An award-winning bachelor's thesis as the starting point for a career as a founder

Düsseldorf, 11th March 2021 - Mehmet Ökmen, graduate of the dual study programme in Business Administration and Finance, was awarded with the sponsorship prize of the Association of Private Universities (Verband der privaten Hochschulen e.V.) (VPH). His bachelor thesis "Digitalisation in tax consultancy: fundamental analysis and implications" achieved a grade of 1.0 and convincingly implemented the topic of this year's call for entries "Digitalisation as a driver of economic and social change".

IUBH Prof. Dr. Thomas Kollruss, who supervised Mehmet Ökmen's bachelor thesis and nominated him for the VPH competition, underlines: " Especially convincing was the 360-degree perspective about digitalisation, also from the point of view of employees, companies, business partners and society, as well as the focus on practice and the direct relevance to practical applications, since Mehmet Ökmen analysed and developed the challenges and recommendations for action on digitalisation based on a representative company".


Theory and practice work together hand in hand

In the beginning, Mehmet Ökmen completed his dual business studies in finance with a specialisation in tax consultancy successfully at the IUBH location in Düsseldorf. In addition to his theoretical studies at the IUBH, Mr. Ökmen was also working for a tax firm. He became motivated to write his final thesis in the field of digitalisation as a result of his practical experience: " In the three and a half years of practice, I noticed that many issues had a similar background. But since digitalisation was and is in full flow - especially because of the current Corona situation - it was essential to also embrace and push forward digitalisation in the area of tax advice. So, I worked up a digitalisation plan for the tax consultancy where I was working. Based on my research, I was able to show the tax consultancy how they should proceed over the next decade to meet the digitalisation standard."


Graduate, award winner, founder and soon again student

After graduating last year, Mehmet Ökmen started his own business. In doing this, he benefited greatly both from his knowledge and his experience gained during his dual studies: "I am the only shareholder and managing director of my company in the hotel sector. It appears at first glance that my dual study programme intersects very little with my current work. However, if you look more carefully, it must be noted that self-employment is surrounded only by matters of taxation." Ökmen further emphasises: "I did leave the tax firm after the dual study programme - not because I couldn't imagine working in the tax sector for a longer period of time, but because some new doors opened up for me. With the dual study programme, I have the perfect background knowledge for all of this. What I have already decided is that I will set up more businesses. I will also start a Master's degree in General Management at the IUBH distance study programme. I am very excited and I am looking forward to it."

Ökmen has already set the foundation for this with the prize money of €1,500, which will be used to finance a Master's degree at a VPH member university. According to the VPH, there were so many excellent works submitted that it was not easy for the jury to select only three of the best works. For this reason, it was decided to award ten outstanding works and to divide the prize money equally. As a basis for assessment, it was checked whether the papers were graded as "very good" in each case.

The Association of Private Universities represents the interests of private universities in Germany. Since 2007, the VPH has awarded the sponsorship prize to particularly qualified graduates of Bachelor's programmes offered by its member universities.

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