I have an engineering degree and work in a giant business corporation. I am currently doing my MBA (in the last semester). Sometimes the fear of not getting the degree bugs me (I have to present a thesis); maybe it will be really bad and all the effort was in vain.

How do you cope with the fear of failure? For example, fear of failing the thesis defense many times.

  • you paid already so much to enroll in a MBA course, pay the required additional money to be coached to deliver a good thesis. No one cares about the content of a MBA thesis, as long as it is not copied or produced by someone else than you.
    – EarlGrey
    Commented Mar 17, 2022 at 17:05

2 Answers 2


From a tactical standpoint, you want to get feedbacks from someone who can critique your thesis. During oral defense, your advisor’s role is being your advocate. So you should work with him or her to prepare for it. From the emotional perspective, having a mentor or a talk with alumni would help. Without any more details about how well you are doing academically and juggling time for work school life balance, it’s hard to offer specific advices. But as this is your last semester, the end is near.


This is something I struggled with throughout my PhD, and having a good Director of Studies and having other PhD colleagues around me made a difference. Don't get me wrong, I still struggle with the so-called "impostor syndrome", but I think the key is to surround yourself with people who are supportive, are able to give you positive yet constructive feedback and who can listen to you in moments of struggle.

Something else that can help you is keeping a journal where every day or every week you write down the things you have accomplished. Doing research and being in the industry/academic sector surrounded by very successful people can sometimes feel overwhelming and make you feel small. I did this journal activity in order to force myself to see my accomplishments and it did really help. Otherwise, I always felt life got in the way and all I was able to see was the X, Y and Z that still needed to get done, and not everything else that I had managed to finish.

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