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Internship or thesis ?

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    • Thread Starter

    Hey guys,

    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:

    - 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.

    - 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 !

    I would do the thesis simply because there is a danger that UK employers/PhD university admissions wouldn't consider it a proper master's without one. :dontknow:
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