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Three Questions to Dr Dirk Schmelzer

Our alumnus Dr Dirk Schmelzer studied economics at WiSo. Since 2019, he has been Chief Financial Officer at Scout24 Group and is responsible for Finance, Treasury, Tax, Controlling, Procurement & Facilities and Investor Relations. Previously, he was CFO of the NuCom Group, CFO of the Tomorrow Focus AG and its successor HolidayCheck Group AG, CFO in the telecommunications sector at Telefónica Deutschland GmbH and at HanseNet GmbH. As part of our testimonial campaign, we asked him what impact his WiSo degree has had on his career, what he would do if he could enroll again for one day and what advice he has for our current students.


What has been the impact of your WiSo studies on you and your career?

Studying Economics taught me structural thinking, sharpened my analytical skills – and my ability to look at the big picture. It was the quality of the lecturers of the University of Cologne and in particular the topics of Economic Policy, Financial Economics and, later in my majors, Microeconomics and Energy Economics that shaped me.

WiSo's reputation and network made it easier for me to enter the professional life. Receiving the basic skills needed in my job from challenging lecturers at a renowned university has helped me up to the present day.

If you could be enrolled at WiSo again for one day: What would that day be like? What would you do?

First, I would stroll through the WiSo Faculty, reminiscing and observing how the campus has changed. Then I would attend lectures in “Behavioural Management Science”, “Experimental Economic Research” and “Game Theory”. In between, I would stop by the canteen and, towards evening, have a Kölsch somewhere near the university.

For our today’s students, what advice would you give?

First of all, I think it's a great advantage that studies today are divided into Bachelor's and Master's degree programmes. This gives you the opportunity to reorient yourself after your Bachelor's degree. In addition, Economics is a great subject because it allows you to delve deeper into the subject and address socially relevant issues. Above all, I wish today's students a lot of curiosity, open-mindedness and fun. You can achieve a lot with that.

Thank you very much for your time and for the interview