiarize herself with commonly asked questions and practiced mock interviews with a friend.
Trust in yourself and your individual strengths.
Her most important advice to future applicants is to trust in their own strengths and to be authentic: "Be yourself. There's no point in trying to portray something that’s simply not you." "The admission process is a great opportunity to build on your individual strengths and interests to show who you really are. The personal touch does count," Magdalena confirms. "It’s also extremely helpful to exchange ideas with current students who successfully completed the application process, as it takes away some of the nervousness and really helps to prepare yourself. I’m sure that pretty much every WHU student is willing to answer your questions and to give advice. That’s exactly what makes WHU so special."