An athletic jump into self-employment

At the age of 26 Frederike could already fulfil her dream of being self-employed. Thanks to her two degrees from IUBH and her partner’s support.


My name is Frederike and recently I took the plunge into self-employment with my partner. We are now owners of a micro fitness studio in Oldenburg. This is a dream come true at a younger age than I expected. I actually had thought of it as a faraway life goal. It is a great feeling when hard work pays off.

Service mentality and self-discipline are what counts

Immediately after my Abitur in 2012, I started my bachelor’s degree at IUBH Campus Studies in Bad Honnef. I wanted to turn my passion for the service industry into a career. Convinced that I could learn about the highest quality of service in a five star hotel, I decided to study hospitality management. My internship in hotel management at the Ritz Carlton hotel chain solidified my motivation. At the Ritz Carlton I learned how one fulfils customer requirements not only one hundred percent, but at best, beyond that point. In the service industry, such skills are indispensable.

In the subsequent master’s degree programme at IUBH Distance Learning, I could pursue my newly discovered interest in sales and marketing. Why did I opt for distance learning this time? On the one hand, I was able to choose my place of residence; on the other hand, I could essentially independently determine the pace of the programme and my time schedule. This was very helpful for me. Nevertheless, the degree programme posed a great challenge for me: Do I have enough self-discipline to work independently? Having now successfully written my almost one hundred-page master’s thesis at home, I have proven to myself that I can do it.

The perfect job? Service provider in the sport segment

self-employmentNaturally, during this time I also pursued my passion for sports and realised that my perfect job would combine my interest in the service industry with my hobby, namely sports. Through my enthusiasm for sports, I also met my life partner. Fortunately, his degree in fitness economics complements my skills perfectly. Therefore, we decided to close a market gap – a shortage of personal training studios – in our hometown of Oldenburg. We applied as a franchise partner to the franchise system fitbox, but did not expect to have much of a chance due to our young age. Surprise, surprise! Fitbox was impressed by our experience and gave us a chance to realise our dream of being self-employed.

In the meantime, every morning I enjoy opening up our own studio and being my own boss. Like all fitbox-Studios, we are specialised in EMS training. EMS stands for electro muscular stimulation and describes one of the latest training methods. Electrical pulses stimulate the deep muscles and this makes the training particularly intensive and time efficient. As a personal training studio, we are positioned in the premium sector. My daily tasks now include administering membership, calculating costs, planning personnel, marketing our studio and working directly on customers.

Studying was worthwhile

What I learned during my studies helps me tremendously to master the challenges of self-employment. In particular, expertise in the areas of internal accounting, business management and marketing proved to be essential for developing, for example, the business plan to start a company.  Thanks to all the presentations I had to do for my degree programme, giving a presentation to bank personnel, for example, is no longer a problem. During my studies and my time at the hotel, I also met many inspiring people. They taught me that one of the most important leadership tasks is to live the passion for the job. This is why my partner and I also give personal trainings so we can be a role model for our employees.

Of course, any self-employment is associated with a certain amount of risk. However, I have decided that I would not voluntarily give up the freedom of my present life for any job in the world. Therefore, this is my tip for students: believe in you goal, fight hard for your goal and be prepared to leave you comfort zone. You will then automatically become part of an environment full of inspiring and positive people who will help and support you along your way.


Frederike is 26 years old. In 2015 she completed her B.A. in hospitality management at IUBH Campus Studies in Bad Honnef and then in 2017, her M.A. in marketing management at IUBH Distance Learning. Today, together with her partner, she runs her own EMS fitness studio in Oldenburg. In her free time she enjoys running half marathons, loves to travel and take long walks with her dog.

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