A champion for equal opportunities and a boxer in his spare time, Sylejman approaches problems with an open mind and determination. Equipped with a deeper understanding of the impact that educational equity can have among disadvantaged students in Germany, his passion for the issue caught the attention of the German Minister of Education and Research. He was later invited to the ministry in Berlin to discuss approaches to minimize such disparity and help more students access university. “It was surprising and yet inspiring for someone in government to take the time to listen to what I had to say.”
Sylejman himself, however, is currently studying in the WHU Bachelor in International Business Administration program. “I worked on a construction site previously; I did not think I would be the kind of student who would be accepted into WHU. This school is the key to a whole new world for me. To step out of everything known and into everything unknown. For international experiences and to meet people from other countries. When I first visited the campus, I was fascinated by the topics covered in class, the projects, the student clubs, and the community’s enthusiasm to learn.”
The importance of educational equity.
DemOS is a start-up founded by Sylejman and a fellow student that aims to connect students from disadvantaged backgrounds to crucial information they cannot find or do not have access to. Whether it’s finding a scholarship or the right university that will influence their future development. “You must help inform students about the opportunities out there. We want to support hidden talents, so we go to schools and offer workshops to demonstrate that places like WHU or Harvard are not that far out of their reach. That person has access to more opportunities than they could have ever imagined. There are many scholarships for almost every topic. Not utilizing them to support talented students is a waste.”
What is clear is that access to such information can be challenging, and many students see the high cost of private business schools or universities as an instant barrier. “What many people do not realize is that joining the right private university or business school can change your life, your social circle, and your skillset; it can change how you impact society. You have the power to make a difference in the world. You don’t have to pay over 50,000 euros to do it either; you can always find a scholarship. If not a scholarship, there’s Brain Capital (a flexible repayment scheme) or a loan from the bank with a 0% interest rate. You can study at a free state university, but it’s not the same. If someone asks me what I study, I don’t tell people I study business administration. I tell them I study at WHU. That’s the difference.”
The spark of new ideas.
While at school, Sylejman discovered his strengths were in project management and bringing people together. “I became curious about what happens if I bring the right ideas, people, and tools together,” he explains. “I want to offer value, to create something meaningful. Business administration seemed the best fit for exploring different topics and then specializing. But I also wanted to explore new cultures and meet people from all over the world, something only possible through WHU.”
In 2022, WHU was the home of 15 of Germany’s unicorn start-ups (a start-up company with a value of over 1 billion US dollars or euros). Such an active entrepreneurial environment has undoubtedly had an impact on Sylejman. Last year, he co-founded a second start-up called Kolaboras. The idea is to connect German retailers with Chinese suppliers through an import service platform, mainly focusing on tech and textile products. “I enjoy this entrepreneurial aspect of my studies because I want to do something for myself; there’s so much learning potential within setting up a company. If you can’t find a solution to a problem, you create it. I gain experience through it, whether working on the website or negotiating with suppliers.”
Looking to the future.
“Boxing helped teach me to handle stress and keep on going, even if it’s difficult,” says Sylejman. “It’s important to remember that you can and should ask for help and enjoy the process rather than focusing only on ensuring the result is perfect. A person’s greatest strength is other people.”
Sylejman’s true passion is people; his interest in the start-up world is the same as his interest in politics. Utilizing business that generates value for others and potentially help society. “I know it will take many different avenues to achieve my goals. But it’s about gaining experience, using the available resources, making close friends, and getting to know interesting people along the way.”
Discover how you can make an impact with WHU – find out more about our bachelor programs