I am Ronald Neijenhuis, currently in my fourth year of study and writing my bachelor thesis to complete my study. For the thesis, which is mainly conducting a research as an independent person, a student usually takes around 20 weeks. At the end, with the outcomes of the
research, a ‘professional product’ should be written. This professional product could be anything but is usually a detailed plan (marketing plan/ project plan) in which the recommendations of the research report are worked out. When the thesis is graded as sufficient, there is one more thing I have to do; Convince the final exam panel that I am a competent Leisure Manager in order to get my diploma! However, I am not so far yet, so I write about my thesis and stay in Sweden.
For writing the thesis I decided to move to Uppsala in Sweden and work at a company’s office. It is the first time for me to work in an office (I also did the Disney College Program) and having this experience in another country makes it extra special for me. I wanted to be in Sweden for a long time already and being here, (not) getting used to Swedish habits, is truly amazing. I will never get used to the six cups of coffee per day they drink on average but at this time I am getting used to warm lunch. Most importantly; Fika! Fika is a Swedish word for a moment in the afternoon where you go and drink some coffee (duh), eat some nice sweet treat and have a nice chat with others. Is it all about food? Of course not, but I do not get started on the cold temperatures, cycling (which is a big thing here), the common trust in others (sharing laundry-room with an entire neighbourhood), having seven trash bins to separate waste and oh well now I already listed a few things.
The company and assignment
The thesis I write is in assignment of an IT company and you might think; how is this related to the attractions business? Well, they are currently developing software for amusement parks, a virtual queueing system to be specific. In this virtual queueing system, people get in line by scanning their wristband with QR-code using their smartphone or special terminals in the park. Now the visitors can wait in the way they would like to by having a picnic for example. Around 10 minutes before going on the ride they are asked to walk to the entrance of the attraction, scan their wristbands and only wait in a physical line for a few more minutes. The company is new to the attractions market and is now learning about many aspects of managing amusement parks and visitor attractions. They do so by talking with parks and also my research should give new insights, not only about parks but also their own product. So what am I researching?
‘The impact of the virtual queueing product on the ability for parks to manage crowds!’
Basically; Where are people and what do they do when not standing in line and how does that change the way amusement parks should manage crowds? All in all, a very exciting topic that caught my attention and now I am in Sweden doing (what I think is) an interesting research!
Writing a thesis can be hard. Inviting people for interviews without receiving response or being unable to find that one good source to support the things I write. Also, we all know it is a natural process to start doing other work when something else is not going well. A thesis seems to go bad quite often but there is no time to get distracted! It can therefore be a rather frustrating and stressful process. However, if something does go right it is also a great reason to celebrate. I thought teachers and other students were exaggerating when saying the process of a thesis is like a rollercoaster with ups and downs. Now I have to admit they were right. Luckily I am happy to say I enjoy rollercoasters and so I will continue this ride until my graduation. Hej då!