At the beginning of the course, I couldn’t imagine getting to the point where I would sit back and look at the final product – 48 pages, written by me and ready for delivery. But I did it! I submitted my thesis on time and want to share some tips on how I got there and how it could have been less painful.
Tip #1: Never forget that time is of the essence. When classes ended in the beginning of February, although nervous, I thought “Three and and half months is plenty of time!” IT’S NOT! Especially if you are doing the data collection yourself. Thankfully, I had a great supervisor. Whilst waiting for fieldwork to begin, I went on holiday! I know, totally crazy. The idea was to start work when I got back. My supervisor had other plans. “Before you go, I want the first draft of your introduction” she said. I didn’t have much time, but the attempt got my brain into gear and made me realize how far I had to go.
Tip # 2: Make a schedule and stick to it. When I got back from holiday, I was told that fieldwork had been delayed – I forgot to say that in Tip # 1: Things will probably not go as planned – So, following the advice of my supervisor, I made a schedule and got to work, starting with my methodology. During the two weeks of fieldwork, I recruited study participants and started to transcribe interviews as soon as they had been conducted. I also started to realize that the introduction would have to be rewritten COMPLETELY and revised my schedule.
Tip #3: Give yourself deadlines. Again, this was a suggestion from my supervisor who said that she wanted me to set myself deadlines for sending her material and to give her deadlines for when I wanted feedback. For me, this was invaluable. Not only does it move the process forward for you, it reminds you that your supervisor also has a life and might have other plans when you are desperate for feed-back.
Tip # 4: Don’t try to take shortcuts. IT WON’T SAVE TIME! My biggest mistake was not applying a referencing software from the beginning. Doing it manually resulted in my messing it up and having to cross-check references with previous versions of the report. Also, the time it took to convert it at the eleventh hour, was time I did NOT have. And of course, I encountered problems!
Tip #5: Don’t be afraid to ask your classmates for help. Some may not have time and you have to respect that, but some do and this can be LIFE-SAVING!
A short blog, I know, but submission was yesterday and I am exhausted!!!! I also want to get out into the sunshine. Summer has come to Sweden. Talk about perfect timing!!
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