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Guest Lecture: 5 questions to Paul Weinreich from Freelance Junior

What are the advantages of being a freelancer during your studies? What do I need to know about German bureaucracy? What kind of insurance do I need as a freelancer?

These and many other questions come to mind when you think about becoming self-employed during your studies. Paul Weinreich, CEO and founder of Freelance Junior, answered the most important questions and dispelled myths in his guest lecture on 13 May 2020.

Following the invitation of Prof. Ute Röseler, head of the Brand Management course of study, Paul Weinreich led his audience through the bureaucratic jungle of taxes, health insurance and invoicing in a virtual guest lecture. Valuable tips for our students who want to become self-employed.

Paul Weinreich answered 5 questions about Freelance Junior and the topic of self-employment during our studies


BU: Hi Paul, thank you very much for taking the time for an interview. Tell me, what does Freelance Junior do?

Paul Weinreich: Freelance Junior is an online marketplace aimed at student freelancers. In addition to the placement of assignments, we also focus on the area of further education. Our webinars and articles focus on the skills that freelancers need. There is a lively exchange in our community, in which advice is given to each other.

BU: How did you get the idea to found Freelance Junior?

PW: The idea for Freelance Junior was born when my colleague Matthais and myself, being students, worked on a project as freelancers. The client at the time was looking for contacts with other student freelancers. On the other hand, we were suddenly asked by many of our fellow students about the formalities.

So we started blogging about the topic and started answering frequent questions. The blog grew more and more into a platform and we realized that it could become a business. Since 2018 we have been working with larger corporations.

BU: Who are your members? Can anyone register?

PW: We mainly focus on students, but trainees and high school graduates are also welcome. It is important to us that the community consists of young freelancers who want to gain experience. Companies know that they will find rough diamonds with us. Mistakes can happen, but the students get a chance to try out, build up a portfolio early and earn money in the process.

BU: What is your most important tip for the first step into self-employment?

PW: Studying is a good time to become self-employed. Most of the time, you don’t have such big financial obligations and you are flexible. The longer you wait, the bigger the step. My tip: exchange a lot of information, ask questions and honestly listen to yourself whether you are the right person for this kind of work. You need to have a lot of self-discipline and a certain entrepreneurial spirit.

BU: What are many students afraid of when they talk about self-employment, even though it is not justified?

PW: The bureaucratic part is certainly a big fear factor. Taxes, health insurance and so on give many people the impression that it is better to keep your hands off it. And yet it’s not all that complicated. In theory, this knowledge could be taught at school – everyone would benefit from it, whether freelancers or not. But instead, everyone has to deal with the topic proactively. This is what we support with Freelance Junior.

We thank Paul Weinreich for the exciting virtual guest lecture with many helpful tips!