The Data Ductus Thesis Program – how a Thesis Supervisor can help students succeed academically and in the workplace

Following on from our recent interview with Hannes Larsson, an employee who wrote his thesis through the Data Ductus thesis program, we speak to Max Block to find out more about his role as a thesis supervisor.

What is the Data Ductus thesis program?
It’s a program that we have developed to provide the optimal support and working environment for talented students who want to write a thesis in computer science or similar fields. Students get a taste of working life at our company and our consultants get research support and ideas on how to solve certain problems. It is also a great way for students to meet a potential future employer – around 50% of thesis students join the company when they finish their studies.

“It is a great way for students to meet a potential future employer – around 50% of thesis students join the company when they finish their studies.”

How can you help students?
We offer all the prerequisites for a great thesis, providing students are dedicated. We have around 250 employees with expertise in a variety of topics, by tapping into that knowledge, we can help students overcome hurdles by answering questions that arise. We also support students with the necessary university formalities, such as application and thesis specifications, which can be difficult to understand if you haven’t done them before.

What do you expect from a student? 
Dedication is key. We are sharing our time and expertise and expect similar commitment from students. We want them to write the best thesis possible, that way we all benefit. We prefer it if students work from one of our offices, making it easier for them to meet and get to know our employees – having met someone in the lunchroom usually makes it easier for them to muster the courage to ask for help when they need it.

We do not, however, expect students to write code that will be used as part of a delivery to a customer, instead, we want to get insights into specific problems.

What can a student expect from you as a supervisor?
As a supervisor, I have near-daily contact with a student over a 20-week period. They share their findings, discuss any issues/problems they need support with, and they often take part in our stand-ups. I want students to feel part of the team while they are at the company, so they get a feel for what it is like to work here. I also help them to meet the expectations of the university.

Why should someone apply to the Data Ductus thesis program?
It is a great opportunity for students to write a relevant thesis, learn about working life and prove themselves to a potential employer.

How do you decide on the right thesis?
We have a couple of theses in our catalogue that we have identified, but that’s the tip of the iceberg. For us, it’s much more important that we choose the right thesis for the right person, which is why we try to tune the thesis topics to a student’s academic knowledge while giving them a real-life problem to solve. Before deciding on the topic, we tend to have a couple of meetings to discuss potential ideas that interest both the student and the supervisor. Also, in order for the university to accept the topic, it must align with the courses that the student has completed.

“We try to tune the thesis topics to a student’s academic knowledge while giving them a real-life problem to solve.” 

Where can students do their thesis?
We work with most technical universities around Sweden and have offices in six locations from Kiruna in the north to Malmö in the south. We have even had students do their thesis at one office and start working at another office after they graduated. We are flexible, and of course, we work according to the restrictions enforced by the pandemic.

How can students apply?
Applications can be made through the Careers page on our website or by clicking on this link. They should upload their CV and a cover letter. We want them to tell us who they are, what motivates them and what ideas they have for a thesis. Based on that and our interview we will find the right supervisor and the ideal topic for them.

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