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What are my options in life

  1. Mar 21, 2008 #1
    In your opinion, what are my options in life based on my pedigree alone

    Just turned 24, graduated 1.5 years ago with a degree in physics/astronomy. I'm in between jobs. I have a 2nd interview with a financial software company that deals with hedge funds/private equity, banks, etc.

    I have a 3.0 GPA and there was not a time where I did not study until the night before. I was pretty much there because of pressure and I didn't know what else to do.

    I consider myself to be intelligent although I was unfocused in University. I didn't really take it seriously. I was more focused on meeting girls and running a small business anyways.

    I liked physics because all branches of engineering stem from it. Most of what was offered at my university (top 30 school) didn't interest me anyways and I only study what interests me. If it's anything else I just study enough to get a B and my transcipt shows that, I literally have mostly Bs (hardly any Cs, few As) in everything. However, my math and comp sci classes are the exception since I found them to be considerably easier than physics/astrohphyscs so I got mostly As in them.

    I like finance more than physics now and I realized I have a knack for business and the stock market. I also program and do electrical engineering on the side (I sell preamps that I reverse engineer and build for guitarists).

    What are my options in life? Anyone gone from physics --> drudging it out in business?

    I'm guessing really good schools wouldn't like my gpa for grad school. Any suggestions of how to work around this? I know if I actually put the effort in I can get really good marks which I demonstrated 1 semester (the only one where I didn't work).

    I'd appreciate feedback to help me figure things out right now in my life.
     
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  3. Mar 21, 2008 #2

    tgt

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    I'll give one of my faviourate quotes by Richard Brandson, "You won't know until you try it." It even goes for someone like him.
     
  4. Mar 21, 2008 #3

    Chi Meson

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    Wow. Deja vu.

    I had the same question at the same age with the same degree! (Actually, I didn't finish the "astronomy" part of the "astrophysics" degree, but only 3 people my year did).

    I decided to retire at 24. I got my first full-time "real job" at 34. Between then I did a lot of climbing and cycling. I call that my "pretirement." In another 30 years I'll be "retired." I guess that means right now I'm just "tired."

    I decided to teach high school physics because it is a decent living wage, provides 13+ weeks of vacation each year, and I am honestly not concerned with accumulating wealth.

    But teaching is not for everyone. Teaching physics is the best gig in education since you tend to get the better students, but you have to get the right school district. Another benefit is you walk the hallways as the "physics" guy. No one argues with you, because you know everything. I come here to be humbled.
     
  5. Mar 21, 2008 #4
    How did you support yourself during that time?

    I decided to teach high school physics because it is a decent living wage, provides 13+ weeks of vacation each year, and I am honestly not concerned with accumulating wealth.

    But teaching is not for everyone. Teaching physics is the best gig in education since you tend to get the better students, but you have to get the right school district. Another benefit is you walk the hallways as the "physics" guy. No one argues with you, because you know everything. I come here to be humbled.[/QUOTE]

    I remember my old physics teacher in HS. One time a guy asked him to spell some sciency word we had to research (forget what it was), so he dictated letter by letter. At the end of the word, he started throwing in random letters. X, F, G, Y, until the guy finally realized it.
     
  6. Mar 21, 2008 #5
    I've tutored before and I didn't like it. I'm sure I would dislike teaching.

    I'm more interested in finance.
     
  7. Mar 21, 2008 #6

    Chi Meson

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    I tell anyone who listens: If you can't picture yourself teaching, don't!

    Still, anyone in business knows that a person with a degree in physics is very smart and very skilled at logical, analytical processes. a 3.0 in Physics beats a 3.8 in almost anything else. Try to imagine where you want to live first, then what kind of business you would be proud to tell others about, then find out as much as you can about what that business has done. Send them CVs with a cover letter telling them you are ideal for that business.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2008
  8. Mar 21, 2008 #7
    where :bugeye:
     
  9. Mar 21, 2008 #8
    Yeah I guess you are right Chi. That is what my last employer thought anyways..

    My last job was a industry analyst for a consulting business specializing in the biotech field. I published a lot of material with them but I found it to be pretty boring. I've moved to San Francisco in the meantime to be where the action is. It's much better than Canada (where I'm from).

    I've also been studying microcontrollers on the side since I have a few product ideas for them. I've just been tinkering around with them to get a working prototype.

