September 2009 Archives

As I steadily approach graduation, I find myself stressed out and anxious. The biggest issue is that I do not know where I am headed. I have changed my mind about where I want to be so many times that I can not say for sure what I want to do. My choices are between full time work, full time grad school at UML, and full time grad school somewhere else.


My first instinct is to take my degree and use it. I would like to get a steady income so I could afford things that always seemed out of reach in college. Like a new car that I could make payments on, or a nice TV for my apartment. I realize that these are material things that I don’t really need, but I think it would be nice to not feel poor for once. I am concerned that I would quickly become dependent on my higher salary, and I would not be able to go back to school full time.


So naturally the second choice is to stay in school. But I am unsure if I want to stay in Umass Lowell plastics. I am curious how much more I could learn. I feel like I would be more challenged in a new school with different professors and a new atmosphere. I know that it would be easier for me to get my masters in plastics engineering at UML, but that is not entirely a good thing. I think employers may see this as a disadvantage. Also, I feel I would be passing up a chance to experience something new. I am also unsure whether I would be able to get teaching assistant or research assistant funding to study for my masters at a different university.


I am pretty sure whichever path I choose to follow, I will have some joy from my choice, but also some regret of not choosing a different way. I know that I am quickly approaching a great accomplishment that I should be very proud of. I also know that I am blessed to be able to finish school debt free. However, it is very difficult to appreciate these things when I am stressed about my future.


I am going to look at a few schools in October, and also a couple of career fairs. Hopefully something inspires me to take my next step. I am going to talk to some of my advisors at school to get their opinion. Please leave any comments that you think may help my choice.


Thanks for reading.

Sorry baseball fans, but this article is about my career. As we get into the last couple of weeks in September, things at school are starting to roll. I have a couple of important dates coming up next month. The first is my research project presentation, which will be in Pittsburg, PA the second week of October at the 2009 ACS Rubber Expo. The second date is the UML engineering and technology career fair on October 21st.


Over the summer I have been working on a non-funded undergraduate research project. You can read about it in my previous entry:

The First Part of My Research Project I have been getting a lot of work done on testing my samples. I hope to have all of my testing done by the end of the month, so that I can work on my poster up until the presentation. Another great thing about my trip to Pittsburg is that I will be attending a career fair. I think that a lot of the companies attending are automotive suppliers and manufacturers. This would be good since I have a background in automotive.


The next big date is the UML engineering and technology career fair on October 21st. Last semester, the career fair was a bust. There were only 5 companies that were interested in my major, and only 3 of them showed up. I know that the economy has taken a beating, but I am keeping my hopes up that this career fair will have a better outcome than last semester.


I have a lot of work to do over the next few weeks. I need to get my work done and get my resume revised. I’m doing everything I can to prepare myself for the real world!

The changing of the season…


I am sure you are starting to feel it; the cold air in the morning, the leaves starting to turn yellow and orange, adjusting to a new semester of classes and work. What does it all point out? Fall is upon us. I am sure that some of you are upset that summer has come and past as quickly as ever, but I am glad, because fall is my favorite season.


Three things happened this past weekend that reminded me of fall:


  1. I spent this past weekend at my place in Vermont with a few friends. This was my fourth weekend there this summer. Only this time, we needed to use the woodstove to keep warm; feeling cold reminds me of the change of season. On the way home we stopped to get breakfast, leading to the second reminder.
  2. The breakfast restaurant we stopped at had pumpkin spice coffee! One of my favorite things about fall is that everything is pumpkin flavored.
  3. The New England Patriots made an amazing comeback victory Monday night. The pats went from a 24-13 deficit to a 25-24 lead within the last two minutes of the game. Tom Brady is back!


Check out my blog from last fall Ten Favorite Things about Fall... to see more of my reasons for loving the season. Have a great week everyone!


I hope everyone enjoyed they’re first week of classes.  The first couple of weeks of school are typically the most laid back and exciting, but they are also the most deceiving. One common mistake I have made in past semesters is to arrange my schedule according to the first couple weeks of school. This includes setting hours for work, signing up for extra curricular activities and any other way of committing time. This becomes an issue when the professors start assigning homework assignments, group projects, term papers, lab reports, and announce tests and quizzes that you will need to study for.


If you need to submit a schedule to a part time job or other organization, I highly recommend underestimating the hours you will be available, at least for the first couple of weeks. If you are not working part time, but you are managing your time, try to work in a few hours of studying/homework time. It will be nice the first few weeks when you can use this as leisure time. You will be glad you have this spare time once things get rolling. Once things get rolling, it’s similar to an avalanche; where you can either ski to the bottom or get buried.


I hope everyone enjoyed their long weekend and short week. Have a great semester. Any questions, feel free to email me or leave a comment.

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This page is an archive of entries from September 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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