Most of the students I know in our BiG Facebook community will be arriving in Germany in the coming two weeks. That includes a majority of the Moderators Team of the group (it would be really tough to concentrate on other bigger projects without them), students who are coming for Masters and even some students who are coming here to start their Bachelors for the first time. I am really glad that after the whole drama with the Visa appointments, most of the students got the visa and now they will be starting their new lives here soon.
The first semester is an organizational mess but it passes and it passes rather quickly. In most of the courses, the second semester has the last compulsory courses that you would ever have to take in your course and then in the third one, you have to choose a project on which you will be spending quite a lot of time. This project is always weighed around 6-12 ECTS. In most of the universities, it can be extremely hectic and can amount to a decent amount of workload every single week. Now, since all of us are still engineers, it happens that a huge chunk of the task gets shifted towards the end of the semester and as long as you know you can take care of it, your supervisor is going to be a bit relaxed about it (unless you got unlucky and started your project under a perfectionist!). The project seminar ends with you presenting to your entire batch about what you had done int he past 6 months and if you really didn’t do much, this isn’t going to be an extremely pleasant experience for you, but even in that situation, if you are confident enough to put across the idea that you had absolute fun in studying this topic and there’s nothing else that you would have rather done, then, you will see the eyes of people twinkle and light up when you talk about your project topic passionately.
I know this because I did this in my own Project Seminar. I was pretty unprepared for the Colloquium that we were going to have for the seminar and the main reason was in our group of 3 students, I was the one who was responsible to reach out to people and interview them regarding our topic while the other two were taking care of presentations and the written stuff. We had been planning on them giving the presentation in the end, but somehow, in the end, the team of supervisors had already planned everything. My two colleagues were in a different group and I alone was a different group who had to give presentations at different time slots. This was an important piece of information which was released to us just at the time the seminar started. I have always been a spontaneous person, so as soon as I saw my name on the document, I put myself in the mindset that I need to be in to give a fantastic presentation.
With a lot of hard work from all of the 3 team members, we got a 1.3 score (which corresponds to 90-100% marks in the percentage form) in our Project Seminar and our supervisor also really liked the work that we have done. The topic was ‘The Effect of Digitalization on the Organisation of Companies’. It was extremely interesting and the best part was to get to talk to so many experts from the industry and take their opinions about our doubts and questions. After this point, I already realized that digitalization might not be a bad topic for the Master Thesis because it is the hot topic in Germany these days. Companies are doing it, local businesses are changing how they work and the world, in general, is becoming a very compact place.
Even though I did my Project Seminar in the second semester, many of you will be able to choose which semester you would like to do it in. But trust me, as soon as the project seminar ends, you have the pressure of finding a topic for your Master Thesis. Professors will tell you from the first semester to start finding a topic for your Master Thesis so that your Masters doesn’t get delayed and they are not lying! It really is a very important part of your course and if you don’t start planning on it soon enough, you might end up using more unnecessary semesters, which you might not have had the need to take otherwise. I had this in my mind too and that’s why this idea of doing the Master Thesis on Brand Building and Effectiveness of Different Social Media Platforms has been in my mind since a long time, but neither the website and nor the YouTube channel was at a stage where I could have successfully pitched this idea to my supervisor. Before I go into the story of how I persuaded them, I want to give you guys a few tips on how you can choose your Master Thesis topic when the time comes:
- Form a Question- There are many things to keep in mind when choosing the topic for your thesis. See what kind of research is going on these days in your field (Research Gate, Google Scholar are great places to start with) and try to position your idea somewhere around it.
- Consider Your Audience- Whether it’s a thesis topic or a project at work, it’s always wise to know your audience, which is going to be your professors and supervisors for the starting. So, know what kind of things might interest them and see which professor you should talk to. Some of them are a bit more lenient, some are very strict, but you wouldn’t know about their characteristics unless you talk to them.
- Originality, Context, Execution- Originality, context, and execution are absolutely necessary components of a successful thesis paper. Context and proper execution are also paramount to the chosen topic as well as thesis body. To provide the most relevant thesis, one must stay within the proper context of their field of study.
- Consider Your Strengths- This means to consider what you are good at. Your proximity or affiliations to a person/audience or place of interest can be great strengths.
- Follow Your Interests- This will produce the very best topic and thesis. This is by far the absolutely necessary thing to do because throughout your professional career (if you are not planning to do any higher studies after your Masters/Bachelors), your thesis will be the most discussed topic in all of your job interviews. So, it should rather be something that you are really interested and did a great job at, so that you can tell your future employers about your research work with the passion.
Bharat in Germany! started as just a YouTube channel where I planned on making videos about the topics that were a bit stressful for the prospective students and they were having trouble finding the relevant information regarding it. The original idea was anytime I receive an email from somebody, I will copy and paste the video to reply to the person so that I don’t have to repeat things over and over again. But I realized that that’s not how you make people care for you or your idea or your initiative. You have to be knee deep in whatever you want to do with passion and you have to address the people who decided to take out their time to talk to you directly and personally so that you can build a connection with them.
This had been my motivation the entire time to talk with my audience on my YouTube channel, Instagram, Facebook Group and Website. I want to know their problems, address their issues and do my part in making their life a bit easier. That’s my way of taking a bit of a responsibility in this world and at the same time giving back. Everything was running super smoothly until the Facebook Group and YouTube channel completely blasted and it became impossible for me to reply to every single comment, message, and email without spending 25 hours in one day. But nonetheless, that’s always the state of engagement with the community that I aim for.
Slowly and slowly things became what they are. BiG became a real community as soon as I met more than a thousand students in our March meetups in India. It made this whole online idea without any human touch, extremely real and from that point onwards I only had bigger plans for the website, one of which has been the online course titled ‘Complete Guide To Studying in Germany’ which I have been working late nights on. One thing is for sure, once this course is over, I am going to sleep for a day or two before picking up the next project. The reason I can do all of this is purely to create things, which didn’t exist in this universe before. Things that add value to it, so, I don’t think the website will ever stop growing. There might be highs and lows but it will always keep on going. This is the exact point when I realized if I am so passionate about this idea, how about I try pitching it to my supervisor and see if I can spend good 6 months of time purely working on this brand, this audience and this community that we have created and study exactly the things that motivate you guys and how BiG can add more value to your lives.
I wrote my supervisor an email Monday late at night when I was working on the online course and explained him everything that I was thinking about the website, where it was and where I took it to and how some very nice people decided to stick around for the entire journey. I told him the details that I have in my mind, the before and after situation and went meticulously through the bullet points that I have mentioned in the text above to make sure that the proposal that I was giving him had all of those elements. I opened my university email box next evening to check his response and I was in a state of total exhilaration because he agreed to work with this idea and was willing to create a scientific study out of it on Brand Building and Marketing which I am absolutely excited about!
I will start working on BiG as the topic of my Master Thesis most probably in January if everything goes right and will definitely keep you guys updated about this!
What is something that you absolutely love and would want to specialize in? It could be the most random thing that I have heard of, but I am really curious to know! Let me read it in the comments section!