Confluentes, the student-run band of consultants at WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, has achieved a record turnover of more than €2M over the last fiscal year. The agency acts as an interface between students and today’s companies and has earned quite the reputation for itself. It helps a myriad of businesses—from mid-sized to larger, DAX-listed firms—with more than 160 different projects annually. The companies that request help from WHU’s students and alumni appreciate, in particular, the competent advice they receive and the quick support for immediate projects. Marco Ries, former member of the board at Confluentes, said, “We’re seeing that our fellow classmates have a big interest in taking their theoretical knowledge and applying it to these exciting projects. It also gives the companies an excellent chance to present themselves as viable employers.” He has since handed over the reins to Jonathan Fischer (BSc, 2022; MSc, 2024), who manages the projects’ organization and execution with the help of a motivated team comprising students currently enrolled at WHU.
Confluentes was founded in 1994 by WHU students who had the goal of taking all that they had learned in school and applying it to real-world projects. Currently, eight students organize the group’s work, with Confluentes itself providing over 2,000 willing consultants from the student and alumni body. This allows the inquiring companies, all of which have their own specific needs, to be matched with a consultant who has the right experience and availability. Confluentes’s offer is a win-win for both parties: students receive a chance to work on real and challenging projects, gaining experience outside of their standard internships; companies receive flexible, tailor-made consulting services, even on short notice.
The group’s record turnover can be partially attributed to their having optimized certain processes in recent years. For example, the group has made internal coordination more efficient and has engaged younger students to support more experienced consultants. This cooperation between current students and the alumni is of great benefit for the next generation. Confluentes, a registered association, does not operate on a for-profit model. Rather, the funds it accumulates go toward paying the student consultants and toward supporting the WHU community as a whole. Just last year, Confluentes contributed financially to renovating WHU’s on-campus gym.