How does an engineering student balance his studies?

Self-employed as a student

1. Self-employed as a student - the sweet life?

If you have to finance your studies yourself or want to earn some extra money, you may have thought about starting your own business. The advantages are - apparently - obvious: more income, more flexible working hours and vacation when you want. It is usually not that rosy, but there are good reasons to work independently as a student, for example:

  • At the same time you can start “small” while studying

  • You check yourself and your business idea

  • You take on exciting projects

  • You gain valuable experience

  • You make technical or entrepreneurial mistakes and learn from them

  • You build up important contacts and your own professional network

But there are also Things that can be seen as disadvantages (but also learn a lot from them). Students who work independently as translators, graphic designers, management consultants, office service providers or eBay dealers differ from their fellow students who are on the job in that they

  • have to fulfill certain formation formalities

  • Negotiate pay and conditions for their work themselves

  • Invoice for their services and get their fee paid out directly

  • are not entitled to protection against dismissal, paid vacation or continued payment of wages in the event of illness

  • In addition to income tax, you may also have to pay trade tax

  • have to keep proper bookkeeping

  • may have to take care of health insurance and pension provision yourself (depending on whether you are self-employed full-time or part-time)

  • Need insurance against operational risks (e.g. claims for damages)

  • (possibly) have to pay taxes to chambers and professional associations

What else can you expect as an entrepreneur ...

Very few young entrepreneurs have a good idea, and easy money falls from the sky. Most of the time, the opposite is the case: you have to work persistently and consistently on your project, and it doesn't necessarily attract big money.

You can also fail - that is part of being self-employed. But that doesn't have to be bad, as long as you always keep an eye on not piling up a mountain of personal debt. If you want to work successfully independently, you are your own boss and have to control yourself (and possibly others!), Find clients, conduct successful negotiations and fulfill accounting obligations. Experience has shown that ambition, a sense of responsibility, resilience and discipline do not harm.

Once the shop is up Sometimes your studies fall by the wayside: Many new self-employed people invest a lot of time and motivation in their own company and could definitely do more for the university. It is all the more important to plan properly and to organize yourself well. You may need to learn to delegate tasks and get more people on board. In the end, there is still the option of studying more slowly in order to get to the end anyway.