Writing Master’s thesis at Aalto University

As you may already know, thesis is an obligatory part of your degree and every student has to do it at some point of their studies.  I felt intrigued when I got to know that the majority of students in Finland write their theses as a practical case studies for different companies. It means that a company has a problem to solve or theory to be tested and they give this job to a student. In this way, companies get solutions for their problems without need to hire a person specifically for that task and student get to apply their knowledge in real work-life case already before graduation + possibly make some money.

When I realized it was time to start my thesis, I was doing my internship in a construction company so, I just asked about the possibility to do my thesis for them. I got a positive reply and we started to look for an appropriate thesis topic that would suit me as a Real Estate Economics student and serve the construction company needs. After some time I’ve began working on my thesis named “Improving Takt production in residential construction by using digitalization”.

If you write your thesis for a case company you will have an advisor from the company, who will help you to navigate your work, and also a professor from Aalto will supervise and grade your work. It is good to ask from your department who would be the best professor to supervise your work in case you are not sure who to pick.

So in order to start my thesis, I had to do a massive background research on takt production because I actually don’t study construction management and in addition, I have research recent literature on digitalization in construction sector. After theoretical base was built, I was able to plan empirical research methods and their execution. It was especially exciting for me to work on a case which was a construction site where I would had spent 1 year at that point. The empirical methods I implemented in my thesis were observations, semi-structured interviews and digital data analysis. The data that I have collected has allowed me to show the case company their current challenges with digitalization implementation and come up with possible solutions and action points to improve the situation.

Currently I’m finalizing my thesis with research results and outcomes so hopefully, I can submit the first version of my thesis to my supervisor to evaluate in the upcoming weeks. After the first submission the work gets checked for plagiarism and the professor gives final comments for you to consider before final submission. After the final version will be submitted, I will have to do a maturity test, which is basically requires students to prove that they wrote their thesis themselves. After that I will present my thesis research and results to the professor and the case company representatives, get the final grade and graduate! Wish me luck!

More about Real Estate Economics program: https://into.aalto.fi/display/enrec/Real+Estate+Economics

More about thesis writing process in REC: https://into.aalto.fi/display/enrec/Completing+your+master%27s+thesis

Daria Babanina
Master’s student of Real Estate Economics at Engineering School

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