Going to university in Germany is an exciting time in the lives of every student. When you are an international student studying in Germany, this also means that you’re up for a few surprises and have to familiarize yourselves with common practices that may be completely new to you.
In this article, we shed light into one such topic- completing your Bachelor or Master thesis at a company. Called ‘studienabschlussarbeit’ in German, submitting a thesis in the last semester is a common practice in most German universities. Depending on whether you’re doing a Bachelor’s or a Master’s course, it can be ‘bachelorarbeit’ or a ‘masterarbeit.’
In Germany, students need not necessarily work on their thesis on their own; there is an option to collaborate with companies to write a thesis. In fact, several companies actively look for students to work on a topic that is mutually beneficial to both parties. Students will not only have one of their university professors as a supervisor, but also have an employee of the company guide them in the process. While the companies may have specific topics they want the student to research on, some companies also offer flexibility to the students in terms of choosing a topic.
Benefits of writing your thesis with a company
a. You have a job contract
Collaborating with a company for your thesis work means that you have a legal agreement with them. Contrary to working on your thesis in a university environment, you will now work at an office depending on mutually agreed time commitment. Some companies also pay the students for collaborating with them to carry out their research work.
b. Entry into job market
Doing your thesis work at a company can also be your entry point into the job market. Companies are looking to hire new employees and if you manage to make a good impression, chances are that they will hire you in the future.
c. Build network
This can also be an opportunity for you to see the day-to-day operations of the company and also build your professional network. Maintaining such a network is always beneficial when it comes to securing an internship or a job once you graduate.
d. Publish your thesis
Working at a company to do your thesis can also lead you to more exciting opportunities, such as getting your thesis or dissertation published. Companies are always looking to publish their own research findings and as a student, publishing your thesis will help you improve your career prospects.
How to apply to thesis opportunities?
Once you have considered the benefits of working at a company to complete your thesis, it is important to know the platforms you can use to find suitable opportunities. There are different ways of doing this. Thoroughly research the companies that you are interested in and reach out to them to discuss the possibility. Once your interests align, write up a research proposal and formally apply to the company. Shortlist a few companies that work closely with your topic of interest and regularly browse through their websites to not miss a call for applications.
Alternatively, take an internship forward by choosing a research topic related to your internship work. When you’re already doing an internship with the company, it is much easier to understand the company’s requirements and pitch a thesis topic that they're most likely interested in.
Broadly speaking, you can use the following online job-search platforms to look for positions. Filter your search based on your research topic and the city you live in.
Doing your bachelor or master thesis at a company in Germany can highly improve your job prospects. Remember to choose the right company and make sure that you genuinely like the topic you chose to work on.