Recruiting Dinner 2020: Niklas Dennis Werthschulte - Sustainability, indeed!

2020-10-26 The 21-year-old submitted one of the best bachelor's theses in the advanced module Finance & Accounting in the Business Administration major and will receive an award at this year's Career Service Online Recruiting Dinners Audit, Advisory & Tax on 4 November 2020. The closing deadline for registration for the virtual career evening is 26 October.

When Niklas Dennis Werthschulte began his studies at Leuphana three years ago, business studies and sustainability did not have much in common for him. The 18-year-old liked maths and found economics exciting. A degree in economics was the obvious choice. Leuphana was recommended to the Stralsund native by friends of his parents’: "Business studies has a very good reputation there". Niklas Werthschulte searched Leuphana's website and applied for the Business Administration major and the Law minor. "Of course I had already heard of sustainability, but that is not why I came to Leuphana," remembers the now 21-year-old. Nevertheless, he touched on the topic right at the beginning of the Leuphana semester. "In the module 'Science bears responsibility', for example, we addressed the UN sustainability goals. I applied this knowledge in my bachelor's thesis," says the student.

Niklas Werthschulte is one of a total of six award winners who are being honoured this year by the two auditing firms KPMG and Möhrle Happ Luther for their outstanding bachelor's theses in Business Administration major and master's theses in Management & Finance and Accounting major. In his final thesis, the student analysed the effects of the CO2 performance of companies on their cost of equity. The expectations of the shareholders play a major role in this. They want to achieve profits with their invested capital and weigh up different risks of companies when investing. In their assessment, investors are now increasingly including risks such as pollution and climate-damaging actions into their pricing: "The capital market punishes companies that do not act sustainably. Investors see more risks there," says Niklas Werthschulte, summarising the results of his bachelor's thesis. The consequence: in the long term, listed companies could face a financing gap if they do not act sustainably.

"Environmental protection and climate change are topics that are highly regarded in society and are therefore also relevant for the economy. Sustainability results in better financial performance for companies," explains the student. For his bachelor's thesis supervised by Dr. Patrick Velte, Professor of Accounting, Auditing & Corporate Governance, he analysed almost 1,000 observations at German and British stock corporations. "Professor Velte set me an ambitious research-intensive task, but supervision during my work was very good despite Corona, thanks to video calls. I received a lot of support."

At the beginning of his studies, Niklas Werthschulte had expected to write exam after exam. But there were also homework assignments that focused on data analysis and scientific evaluation. This was supported by statistics modules. "I noticed how much I enjoyed empirical work. I'm not only interested in collecting credit points. I want my studies to lead to something". Niklas Werthschulte would like to complete the new master's programme ''Management & Sustainable Accounting and Finance'' at Leuphana and delve even deeper into economic theories and methods. Working in academia is a possible goal; his award for the bachelor's thesis is a first step in this direction: "I am very pleased that Leuphana appreciates the student efforts in this way.  It motivates me to continue".

This year's Recruiting Dinner Audit, Advisory & Tax will take place online for the first time on 4 November. Participation is open to Leuphana bachelor's students from third semester onwards as well as master's and doctoral students from management studies. They can get in contact with potential employers, but also discuss internships, working student activities or career entry after graduation. Interested students should apply to Career Service by 26 October 2020 with a letter of motivation for attending the Recruiting Dinner. This year, all participants will receive a package with a three-course menu, which will be heated at home. Students meet representatives from ten different companies in the auditing and consulting field (so-called "Big Four" and medium-sized companies) online via videoconference.