By Karmen Kink

On the last day of August, just before the autumn semester kicked in, the Industrial Master’s class of 2019 got together in person after a long time. It had indeed been quite a while as we don’t have seminars too often and even so, the last two had been entirely online. As a host, I was glad to be able to welcome the others in STACC’s office and avoid Zoom for the evening.

When everyone had made their way to the right building and found the right door, I started the seminar with a small presentation on my life at STACC so far. The presentation included a short introduction of both the company and myself, the motivation for joining Industrial Master’s program, an introduction of the two projects that I have been working on in the company, and an overview of how daily life looks like at STACC.

Once that was finished, we went for a little tour of the office. The guests got to see the working areas, meet our fish in the aquarium and also some of my colleagues who had not yet finished their day.

The seminar continued with some individual and group work, starting with a reflection on our last home assignment. Our task had been to schedule a meeting with our company supervisor and prepare some questions that we could benefit from, e.g. regarding personal feedback or directions for the Master’s thesis. We did a round of speaking where everyone aimed to answer the following questions concerning that assignment:

  • Did you hold the meeting in person?
  • How did you prepare?
  • What did you enjoy?
  • What would you do differently next time?

As it turned out, our approaches to the same assignment were rather different. Some made extensive preparations while some had the meeting impromptu, some focused more on the personal feedback while some excluded this part and focused on other topics.

Next, our attention shifted to the upcoming ICS (Institute of Computer Science) day. Taking place on October 1 this year, this day is meant for students who are in search of a research topic for their thesis (or just interested to see what the university research groups are up to) and as such, we are all in the target group as well. By the beginning of November, we are expected to have a topic in place and a university-side supervisor on board.

For the next task, we were divided into pairs to discuss why we should go to the ICS day, what we would hope to gain with the visit, and who we would like to meet. After a short discussion, we went on to an individual drawing task where the goal was to depict three research areas of interest, our motivation for learning more about them, and the information gap that we feel like we still have in that area. It is not an easy task to try and draw all of this, at least I for my part could not manage without using words as well.

Our final task, again related to the ICS day, was a role play in groups of three. One of us was the student, the second group member was the student’s company-side supervisor, and the third was the research group person who presented their work at the ICS day. The task was for the student to introduce themselves and their supervisor, ask content-related questions and also discuss possibilities for writing a Master’s thesis in that field.

That concluded the formal part of our meeting, after which we hung around for a while, enjoying the evening. Until next time!