Jump to content

I want to go to engineering grad school in the USA but my mind is so cluttered and don't know how to proceed.


Recommended Posts

Hello everyone. I'm an engineer. More specifically, I'm a mechatronics engineer. I live and work in Mexico for a medium-sized company that manufactures pumps. I've been working for said company for about 1.5 years. I work in the area of industrial automation, mostly with PLCs, HMIs and implement them on factory machines.

This is my first job, and honestly I've been feeling stuck on it. I don't like what I'm doing, as my job consists mostly on countless and pointless meetings, reading catalogues, working with Excel spreadsheets, and fixing faulty machines on the plant. My job is more or less 40% desk job, 60% plant job. The "desk" part is boring and unimaginative, ladder logic "programming" and testing PLCs; and the "plant" part involves working in a dusty, noisy environment putting off fires whenever a machine goes down.

I'm working at the R&D department of the company, but I do neither research nor development. All the other engineers in the department have a more research related job, like they make simulations, calculations and test their designs in the laboratory. I'm the only individual that works in a completely different thing, and most of the time I'm not surrounded by other engineers but mostly technicians and machine operators. The worst part is that other industrial automation jobs are very similar, and it's so frustrating; especially since I don't have a master's degree so any job that I apply will be the same thing.

I took the job because I thought that it could serve me as an stepping stone for grad school. I would like to work with more cutting edge technologies and do research, like actual research, perform experiments, work with complex maths and physics, and write papers for other engineers. I'm mostly interested in the fields of robotics and control of dynamic systems within EE. As a purely mechatronics engineer, I lack the depth on any particular field, as if I was a jack of all trades and master of nothing. And, most importantly, I want to go to grad school in the USA.

The thing is that I was never a stellar student. I don't know if my GPA is calculated correctly, but I have a general average of 86, and supposedly it roughly equates to a 3 in the GPA scale. I failed many times over my studies, yet managed to graduate. But I fear that this could severely hinder any chances to get in a good grad school. I also tried by joining an engineering society, such as IEEE, in the hopes that I can network with engineers in the robotics field (for example, I would like to be involved in helping with research and publishing), but my job is very time consuming and I never have time for working in IEEE or doing anything at all.

I also lack any relevant research experience. During my studies I was kinda careless and when I almost finished my studies I realized that I wanted to work in research, but it was late. I made so many mistakes and had a bad GPA. To make matters worse, I took anything as an elective course just to complete my credits (for example, my school offers graduating with a thesis or research, which equates to 20 credits, but I chose to take filler, unrelated to my interests courses like management classes) because I didn't have a mentor to guide me.

I'm considering to go back to undergrad, or maybe if there's the possibility to retake some undergrad courses in an American university, because I want to raise my GPA and have letters of recommendation. I'm lost and don't know how to proceed. I seriously want to go to grad school.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

I’ve collaborated before with visiting Professors and students from Mexico. If you’re able to do research again in a university in Mexico there is a higher probability you can come do research in a southern school in California. 

There’s also no harm in just trying. It may not be a top school, but if you’re interested in just doing a masters at a school like UC Merced, you may be able to get in.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. See our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use