Master Program

Keeping the WHU Community Spirit Alive Online

WHU Master students on studying digitally and why the community is stronger than ever.

Key to the success and reputation of WHU and its Master programs is its international focus and sense of community. What happens however, when that physical presence becomes a digital format and how do students keep the community spirit alive? Master in Management students Catharina Janz and Maria Hademer reveal how the changes to existing studies have affected them.

Maria Hademer

“I am taking two classes that are entirely online,” says Maria. “Of course it is very different to studying on campus where you are surrounded by people who help pull you along and motivate you. But I am so impressed by the quality that is still being delivered and how quickly it happened. It was communicated clearly from the start that we would continue and having the structure of a normal university week has helped me to keep some sense of normality.”

“I think the situation has made the WHU community even stronger.”

So how is she keeping in touch with her classmates and the rest of the WHU community? “People are always checking in to see how we are coping, even old friends from other countries. An online culture has developed whether we are playing games online or watching a movie together. If anything, I think the situation has made the community even stronger as we are working harder to stay in touch, and my friends appreciate it when I reach out and ask how their day has been. I truly love the people I study with and think it is a very inspiring community.”

After high school, Maria went on to live in a number of countries including Canada, New Zealand, Japan, and even studying in China. “As I had been abroad so much I was keen to keep that international focus for my Master’s while staying close to my family in Germany. WHU fit that profile with the added bonus of connections with Keio and Waseda universities in Japan, the two top business schools in the country. I hope to still complete my semester abroad there.”

“WHU fit the profile with its international connections.”

After completing a Bachelor’s degree in Media and Creative Industries Management at accadis Hochschule Bad Homburg, Maria built a start-up hub with four local company leaders which introduced her to new business models. “I decided to follow a business education for a deeper knowledge of strategy and gain leadership skills. Before I applied, I attended one of the After Work Information Sessions in Frankfurt and I was so impressed. I felt so welcome and I was treated as an individual rather than a number or just a customer. I felt that my personal development was important to the staff there.”

Catharina Janz
Maria Hademer

Catharina Janz

“I really appreciated WHU’s quick response in order to make the shift to digital learning happen. Almost all professors quickly set up video calls on different platforms and adapted their lectures and study material,” says Catharina.

After completing her Bachelor’s degree with WHU and taking a gap year to help her define what career she wanted to pursue, she developed a passion for sustainability topics. “I decided to look for a general management degree to account for my ever-changing interests. After speaking to current Master students and evaluating other Master programs, I realized WHU offered what I was looking for: small class sizes, a strong community, excellent career opportunities, and flexible course options.”

“The Master programs at WHU offer a very diverse student body.”

For Catharina, studying at home has only increased her appreciation for the in-class lectures, to meet her classmates through group work sessions or simply to just have lunch together. “March and April of this year are our final months together, so of course we had many plans of how to celebrate before we leave across the globe for internships and exchange semesters. However, the most important thing is that we stay healthy and can finish our degree as planned. Our professors have put in a large amount of effort to make the most of the situation and we want to do the same.”