Writing your thesis at a company

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The interest in writing the Master’s dissertation at a company is constantly increasing.

There are several advantages of writing a thesis in co-operation with a company:

  • You create valuable contacts with the business world and increase your professional qualifications while finishing your studies at the same time
  • You get compensation for the work done, the minimum requirement is to get compensation for necessary expenses
  • You get to solve a real problem and participate in the planning and development of real arrangements, services or products in an organization
  • You get supervision and guidance from several directions, which makes it easier to get through cases of writer’s block
  • You get the chance to promote your knowledge outside the academic world

You get information about thesis positions e.g. on the Internet, through your seminar group or institution as well as on the Career Services job board. The most effective way to find a thesis commission is however to contact potential employers directly.

General tips

No matter how you find your thesis commission, the following tips help you in the process:

  • Prepare yourself well. The better your preparations, the better you can present your knowledge in a convincing way
  • To write a thesis is a job – approach the position as if you were applying for a job
  • Conduct some background research on the company that offers you a thesis commission. By doing so, you increase your chances of offering interesting and relevant perspectives on the thesis subject, which is likely to make a greater impact on the employer
  • Tell the employer why you are interested in writing your thesis at their company in particular, and what they can gain for offering you the position. Be open and flexible towards eventual suggestions regarding changes
  • Be sure to state your wishes regarding compensation for the work or necessary expenses. Read below for more information about suggested compensation and look up what the compensation policy is at your institution or faculty
  • Do not promise the employer anything before checking with your thesis supervisor that your subject and research plan can be accepted as a Master’s dissertation
  • Prepare yourself well also when contacting your institution. Remember to keep to the agreed schedule. Overall, do your best, since the thesis might at best lead to a permanent position

You are welcome to come and discuss your plans or potential employers with us at Career Services!

Compensation

The thesis writer can get compensation for the work done either as salary, as a one-time compensation or as compensation for necessary expenses. Career Services recommends that you and your employer comply with the following principles and suggestions:  

Working conditions and one-time compensation

  • Career Services recommends that you make an employment contract and get compensation according to the contract conditions
  • Writing your thesis at a company is considered regular employment, and e.g. the taxation is therefore corresponds to regular paid work
  • A one-time payment can also be considered as method of compensation

Compensation of necessary expenses

  • The writer presents a calculated estimation of costs and expenses which the employer accepts
  • The writer gets compensation for expenses that occur during the collection of data, e.g. traveling or postage costs when conducting interviews or surveys
  • The employer can offer the student a possibility to use office or use the enterprises facilities when writing the thesis
  • The writer must present receipts when billing the employer for expenses

Thesis compensation suggestions

When a student is hired to write his or her master’s thesis at a company, Suomen Ekonomit recommends a salary of minimum of 2400€/month (2014). If the compensation for the thesis work is paid as a single payment, an amount of a minimum of 7000€ is recommended. Any extra project work related to the thesis that the employer might benefit from should be taken into consideration when agreeing upon payment.

Stay updated on the current salary and compensation recommendations through the salary page at Suomen Ekonomit (The Finnish Business School Graduates)!