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Networking with profs as a prospective student?

  • Thread starter n00bot
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I'm applying to schools as a second bachelor's degree candidate for computer science this fall. Post-bac admission is often very competitive, and one school has posted, "it will be important to work with the department and Admissions on your applications." Admissions advisors I have spoken to have suggested that having a professor on my side will be the best/only way to gain admittance (my grades in pre-requisite math, physics, and intro cs courses are good; this is a reaction to their minimal interest in post-bacs).

There are a few professors at this school whose work I am very excited about, and would love to talk to. However, my previous degree was in a totally different field (humanities), so I'm starting from the beginning. How can I best reach out to these people so I come off as a promising candidate as opposed to yet another desperate applicant?
 

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How can I best reach out to these people so I come off as a promising candidate as opposed to yet another desperate applicant?
You waited too long? Doing an REU/research with them is the best bet, but I don't know if you can get anything soon enough on such short notice. You may want to start getting involved in the comp sci research scene (open source, which is always looking for people to help with documentation if your skills aren't up to par technically) and get together a resume and a body of work.

Sell your experience and bachelors as making you a perfect candidate for their undergrad research crew. Reading their work and knowing what they've done recently is another must; but if you're really passionate about something they did ten years ago, see what's been done recently in the field and pitch your skills. Research is key, 'cause very little makes a professor lose interest faster than "I have this really cool idea" and the idea is something that's already been solved, twice, and won't get funded for a third attempt or something they don't care about at all.

You can also try networking. Maybe you know somebody who knows somebody?
 

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