Why do students from around the world decide to study business administration at WHU? What is it like to be an international student in Germany and what is it that makes WHU special? We spoke to two Bachelor students to find out why they chose Germany as a study destination and how studying here has shaped their goals for the future. Ege Gündüz (BSc 2020) has a Turkish background, while Emily Cognet-Fante Gauß (BSc 2021) has a French background.
“It was a little bit of research and also some good luck that brought me to WHU,” smiles Ege. “When I was researching the school, I came across a video of a WHU professor talking about entrepreneurship and it was clear that the school is really focused on this topic. Entrepreneurship really fascinates me so it immediately grabbed my attention. Then while I was in Munich, a Venture Capitalist who studied at Harvard sat next to my father and me in a cafe, which led to a conversation about how his son was studying at WHU and the excellent reputation the school has. I just had to find out more.”
“I wanted a university that would push me to achieve more academically.”
“My father and I scheduled to visit the WHU Campus Vallendar before the application round and receive a tour of the school. This meeting really cemented the impression I had of WHU and supported my wish to apply,” adds Ege. “I personally didn’t visit WHU before I applied,” says Emily, “but I had researched the school carefully so I applied and luckily I was invited to the assessment day. When I was there, the school spirit really captured me and I immediately knew it was the right choice; all the people I met on the day were really ambitious and hardworking. It was exactly what I was looking for,” she adds.
“Germany has such a strong economy and is an important start-up hub with so many job opportunities; it seemed like an ideal choice.”
“In France, we have a system where the workload is very high and while there can be many opportunities, I really wanted to find a university where the work-life balance is better,” says Emily. “I also wanted university to be less an extension of school and more a chance to work on myself professionally. In France, I don’t feel there is so much emphasis on internships and they often take place at the end of your studies. I really wanted to get to know a company or a field while I am studying, so I feel that the system is better here in Germany.”
“I chose to study in Germany as I really was focused on start-ups,” says Ege. “I could choose London or Tel Aviv, but I was really interested in studying in mainland Europe and particularly in Germany. I had read articles about Germany being a focus point for booming start-ups. Job opportunities and a strong economy were also important decision-making factors for me, but most importantly, I found people are very successful and happy here. There’s a lot of freedom of expression and self-belief to succeed in Germany, and I believe that has affected me positively.”
“You are more independent here – but that is a huge benefit because it prepares you for the future.”
“A big part of my decision to study at WHU was internationality,” says Emily. “So having the option to learn other languages and a semester abroad was very important – here the partner universities are not only large in number but are also some of the best universities in the world. My aim now is to connect my French and German language skills with my internships. For example at my last internship, I read French contracts for a German company. Next time, I would like to complete an internship in France using my German language skills.”
“I am involved with the student initiative ‘3 Day Startup’ (an initiative focused on setting up a business in 60 hours), as I like to be a part of something that reflects my interests,” says Ege. “It’s fantastic and it really enables you to learn about the processes, how to work in teams, and essentially creates a simulation of what it would be like to run a company. I want to be a founder so it’s important for me to be a part of these initiatives and also the start-up network. The network at WHU itself is amazing and if you have one successful internship at any WHU start-up or partner company, they always recommend or refer you to other companies. There is always a high demand for interns from WHU because of how much the school prepares you for the working world.”