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I need some serious adivice for my futureengineers, math people please help me

  1. May 18, 2005 #1
    I need some serious adivice for my future..engineers, math people please help me :(

    Hi everyone, I am new to the forum and this is my first post. After searching long and hard on the internet, i finally found this haven where all the engineers and math people gather. I am here for some sincere help....about what to do with my life and academic path.

    Right now, I just finished my second year university majoring in marketing and accounting. However, something inside me keeps bugging me…

    3 years ago, during my last year in high school, i took chemistry and calculus. Unfortunately, due to sad family and personal events, (deaths of friends and family members) affected my marks greatly. I failed calc with a 40% and passed chem. With only 50ish%..thats when my dream of becoming an electrical engineer vanished. Well, I made up for my failed calculus in summer school much later in the year and scored a 84% which took me a lot of effort. Well, with my crappy mark in chem (requirement for engineering) and botched calc. I took the rest of my high school courses in non math and science area and applied to a business program.

    Luckily, I know a few good mentors from AMD (www.amd.com) and nVidia who are exceptionally bright electrical engineers. I had summer jobs at both companies in their marketing department. Well, majority of the employees from that 2 companies are EEs and I think this experience further strengthened my dream of getting a degree in EE.

    Since entering university, I haven’t taken math or science course and my skills in them are getting rusty..i know engineering programs are very demanding in those two areas and I am willing to DO WHATEVER IT takes to brush up my skills. I am not very bright in math…it takes some effort for me to understand and grasp the concept.

    Here is my plan:
    • Since I am already halfway done the current degree, I may as well finish it.
    • In the meantime, I’ll start a crusade on my own to learn and practice the match and science to prepare myself and try to make up for missing high school credit for the engineering program
    • After I graduate in 2007, I’ll try to apply to the part-time engineering program at University of Toronto while working

    It may take many many years..and by the time I finish this business degree, I will be 22 years old. Heck..i am still young, why let my dream fade!

    So guys, are my plan possible or wild dreams? I’ve never been good in math..but yet I don’t want to let go my electrical engineering dream. What does it take to prepare myself NOW in order to survive? Again, I am willing to do whatever it takes to fix myself..
    Please help me…

    Sorry for the long post..i sincerely appreciate any help and replies
  2. jcsd
  3. May 18, 2005 #2
    If you're not good in math, try practicing ! It works wonders really. Try understanding too, the mechanisms behind it, proofs etc. There are people around taking around night classes and stuff. So if you're determined and disciplined, go for it ! And whether being an EE is just a pipe dream, its not.
  4. May 18, 2005 #3
    jayncanada, I don't see the point in spending 2 more years studying off the track of where you want to go. Why not switch asap and delay your degree? Otherwise after you graduate you may well be too drained of energy after work to pursue your dream. If you didn't graduate until your were 24, say, you'd still be a youngster. And probably a lot more satisfied, since you'd have spent 4 years doing what you want rather than 2 years studying what you don't want and 2 years working at a boring job while struggling to also study.
  5. May 18, 2005 #4
    thanks everyone for the reply!
    zanket, its not that i really hate the degree i am doing. Its a degree that i like and very related to what i am doing at AMD and nVidia which is marketing.

    I can't make the switch immediately as I lack physics and algebra as high school prerequisite to enter into an engineering program. Moreover, i need to improve my lousy math skills or else i will be simply murdered.

    I really love the high-tech scene, after spending some time with the 2 great companies, it futher strenghted my interested at staying in the hi-tech industry. But seeing so many of my colleague are EE, i feel that i should pursue an engineering degree as it will be beneficial..
  6. May 18, 2005 #5
    OK. Keep in mind that there is a niche for marketing people with EE skills.
  7. May 18, 2005 #6
    Try doing both at once, if you can. Do you have any other obligations? Marketing/business courses should be pretty easy.
  8. May 24, 2005 #7


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    Don't delay, start adding Math courses to your schedule. You may want to start with the basic algebra and work to calculus. The sooner you get that behind you the better.
  9. May 24, 2005 #8
    If only because it gets harder to learn that stuff with age.
  10. May 24, 2005 #9
    math sucks thats all i gotta say, especially physics with calculus :frown:
  11. May 31, 2005 #10
    Hi people, my first post here (came across this site a few days ago while searching for help with physics problem).

