How to write an award winning thesis?

By: Katja Palovaara

An interview with Maria Yakovleva, IBL13 who won an award scholarship for the best Bachelor’s Thesis chosen by LOGY, Finnish Association of Purchasing and Logistics. The title of your thesis is “Managing Last Time Buy Components”. To start off with,

1)How did you decide on the topic?

Some of my colleagues in the company where I did my internship, were writing their master’s thesis there. Following their example, I decided to find a team that would have a thesis project. Luckily, one of the logistics managers said that they would be interested in a thesis worker. I did not have any topic on my mind and the team proposed me the project themselves. Later when I was already writing the thesis that was based on the project, my supervisor Kaija Haapasalo helped me to choose the final topic.

2) What was the process like when conducting your thesis?

I started with the practical part. First two months I was working on my project in the company. I was creating a document that was supposed to explain how the process of inbound logistics, warehousing and outbound logistics of Last Time Buy components works. Since I did not know much about this process, I had many meetings with my supervisor and I read many existing company materials. When the project was almost ready, I started writing my thesis. During last two months I was mainly writing the theoretical part and trying to connect it with the project that I did.

3) How do you believe completing the thesis for a company played a role in the finished product?

I really enjoyed writing the thesis for the company. I think that it is much more fun to write a thesis when you have some people around you working on the same project. The company was very helpful in giving me the right direction and the information that I could use. In addition, I was very motivated to write the thesis because there was a specific goal behind it. I also completed the thesis faster because I had more deadlines.

4) What were the main challenges with your thesis? How did your thesis instructor, Kaija Haapasalo help you to overcome challenges?

Since it was the first thesis that I was writing, one of my biggest challenges was to understand the expected structure. It was also hard to figure out the goal of my research. Even though the thesis was based on the project, it was supposed to have a separate research goal for Metropolia. Kaija’s advices were extremely useful. It was also very helpful to read the examples of good theses written by the other students supervised by Kaija. In addition, spending one semester in England right before writing a thesis was a very good idea. Universities there focus a lot on essays and have very strict requirements. I wrote at least 10000 words during the last two weeks of the semester. After such an experience writing a thesis is surprisingly easy.

5) Did winning the award surprise you – were you expecting such success with your thesis?

It was very surprising to win the award and I was not expecting it at all =)

6) Do you have any tips for current students writing their theses?

I strongly encourage current students to write their thesis for a company. It is a good way to get more information for your research as well as more work experience. If you have a topic on your mind, you should certainly propose it to some company. Also, it is always good to ask your friends to read your thesis before you submit it and ask your supervisor for more feedback. Good luck for the students who are writing their thesis. I wish you to have an interesting experience!



  1. T. says:

    First, congratulations for winning an award scholarship for the best Bachelor’s Thesis!

    As being a first year student in MBS, writing a thesis seems to be far in the future, although we all know how the time flies by. I think this interview is a great reminder to start thinking about the different areas in subjects we are interested in and therefore start collecting ideas for our thesis topics.

    Maria’s answers clearly showed how motivated she was and how hard she worked on her thesis, even when the award came as a total surprise to her.

    I personally got a few tips from this interview to take with me. First, it’s really important to choose a topic I am fascinated by. Second, have a good relationship with my supervisor as the supervisor is the expert in the field, who checks my work and helps me to stay on track. Third and the most surprising thing – set strict semi-deadlines to finish the thesis even before the final deadline.


  2. Thomas Dawson says:

    Thank you for this blog post. The interview was an interesting insight in to the process of how a winning thesis takes shape. Many things to keep in mind for the time when I start working on my own thesis. And congratulations to Maria Yakovleva for the win!


  3. Ana Andreescu says:

    This blog is very helpful in many ways. It is always very good to know what to expect in your way, even if it is about school, or life in general. Having people to tell you about their own experiences and how they manage to pass everything, in our case to do an extremely good thesis and winning an award for it, is a help that every student or person need. The advice of having the thesis written for a company is interesting and helpful, it did not cross my mind. And also, to go in exchange right before writing your thesis in a place where they are focusing on essays and teaching really good academic writing is something to remember.


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