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edit: reposted from math/stats forum, I thought this place might be a better section for answers and responses Hello everyone, I hope that you're all well right now. I noticed this forum whilst performing some research on what a graduate program looks like. Right now I am a community college student with plans to transfer soon to UC Santa Barbara with hope to double major in mathematics and statistics. My GPA is sort of low, at 3.4, but with the transfer admission guarantee or (TAG), I should be able to make it in next fall. I'm actually already 24 years old, (turning 25 in two months), and am nervous about going forward with my plan of action. When I grew up people would tell me that I was a smart person, although I didn't always act that way, and my grades in school failed to demonstrate the comments from people I've known growing up. After high school I made some mistakes in community college and wound up in jail along with drug rehab. After some poorly informed decisions about the meaning of spirituality, I learn to calm my mind so that I could stop fooling around, and pay attention in the classroom instead. I started getting A's and B's for the first time in 2013, and my confidence in my ability as a student increased dramatically. I was born with disabilities that make my competitiveness as a student deteriorate, and being awoken to my brain power in a healthy way has transformed my desire to learn brightly as a student. I've had friends growing up who people ordinarily may think are genius, considering their acceptance into quite prestigious universities in California. I've wanted to follow in their foot steps for quite some time, but it's only been until recently where I've been able to witness myself shining as a student rather than struggling as a kid barely present in class. Despite my improvements as a student, which aren't quite up to the level that I secretly wish I could achieve (3.6+), I still feel that my chance in the university system in California is giving me a chance to excel academically, rather than wander around not really knowing anything in great depth. My problem as of now is that as an older student who's returning to college from being a drop out, what issues do I face trying to work towards a M.S. or even a Ph.D.? I'm planning to do my double major first at U.C.S.B., which I may finish in two years ideally after next fall. Then my plan is to apply for graduate school in statistics. I learned about statistics from an old classmate who's in a similar boat, and after taking a course in it a chat with the professor inspired me to continue along this path as well. Statistics seems to be an inspiring way for me to contribute to others, as doing work for people such as the government could help me in doing work that I enjoy. Are there any issues with trying to approach graduate school at such a late age? I know that there are many older people that do go into graduate school with work experience, but I'm wondering about people such as myself who might've dropped out of school and are trying to get their degree for the first time. Is it unrealistic to think this way? I live at home with my parents, and my father's a dentist so he's made enough income to send two children to university. My eldest sister has received her master's degree already, and after talking to my dad he said he was willing to keep working until I finished my schooling. One step at a time he says, however, and I'm seeking out advice for whether or not this "late stage" plan to become accepted into graduate school makes anyone else nervous. I feel a constant need to prove my worth as an intellectual person, rather than someone who's just simple. If a post-grad degree and a profession that can truly contribute to society would do it, then I'd probably give an arm and a leg so that it could happen.
Hi guys, My background is chemical engineering. I did my M.Sc. right after my B.Sc., and I have been working in the industry for about 10 years since. I have had 4 jobs altogether. All of them are related to engineering, but they are not exactly relevant to what I want to do for a PhD. For example, I have done a lot of process engineering, process simulation, equipment design and sizing, hydraulic calculations, etc., etc. These jobs all require chemical engineering as a foundation, but they don't qualify as a full-time research experience. So I feel that the work experience is not exactly going to be relevant if I want to go after, say, monte carlo optimization as a PhD (although I know full well that I can do it). So, do you think the 10 years of work experience in a (semi-related but) irrelevant field to the research interest would be helpful to a certain degree? If I mention in the SOP that I find the monte carlo subject to be very interesting and I have the required skills to be successful at it, would that suffice? And some of my jobs are less relevant to grad study, but they are not by choice. I got laid off a couple of times and had to take what was best available to me given the situation at the time. I feel that addressing this in the SOP would sound very whiny and negative. I mean, the fact that I still manage to be in my profession after all the volatile job market situation should count for something. Or should I point that out too in the SOP to make for a more survival story? Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks.