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EE - Graduate School as Backup

  1. Feb 1, 2015 #1
    I am an electrical engineering student who will be graduating in the spring. I had previously wanted to join the workforce after graduation, but the job search has not gone well for me... So now, I am thinking of applying to the masters program at my own school (which has a later deadline) if I cannot get meaningful employment.

    The concern is that I have to find a professor right now and that I still want to go work if offered an EE related job. I am wondering on how I should approach the professor. Should I be straightforward saying this is a backup option for me, or should I not mention this at all? If the latter, would it look very bad for me to ditch before September if I had found a job? Fellow professors, do you have any advice on how you would like students to approach you for a masters?

    Thank you very much.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 1, 2015 #2


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    In all cases I am familiar with, when you are applying to grad school all you are doing is applying. You are not making a commitment to go if accepted. Likewise when you go for a job interview. Is there some reason why this may be different for your situation?

  4. Feb 1, 2015 #3
    My department offers a graduate student scholarship and needs a professor to write me a reference letter. I believe most people usually pick their (future) supervisor to write it, so I don't want to ask them to write it and then later drop them a surprise by leaving.
  5. Mar 22, 2015 #4


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    That is very considerate of you. But it's really acceptable for everyone if your first priority in this phase is your own interest. Even for a potential supervisor. My estimate is you're better off with a supervisor who knows, understands and accepts, than with a supervisor who doesn't know. And who might feel treated badly in case.

    There's another side to this: you might well enjoy the broader perspective and the deeper understanding that comes with studying at master level. If you explain your current doubts, perhaps the professor you approach can help you to better weigh the pros and cons !
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