Let’s see who are the players around your thesis starting from the majors. By player I mean people or offices that will interact with you during the thesis. Each entity has different interests and cover different aspects of your personal and intellectual grow.

Clearly the main player in this adventure is YOU

The Players Around Your Thesis
The Players Around Your Thesis
  • YOU: as student you plan to work hard for building a good thesis and achieve a good graduation. In the end the thesis is suppose to be your work so, unlikely what happen with most of the courses, you will have to do the heavy lifting and count on yourself.

One or two main figure(s) will be there to support you during this journey:

  • Your supervisor at the University: he/she follow your work, mentor and nourish you, sometimes working with you, sometimes sharing with you his experience and/or his ideas. If you are curious this is my mentoring style.
  • (Optional) Your external supervisor: he/she has facilitate your networking at the company/institution where you did your thesis and has given you access to the corporate resources.

Marginal figures that will interact with you in a formal,informal direct or indirect way includes:

  • The Administration at your University. They need to make sure that you are following the proper procedures that are required by your program. Sometimes a “thesis coordinator” is responsible of this task and sometimes the student office take care of that. They are also responsible to check your thesis for plagiarism and to keep it on record once is finished.
  • The Second Reader (or graduating committee). Is a person or a committee that will assess your final thesis in order to provide a fair and unbiased evaluation of your work. Your supervisor(s) will mentor you and follow you during all the journey. The second reader has the role of bringing objectivity in the equation.
  • The Previous Generation of Students: they where there before you and they probably did a thesis on a similar topic. You probably will not interact directly with them. However you may read some of their works and/or you may continue the work that they initiated. Your current supervisor may have mentored them and will act as bridge between what they did and what you will do.
  • The Next Generation of Students: they are students like you, just younger. They will do a thesis one or two semester after you. As they haven’t done a thesis they are interested in learning from others. They could be involved in advancing/extending/improving/replacing the ideas of other students before them. You will probably will deal with this aspect at the end of your thesis. In that context you will answer to the question of “what can you pass to the next generation”.
  • The Library at the University. you may use its services for performing literature reviews, access to data or receive some support regarding your academic writing.
  • Scientists around the world. they have publish in scientific journal and conferences works relevant to your topic and you will use it in order to critically assess what you are doing.

You will probably spend the majority of time with your supervisor and, eventually, with your external supervisor. Consequently you can consider them the major players around your thesis. However, you should not underestimate all the other people that will have an interest in your thesis. In particular your second reader that is “the gatekeeper” of your final evaluation.

Let’s spend a few more words about your supervisors, both external and internal as they are going to play a key role in your thesis.

Your supervisor at the university as academic is interested doing research in order to complement his teaching activities. He probably mentor several students at the same time and would like to use your work as part of his/her publications as well as pass it other students that will mentor in the future. In this way he will have some continuity among the work done by several students and maximize the chances of having it published. In short: he will help you in thinking scientifically and would like to use part of your work for in his/her scientific endeavor.

Your external supervisor has different interests and goals in mind. He/she probably work at a company and is focus in less narrow then your official thesis supervisor. The role that he will play can vary a lot and depends on the what he is doing in the company where you will be an intern. Probably is a a combination of the following aspects. He or she:

  • Would like “to test you” before deciding to hire you, he is curious of exploring new ideas.
  • See your work as a way to bring into the company “fresh knowledge” from academia.
  • Is seeking possible new ways to produce products or services or to evaluate existing before putting them in production.
  • Would like to increase the efficiency of some activities that the company is currently doing.

Now you know all the people involved in your thesis and what their role is. All the players around your thesis have an interest in your success and a set of tasks/roles to cover. If you interact with them in a wise manner you will be able to take the most from your thesis. Nevertheless, please remember that is your thesis. Therefore, you need to show a proactive and independent attitude towards addressing the problems that you will face.

The people and the institutions that will #help you in doing your #thesis at the #university . Click To Tweet

This article (The Players Around Your Thesis: Who is going to help you) is part of the miniseries on how to do a good thesis, you can see the full list of post at the following links:

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