I'm a student at the end of my degree and I'm also at the end of a not so good internship where I developed my thesis. I don't want to bore you with the details of my internship, so I'll just summarize it.

In the begging the conditions were good, I learned a lot and made good progress. After two months (of six) my supervisor started to treat me poorly, every week he found a new issue with my work. He deliberately gave me wrong data and he began to try to intimidate me by saying things like like "Do this, or you'll not be graduate" and so on. In spite of this, the quality of my work remained high and a lot of my colleagues gave me compliments about the level I had reached. Even my supervisor was forced to admit the results achieved were good.

I have just few weeks left or my internship, which are reserved for writing the final thesis. I have already written the first and second chapters and sent them to my supervisor. As expected, nothing was good enough for him, he just returns mt progress with everything underlined, saying that everything needs rewritten. He is trying to intimidate me again by saying "Write your thesis my way, or you'll not graduate".

So, here is the problem. I believe that writing is a really hard task for which you need a lot of focus for and to remain in good spirits, but with someone that everyday disapproves of your work without justification, but no guidance, it's really hard to move on. Everyday I think that what I write is not good for him and really affects me. Most of all, I'm worried that at the end he will not approve of my thesis, I will have to start again with a new thesis.

How can I deal with this? There is nothing that I can do to find the strength to go on?

  • 4
    Someone who is really demanding will probably make your work much better than someone who pats you on the head for the smallest effort. It would be nice if there were more people who were able to be demanding and do it in a way where you're inspired to step up rather than feel demotivated, but it's a really hard task. Imagine to yourself how you'd do it if you needed to. Be thankful your mentor is challenging you to go above and beyond, and try to look past the fact they find it hard to do in a way that keeps you motivated. That's not really their job. Feb 8, 2016 at 23:14
  • So... whats the question? How to write your thesis under pressure? Will you be writing your thesis in English?
    – Kilisi
    Feb 9, 2016 at 1:44
  • 1
    Does you supervisor have any actual say in how your thesis is graded? You seem to have a good relationship with your other coworkers, let them read it.
    – nvoigt
    Feb 9, 2016 at 11:27
  • You need to get rid of your limiting ideas such as needing to be in a good mood to do writing especially work-related writing. You can't give up at an obstacle either or you will have a frustrating career. Almost all companies have jerks that you have to work with. All companies have lots of stressors. You need to learn to work under those conditions not expect everything to be perfect in order to work.
    – HLGEM
    Feb 9, 2016 at 13:48
  • I'm not sure what the actual question is. You know what your school's policies and system are, you're the only one who knows if you can bypass this guy, or if you're completely stuck with him. Kiss up to him, etc. -whatever it takes to get it done. Then, when you're graduated, you can wait for him in a dark parking lot or something. But asking us how to maintain a positive attitude is not really within the scope of this site. Adapt to his style, or simply find a way around him.
    – AndreiROM
    Feb 9, 2016 at 14:59

1 Answer 1


My supervisor didn't have mark my thesis, and he gave me some tough-love feedback because he wanted me to do the best I can do. It may be possible that everything he's saying is coming from a good place!

My advice to you is to write for your markers. If you know that your supervisor is going to be marking your thesis then take his pointers and incorporate them into your work as much as possible. It will not only improve the quality of your work (in his eyes) but will show him that you respond to feedback and that you're not too proud to admit that "maybe I can do this a little bit better".

However if you know your supervisor is not marking your thesis, and you're aware that whoever is has very very different personal criteria for what makes work good (through past experience perhaps) then it is 100% okay to go against some of your supervisor's advice.

Whatever the case, should try to remain respectful of you supervisor - at least academically and professionally.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .