I started to my master thesis in a company in March, it's a new design project about the product they produce. First month was just spent on the getting all the information, technical drawings and they couldn't provide me laptop so I had to wait etc. In April I started to produce some ideas but my supervisor in company isn't helpful so much, doesn't give me input a lot, he was just saying yes or no to my ideas and after first 2 weeks of April, he started to complain and said that I can't find so many ideas and the ones that I found are not working. This made me more uncomfortable and stressed and now I am not sure that I can find that perfect idea and complete this thesis.

We had some problems because of the language of course; he speaks German with dialect and expects me to understand him 100%, but it's hard if you're a foreigner and German is your 3rd language and this problem also partly caused this lack of progress.

My professor is more understanding and trying to help, and offered to have a meeting with 3 of us, but today in the meeting my supervisor kind of blamed me and said normally it was working with German students and if you applied for this job you should be able to talk and understand fluently. I don't think that it is fair comment because in my CV, my German speaking level was not written as fluent and I thought they accepted me with knowing this. Also I didn't know about the dialect.

So until next week I need to find 5 new ideas to present but I am so stressed and feeling under pressure and can`t think about anything and generally because of that comments I am constantly feeling really bad and incapable. So I am considering dropping out of the thesis and finding a new topic. Would you recommend doing this?

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    Have you discussed this with your supervisor, as they seem more understanding? May 4, 2021 at 12:32
  • Maybe he simply does not know / aware of that his dialect poses a big problem to you. Nevertheless, I propose that you try to learn his dialect a bit, concerning phonetics, words and grammar, e. g. by using deutsch-bairisch.de (for this specific dialect). It is a bit of work, but I think it will be worth the effort. May 4, 2021 at 23:36
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    @user7427029 Even with german as the first language I struggle with some of the dialects that are spoken in Germany. Learning dialect with german as the third language is probably not helpful here. However, if the company supervisor came off as more understanding, OP could consider telling him that he/she struggles with the dialect, possibly asking him to speak „Hochdeutsch“ in OPs presence. Unfortunately, the company supervisor does not seem that understanding of the language barrier.
    – pbaer
    May 5, 2021 at 5:57
  • ,,Ich auch" (me too), but the struggle comes from hearing them without really having learned them before. I could imagine that the prof simply is not able to speak Hochdeutsch. Thus, the next step depend wether the prof is ready to acknowledge the problem and ready to speak Hochdeutsch. May 5, 2021 at 8:29
  • (1) Who eventually marks the thesis? Does the company supervisor even have to do with that? (2) "my German speaking level was not written as fluent and I thought they accepted me with knowing this" - did you explicitly tell this the company supervisor? They may think it's your fault but it isn't, as far as I understand. May 5, 2021 at 16:24

1 Answer 1


If the company really needed so much working ideas on their product, they should hire a professional, not expecting them from a master student. Stick this thought in your brain, and then proceed. During thesis&internship you should demonstrate independt thinking, but you are still a student. You can ask your professor a meeting asking bout the opportunity of continuing this (painful) experience with the advisor or to try a new start with a different company (would be an issue for you to graduate 6 months later? what is at stake that prevent you from restarting the thesis internship?).

You can put all the points you mentioned here in a neutral way (i.e. "he said that I can't find so many ideas and the ones that I found are not working" == "they expect to have new and working ideas from the university", or "my supervisor in company isn't helpful so much" == "we could not build an effective working relation").

Regarding the 5 ideas: you do not need to believe in them, and they cannot possibly be all productive ideas (if you had 5 bright, productive ideas, you would not be rotting working in such environment, you know this ... and even your supervisor would know that). So dig yourself in the library, look at the conference proceedings of biggest conferences related to the thesis subject, pick the ideas making claims you can barely understand, present them.

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