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I have just defended my MA thesis which I have one advisor who does not live at the same place with me, and therefore I have build my thesis and discuss all the results around bi-monthly frequency with an academics who works at the same institution with me. She also came to my defense (which was at another city we live) and from the beginning to the end supported my and my work as if she is my primary advisor. (FYI, my main advisor even said to me that "you did all the work by yourself and I did not contribute anything). Plus, the academics I work with is also my boss and she's an executive person in the workplace. I have two questions in mind:

  1. I want to give a copy of my finished thesis in a hardcover format, is it okay to give the final version with a hardcover one to the advisors? (+ I did not want to give it to my main advisor as he did not care/direct me at all) I heard some people give the hardcopy, but I am not sure about it. In fact I want her to read the Acknowledgements part that I thank to her in a detailed way..

  2. I consider giving a nice present to her, could be a good quality pen etc, but should it be appropriate because she holds also an executive title at the workplace?

At the beginning, I was hesitant to work with her as people around may misunderstand it, but we started somehow. But since completing this thesis meant a lot to me, I want to give a nice gift to her? If it could be appropriate, what would be your suggestions?

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    Whether it is first or second it is basically the same issue. – Solar Mike Aug 10 '19 at 7:07
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    Not quite. A much smaller gift would be appropriate for master's supervision vs PhD. – GrotesqueSI Aug 10 '19 at 7:22
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Barring any specific restrictions in your country or institution, a gift is fine in this circumstance. I'd suggest something small, fairly inexpensive, but thoughtful. I've got chocolates from a master's student sitting on my desk right now and I appreciated them. If you are from another country or region, some treat from your place of origin would be appropriate. Really, just a thoughtful card in which you've written how much they helped you is enough (and greatly appreciated).

I'd not give the hardbound copy unless they specifically ask for it. We supervisors only have so much shelf space and most of us don't have room for all the physical master's dissertations we supervise. I'd personally not want one. Digital copy, sure, but I don't have a use for a physical copy and your supervisor likely doesn't either.

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  • Note: if you give food you do run the risk of bumping into unknown dietary restrictions. However, I wouldn't worry about it as it's the thought that counts. I can't actually eat the chocolates from the student which I have in my desk, but I appreciated the thought behind getting them. My partner will enjoy eating them! – GrotesqueSI Aug 10 '19 at 8:25

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