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Advice on convincing my bursar that physics is worthwhile

  1. Nov 14, 2011 #1
    Hi, I have been a long time viewer of Physics Forums but have never posted anything until now. Tonight was the first time I took a look at the Physics Forums Career Guidance section and figured that perhaps a couple of users could help me out with my current situation. When I initially enrolled in University I did so with the plan of becoming a computer scientist. Through coming in the top 20 contestants in the national computer Olympiad I was offered a full bursary by what I believe is the biggest bank in the country to study a computer science degree. At the time as is probably very obvious my interest in computer science was massive and I believed that this was exactly what I wanted and I signed a binding contract with them.

    When I enrolled in University, it was required that I do a multiple number of other courses besides computer science. One of these I chose to do was physics since it was another subject I really enjoyed from school. The universities computer science course turned out to be incredibly mundane with them just teaching me a very abstract course most of which I had already covered by myself from some time before. The physics course however, really captured me. I completed my undergrad with a degree in physics and a degree in computer science to meet the needs of my bursary. When I applied for an honours degree in physics Im not sure why but my bursar didnt have a problem with it and agreed to fund me for another year. That year has come to an end and I have completed my honours in physics. This is where my problem lies. My bursar now does not want to fund me again for my masters. I have convinced them to allow me to try and motivate why they should allow me to continue with masters and I now have to write a letter of motivation to them describing the work I will be doing, what skills I will be developing through this work and how these skills could benefit them if they agree to fund me. My binding contract states that they will fund me until such time that they decide they want me to work for them. I can decline to work for them, but then it also states that on the day I decline the offer I need to fully repay my study loans, which I cannot do by any means. I dont really have an issue working for them at some point, since im sure the pay will be good, which I believe I may need for personal family reasons in the near future. I just want to get to do as much physics I can before they pull me away.

    So to do a quick recap, I have a bursary from a bank, initially for a computer science degree, but after changing my mind on what I want to do, I now need to convince them that me doing physics will benefit them. For more information, my honours was done with a focus on experimental particle physics/high energy physics. My masters will be done fully on particle physics with me going to CERN to complete it. I will be working on certain particle searches joining a team from my university.

    I know that this is going to require a lot of C++ programming since I have already started working on the search this year and will be continuing with the same work next year. This is good since it is developing my programming skills which is what the bank wants. I will be working with a large number other physicists which I believe is probably a plus too since it means I will need to develop my team work skills and people skills. I know I will also be working a lot on understanding and modifying complex algorithms which I believe would be another preferable skill that I can offer them. What I would like to ask, is if there are any other suggestions people can give me that I could try convince them with. Is there anyone who has gone into, not necessarily only banking, but even IT (since I am almost certain I will be in their IT sector), that has found that their physics degree of any level (preferably if you had a focus on particle physics if you went as far as performing your own research) gave them some kind of edge, or a useful set of problem solving skills that they may not have gained otherwise? Anything you believe my bursar would think is something valuable.

    So if anyone can help, I would appreciate it. Thanks
  2. jcsd
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