On Wednesday November 15th the Erasmus Marketing Thesis Awards took place at the Woudestein campus. Four finalists, coming from both ESE and RSM marketing masters, presented their work in front of students, families and a jury composed of university professors. The topics covered, involved the engagement of brand on social media, risk taking and shopping behavior, food waste, and the importance of a marketing presence in companies’ boardrooms.
We learned a lot of valuable lessons on the thesis process and how to succeed at writing insightful works, so here are five take-aways anyone can follow when entering the path of thesis writing.
Don’t be afraid of getting creative — Finalist Cincy Ho advised the audience to try to have fun while doing research. Although thesis writing is not exactly like skydiving, she suggested that adding even just a little twist can make the whole process more enjoyable. In her case, doing a small experiment in the university’s cafeteria was not only an easy way to collect data, but it allowed her to experience firsthand her research topic on food waste.
Trust your idea (and your struggle) — Unless your thesis advisor strongly suggests for you to change the direction for your topic, do not change your plan, at least not completely. If you think you have a great idea that has not yet been explored like you would do it, have faith in it and do not let it go. It will be hard at times, especially if your plan is so unique that none of the people around you seem to understand it, but it will be worth it in the end. Finalist Pieter Lievense trusted his plan enough to go for an internship to write his thesis, and the results were outstanding.
Deliver a WOW effect with glitter and cream on top — We all know that writing a page filling report, a mode of expression which we would never use to communicate with our friends, sometimes seems like taking a sleeping pill. However, the motivation of writing the thesis will derive automatically if you manage to find a topic that is not only interesting to you but could also have important practical implications in real life. Showing other people what impact your research might have feels energizing and you use nothing more than the magic pill called ‘relevance’.
Be proactive and approach third parties — Showing initiative can be a huge success factor, not only for your thesis but also for your future career. Grigor Dimitrou, who wrote an excellent thesis had to approach a company several times until they were convinced of his thesis idea and finally collaborated with him. Also the enthusiastic and ambitious performance of Pieter Lievens helped him on its way to an impressive analysis and a nice job offer. So fill up your thesis energy tanks and go for it - actively!
Embrace the data — It is not always easy to analyse data, especially in times when a vast amount of unfiltered variables is seen as more valuable than ever before based on its potential underlying information. But don’t be afraid to accept the challenge and fight yourself through the big data jungle! It will take a lot of clicking, typing and you will probably feel like an obsessed, nerdy cat while doing that as winner Ward Seeger mentioned, however, it can be worth the effort and you might take home the next Erasmus Marketing Thesis Award!