Theses are often considered annoying formalities. However, they can do so much more. When properly tackled, a Master's thesis can pave the way to your dream job. In an interview with WirtschaftsWoche, Professor Dr. Nadine Kammerlander, Chairholder of Family Businesses and head of the correspondent institute at WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management, revealed what makes a successful Master's thesis and what opportunities such a thesis can offer for later career prospects.
It has to be well-rounded, serve an exciting and relevant topic, take current research literature into account and be based on a robust data analysis - the successful thesis. Two further ingredients complete the recipe for success: interesting conclusions and an understandable and appealing style of writing. In Dr. Kammerlander's eyes, relevant topics are above all those that deal with current economic and social challenges such as digital technologies, sustainability, or artificial intelligence in industrial companies. Beyond that: The topic needs focus. Poorly defined works often lack depth and meaningfulness.
A topic or methodology that suits the potential employer can increase the chances of being hired, especially if it is well-graded. After all, what Master's theses prove is the existence of various competencies that are important in professional life. Not only do they guarantee extensive knowledge of a particular subject, but they also prove the ability to work independently.
Furthermore, the publication of the final thesis may increase career opportunities. If the thesis is good, it may even make it into a top-class journal and thus gain scientific prestige. Dr. Kammerlander points out that Master's theses can provide important scientific insights, even if they tend to make smaller contributions due to the time constraints and the lack of experience. She considers the fact that many Master's theses are only read by the respective supervisors a waste of potential. The Junior Management Science Journal (JUMS), for example, offers the opportunity to publish academic papers and thus share knowledge. There is also the option of participating in the WirtschaftsWoche's Supermaster competition, which awards €25,000 to the best Master's thesis in economics. Dr. Kammerlander is part of the jury.