July 2014 – Dissertation
So, exams are now over and dissertations are in full swing. All in all the exams went well, especially since we were all aware of what is expected after January and we have had our results, which everyone seemed nervous for, but it turned out well in the end! So now all we have left is our dissertations and a lot of us are sat here wondering where the year has gone, as it has flown by so quickly!
My dissertation is focusing on sales performance and in particular personality traits that can predict high performance in different sales jobs. We use Qualtrics to run our surveys if anyone was wondering and wanted to familiarise yourself with it.
Everyone is now in the data collection process with a lot of people having finished this and beginning data analysis – the scary part! Although, in reality we have learnt everything we need to know to do the stats so there is no need for too much worry. I think now we are only a month and a half away from submission, everyone is feeling the pressure that we need to push us through and really get our heads down for the next few weeks.
With this in mind, I have a few tips for those of you beginning the course in September, who may feel now that their dissertation is forever away but will soon start to realise it all comes around much quicker than you imagine!
Tip #1 Start planning as early as possible. I know this seems obvious but the main reason I recommend doing this is so that you have a clear idea of what you are going to investigate, and more importantly, who you are going to investigate. One of the major set-backs for people is finding an organisation that can conduct their research within. The earlier you can start contacting companies the better. Alternatively, if you have a contact within a company then think of ideas for your dissertation that could be tested on this sample – it will make your life much easier!
Tip #2 Be proactive. As much as you may think your supervisors will email you constantly for updates to check where you are and offer help, this is not the case. Your supervisors are there to provide support when you ask for it so make sure you plan for all your meetings and attend them knowing that you will get the most out of the time.
Tip #3 Choose something that interests you. At the end of the day, you will begin the planning of this project in October/November and work on it continuously for the following 10 months so you really need to choose an area of occupational psychology that interests you, whether its stress, prejudice, ageing etc. So if you are sat at home over the summer maybe go and pick up an occupational psychology textbook and have a flick through the general chapters to see what catches your interest and make a few notes of ideas. This way, when your lecturers begin mentioning dissertation ideas a couple of months into the course, you will be ahead of the game and avoid the blind panic that most experience at this time!