Seeing as this is our final blog post, I would like to include in it all the ideas I wanted to share with you but never got around to.
First of all, I know that almost all of our projects got approved by the committee, so congrats on that! I know it has been a long and difficult way, but we’re nearing the end, so I wish everyone strength and perseverance. I for one did not find this journey easy. For one thing, I changed the topic of my research at least twice before I was sure I had picked one I was passionate about. Secondly, I really struggled with my litreview, for a number of reasons (not understanding what a litreview is, difficulties finding sources, problems with the organization of ideas). Also, doing the whole thing online was quite a bit of a challenge: boy was I wrong when I thought I would have time both for work and my studies. Most of the time it was one or the other. And finally, I couldn’t seem to shake this feeling that many of the steps I have to do in my research are not really necessary. The litreview, the problem statement, the APA style – I just thought that I would get all the necessary information by conducting the interviews.
This course, however, helped me deal with some of those challenges. I now understand that without all the mumbo jumbo it is not possible to have any reliable findings, and that the effort that goes into it is definitely worth it.
I do have a couple of recommendations to the instructors, though, and I think most of my fellow students will back me up on this. First of all, since we’re learning how to write a thesis, maybe we could spend some more time analyzing examples of good theses next time. Also, with the writing assignments it was difficult to fit all the information into the word limit. Finally, I think this course could have been less intensive. We have our big research along with the electives, not to mention that all of us are employed full-time. At times I felt that I was spending more time on my mini thesis than I did on my main study.
With that said, I think this course has been very well organized, and I will probably never have another instructor who gives feedback as fast as Philip.
To the students taking this course after us: plan ahead, do your readings, and always keep in touch with your groupmates. Some of them might feel like dropping out, so be there for them. We missed at least two such cases because of the crazy amount of work, but I think everyone will agree with me that this program, and this course in particular, is definitely worth completing.
Diamonds are made under pressure.