    I'm in the same boat in terms of career decisions.

    Im in highschool and I FAILED last year (every course in gr 12) and did poorly from 9-11 due to personal circumstances as well.

    That got more or less resolved so this year I redid my gr 12. It was hard to find the motivation at first. But I found it after being labelled "stupid" etc. by people.

    So........ to keep the story short, I outdid my expectation and I've been accepted to my three choices.

    U of T mechanical engineering was one of them.

    But now that I have been accepted, I'm starting to find that I really am not interested in physics that much even though I'm good at it. I want to learn more about business instead of engineering but it's past the deadline for me to apply to U of T's commerce program now.

    I had motivation to do well in all my courses this year, but if I go into engineering and find I don't like it... I know I won't have the motivation to succeed.

    So............. lesson I learned is I wish I found out what I liked before I applied to university. *Sigh*....
  12. May 31, 2005 #11
    College students switch majors almost as often as they do underwear. You'll be in the same boat with plenty of people. Maybe until you switch you can take courses common to both majors.
  13. Jun 1, 2005 #12
    I'm in somewhat similar but a little different situation, and like you I can't "just switch" to engineering for financial reasons.
    Since you are in your upper-level classes in marketing, there's probably not much offered in the summers. If your school is decent size, basic engineering/math classes are offered year round. So, use summers to catch up! of course if you work full-time then it might be a problem: perhaps look into evening classes. It's a bit intense, but worth it if you're determined.
    And that is how I am "switching gears": i'm on a visa and have to take classes year round though.
  14. Jun 1, 2005 #13
    Hi, folks. May I tell you my story? :zzz:

    I studied agriculture as an undergrad; in my sheltered life, I didn't really think of an engineering career. I eventually lost my farm, due to economic conditions. I finally got a job working in the electronics industry; it was kind of like being a dishwasher, only with chemicals. :yuck:

    Gradually, I became interested in the problems I saw at the factory every day. I asked questions and read everything I could find on the subjects of math and physics.

    My employer had a remitted tuition program; if I went to school, they would repay my tuition for work-related courses. Since an agriculture degree has nothing to do with engineering, it was exactly like starting all over again.

    Eventually, I got a MS (microwave engineering)-- it took me twelve years, but I did it. How?

    You might say, "luck," but I say, "Luck improves with practice." Be patient, be wise, and work hard. You are very likely to succeed! o:)

    Last edited: Jun 1, 2005
  15. Jun 1, 2005 #14
    Thanks for sharing, even though I am not the OP, it helps to see people succeed in same circumstances. :smile:
    It's just that age-thing, you see other undergrads that get on the "right" track right away, and here you are ... a degree older.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2005
  16. Jun 1, 2005 #15
    If halfway through means two more years, you seriously might want to switch to engineering and see if you can get a minor in marketing. The reason being is that that would be two more years (1/2) that could go towards your engineering degree.

    As for going back for another degree, go for it! I have a degree (BFA) in graphic design and I went back for mechanical engineering. The idea is that we all work for a living and we should love what we do, or else we'll go crazy.
  17. Jun 3, 2005 #16
    There are so many people with similar stories, its quite amazing and interesting to see what people have done; quite an inspiration to people that are worried that they are too old or think they are stuck doing a Degree they are not truly interested in.

    It isn't natural ability that does well, its determination - some people can naturally be good at something, but without determination they won't get much done.

    Always follow your dreams to be truly satisfied with life.
  18. Jun 3, 2005 #17
    I completely agree, however one should never forget : when the going gets tough, the tough get going...no pain, no gain

  19. Oct 22, 2005 #18
    I started off as a dual major in chemistry and physics, and then switched to physics and math, and finally I am pursuing a dual major in EE and ME...I don't think I am going to switch again. :P
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