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He signed up for a Master's degree course at the Copenhagen Business School specialising in accounting, and gained practical experience as a working student and during practical work at a company.
The going is tough for those without any financial support wishing to work on their thesis full-time.
However, the most important factors should be an enthusiasm for the topic and a desire to enhance one's appeal to the work market as an expert.
The overlap between their mutual interests must be reviewed," Zimmermann describes the special challenge of writing a Master thesis at a company.
"Feedback loops are therefore unbelievably important. While regular contact can be demanding, it is essential to make good progress." This is particularly the case if problems should arise with the topic chosen.
For Knudsen, an important advantage of completing the Master thesis phase at a company was that "later on, there is rarely the opportunity to consider a problem affecting everyday work from a theoretical perspective".
He decided on the precious metals and technology company Heraeus that he came upon in a list of so-called "Hidden Champions".
Knudsen joined the two-year trainee programme "Finance & Controlling" at Heraeus in February 2013.
"We have a great deal of freedom and are able to decide on the individual stations," praises the 27-year-old, who was able to spend several months with the company in the USA.
Zimmermann also firmly believes that students should not make any major compromises when it comes to the topic for their Master thesis.
"If the topic does not knock your socks off, then it won't be any fun to write about - regardless of whether you do so at a company or at university." The industrial engineer also highlights the importance of a structured, concentrated approach for not dissipating one's energies.