Mastering the thesis

Finding motivation and keeping at it while working on your Master Thesis is a very hard thing to accomplish. Even more so, when working full-time. While I thought it would be the same amount of work and done as quickly as my Bachelor Thesis, I was way off. From concept to submitting the hard copy motivation and milestones are key to successfully master the journey.

Each university has its own requirements and tasks to fulfill in order to even be able to start writing. I am enrolled in the Master program for Journalism & Communication at the University of Vienna, so specifics in my experience refer to this very program and may not be applicable for other universities or programs.

During the master seminar (German: Magisterseminar) your goal is to come up with a concept that can be developed into a proposal for you Master Thesis. So at this stage it is wise to choose a course of an advisor you feel comfortable with. As soon as your proposal was accepted one has to submit the topic at the StudentServicePoint. Now the fun part begins!

Find literature, cluster it to develop your chapters and prepare a good foundation for your empirical research. Whether to go for qualitative or a quantitative research strongly depends on your topic and if you go with research questions or hypothesis. What motivated me the most to get up and sit down to write on the thesis were study groups, as you feel really bad when standing someone up you will be committed – if only to not lose your face. Anyway study breaks are way more fun with friends, though coffee and brain food will be your best of friends, it is nice to talk about something else.

Always important, make the most of it. Don’t forget you friends, your workout and enjoying life during the process of writing your thesis. It helps you to disconnect, think about something else, recharge your batteries and come back with a fresh brain and maybe new point of view. What helped me most was discussing topics and literature with fellow students, someone else has another take on things than you do. This is very valuable and pushes you to think outside the box and leave your comfort zone.

Towards the end of my theoretical part motivation lacked more often than not. I had started working full-time and didn’t feel like spending all my free time on this. So I came up with a reward I would only be allowed to have once the thesis were finished. A Michael Kors handbag I had my eyes on forever – bite me, I am a woman! This goal really helped me to push through and go the last miles to finally submit and ear my reward.

All the best with your endeavours, keep at it, it is worth it in the end!

xx, Ännie

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