Master Program

A WHU Master's Student Journey into Entrepreneurship

Joel Haas utilizes his studies for a career-enriching experience.

Already at the beginning of his career, master's student Joel Haas has gained a lot of experience. It's just the starting point for a young man who will never stop learning.

With a broad spectrum of ideas, experience and strategic thinking, Joel Haas from Amtzell on Lake Constance started his Master in Entrepreneurship in Vallendar. On the side, he runs a successful e-commerce company. The extra work and time he invests in it allow him apply the knowledge he gains through his studies.

"It's a good way to learn about being an entrepreneur on the side. I've experienced everything from sales tax, importing goods by train, the new Silk Road, payments to China, online marketing, communications, manufacturing and design. In 2020, I was fortunately one of the beneficiaries of the lockdown and made a very good profit. My strategy on the Amazon platform is not to be the best-seller in a category, but to swim along with the crowd in the 10th to 15th places and be able to sell much more profitably and not be afraid of being copied."

There is no concrete path for his career after his master's yet, but nothing will be left to chance either. Down-to-earth and without fear of risk, Joel is trying his hand in a wide variety of areas. For example, he also counts an internship at Rolls Royce Motors (BMW Group) among his practical experiences.

"That was very interesting because you will most likely never come into contact with such products (Rolls-Royce vehicles) again. I have many interests, but I don't know where I want to go. That's why it was clear from the beginning that I always want to use those four or five weeks summer vacation to do internships. For me, internships are an opportunity to get out there and experiment. I ask myself if the activity interests me, if it is fun and if I see myself there later. I learned a lot, saw a lot, but my dream job wasn't there yet."

That drive to always learn and try new things is a value Joel shares with his family.

"We should achieve the highest education we can. For me, it was clear that I was going to get a master's degree. I was the youngest kid and was always the most motivated, determined kind of person. I wrote my high school diploma at the age of 17 and I also started studying at that age. My parents' signature was still required for the application to study.

At that time, I saw myself working at BMW in vehicle development. I found that very interesting. But after I saw in an internship that it was not my world, I ended up here. In a completely different direction."

This new direction could be the key to Joel's future. Because at WHU, he is acquires the necessary knowledge to combine all his interests. While searching for a master's degree program, he came across WHU. After just five minutes in the interview, it was clear to him that the Master in Entrepreneurship was the right fit for him.

"My biggest challenge is the question: what comes after that? I am interested with a childlike enthusiasm in technological developments, like what Tesla is doing, the trends, what the future will look like. I always wanted to be involved in these developments and benefit. That is why, in addition to the technological added value, the economic aspect also excites me. Since I bought my first stock at 16, I understood how easy it is to participate in technological developments of these companies. In 2016, I bought Tesla shares. Then in 2017 before the hype put something into Bitcoin as I found the concept of a digital scarcity interesting. Over the last few years, I have been able to build a very good portfolio. Maybe I'll start a company that combines everything."

And WHU's extensive network could provide Joel with the tools he needs to make that idea a reality. 

"You're in direct contact with founders. WHU's connection with startups is simply the main reason why it is worth investing in a degree program at WHU. I believe that the WHU network will bring me a lot in the years to come."