As part of my Master's course requirement, I am expected to either do an internship or write a thesis. I may only choose one or the other, and I am now struggling to come to a decision between the two.
First, a little context is in order. The course I will be doing, starting in September 2016, is on Human Rights. This taught degree is one of several others offered at a Parisian university known for its practice-oriented approach, including courses with practitioners and practical assessment (i.e. - drafting memos, advocacy letters, working on real-life projects, etc.)
Each option presents its pros and cons. Here are some that I have been able to think of:
INTERNSHIP - Pros
- Doing an internship will definitely give me a head start in anticipation of post-graduation job hunting.
- It is also an opportunity to network with people working in the field, and to put into practice the things I will have learned in class.
- Definitely the most viable option if I'm considering a more professionally-geared career path, such as working in an NGO, IO or other governmental and diplomatic organisations.
INTERNSHIP - Cons
- I can always find a job after graduation, right?
- Writing a thesis may actually help enhance my profile and indicate to my future employers my pronounced and profound area of interest.
- Thesis writing requires academic resources, support and supervision, something that would be much more harder to achieve post-graduation, unless I intend to join a research institute after graduation (and then again, my application would not stand in good stead without at least a piece of extended research to show them).
THESIS - Pros
- Should I decide to pursue a Phd later on, this will be an indispensable part of my application.
- Since my degree is a taught course in any case, wouldn't doing a thesis make my profile more well-rounded (i.e. practice & research)?
THESIS - Cons
- Not a relevant component of my degree unless research is a possible career option.
- Also, I am now 26 years old, and so the sooner I gain more professional experience, the better that would be in securing a practice-oriented job later on along the way.
I guess another important factor to consider is in terms of contingency. Assuming I decide to do a Phd with only internship experience (but no thesis), or vice versa if I decide to opt for a more practice-oriented career path (with a thesis but no extensive internship experience), which scenario do you think would allow me to access the planned career path more easily ?
With these questions, I am hoping to get opinions from people from both research and taught backgrounds.
Looking forward to your input and valuable insight, and thanks in advance !
Internship or thesis ?
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