    As far as a "job" goes I really want to go into finance, preferably something that is ridiculously overpaid, like working for a hedge fund. That's why I'm so gung ho for this product development job for a business that sells them the software they need to basically convince people to invest in them, regardless of how much they are bull****ing. Ok, maybe I'm exaggerating but it's not too far from the truth.

    I'm like a jack of all trades, I'm not the best at anything because I'm too unfocused. I do a lot of different things, really..however school has always been the least of my concerns. I just hope my years of viewing university as largely a joke doesn't limit me in life somewhere down the road if I ever pursue graduate studies or and MBA something or other...

    Those places are pretty much just mills for obedient workers anyways. I'm just trying to figure out a way to harness it. >: )
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2008
  10. Mar 21, 2008 #9

    Chi Meson

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    Connecticut. SOme other states are pretty good too. I'm not even in the wealthiest town, and I'll be earning 72k next year. (2 masters degrees puts me up a bit; MFA in writing, and MAT in teaching, both cakewalks after a bachelor's in Physics.)
     
  11. Mar 21, 2008 #10

    Moonbear

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    I'm kind of thinking you are probably reasonably smart if you held up a B average while spending most of your time working and chasing women. But, clearly you have no enthusiasm for the subject or you would have found it easier to put more effort in.

    If finance is what floats your boat, go for it.
     
  12. Mar 21, 2008 #11
    If you're interested in finance, have you considered the CFA level 1 exam? I would if I had the time or could afford it right now, but I see it's something like $1500. It looks like a good self-study option.

    Just don't be one of the people who fails it (the pass rate is ~40%). I read that 250 hours is the recommended preparation time for level 1. And I'd make sure to know what courses/knowledge are needed for the material covered on the test. I think there's some accounting on there that may only be covered in intermediate financial accounting courses.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2008
  13. Mar 21, 2008 #12
    LOL, so made my night. Thanks Chi ... got a headache from girls, needed a good laugh.
     
  14. Mar 22, 2008 #13
    I wouldn't go as far as to say I had no enthusiasm for the subject. I got a lot out of it and it's helped me understand the basic principles of many engineering disciplines. I also lied about my GPA, it's slightly higher ~3.2. I just have a lot of passion in other areas too and unfortunately there isn't a degree for them, seriously, I'm like a jack of all trades.

    You may also think this is strange but before university everyone thought I would be a music major since I won a scholarship. I went to High school in the states and I got the scholarship because I won the state championship for jazz improvisation for any instrument. I ultimately turned down the scholarship because I didn't like the place and I don't like studying music in an academic sense. I did have my own radio show though at university.

    Honestly, if I had the time to devote to the subject I could have scored much higher. I also finished the degree in 3 years. My first year of university was spent as an engineering major and at that time I had all As and 1 C lol. Most of my semesters ended up being around a B to B+ average with the exception of one horrible semester where I overloaded myself with 6 physics classes and got mostly Cs, not a good idea.

    The CFA interests me a ton and I'll probably take it within the next couple years. I'm still considering other pursuits, mainly starting my own business probably by developing a technological gizmo that I can sell or patent.

    A also took some practice graduate school tests just for fun. The one I scored the highest and the one I found the easiest was the LSAT. Some people keep trying to convince me to go into IP. I don't know how I feel about spending 70-80 hrs a week for the rest of my life just to try and make partner...I'd rather just study law on my own through nolo books and the internet.

    I got an 780 on the Math GRE however the verbal kicked my ass (reading comprehension was easy though). I'm sure I could improve in that department since it's mainly the memorization of useless words no one cares about.

    I dunno I really don't know what the hell to do at this point. I appreciate your comments on ideas or paths to go down.
     
  15. Mar 22, 2008 #14
    Some people really don't. They believe all degrees are as difficult as each other just that some people have different interests and abilities. They might just say you are naturally good at maths, therefore your 3.0 in physics is no better than a 3.0 in Womans Studies.
     
  16. Mar 22, 2008 #15
    If finance interests you so much why didn't you take an economic/econometrics major with a quantitative study such as physics or mathematics. I don't mean that in an accusational manner more curious than anything.
     
  17. Mar 22, 2008 #16
    Because like most 18 years olds, I didn't know what I wanted to do.

    I got into finance after I finished school and worked under a researcher who had a CFA. He introduced me to the stock market and I got hooked.

    Had I known what I know now I'm not sure what I would have taken, I guess that is life, sometimes you get dealt weird cards.
     
  18. Mar 22, 2008 #17
    Well those people are morons, obviously.
     
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