August 05, 2020, 03:45:31 AM
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Topic: After 3 years of Engineering, switching to Chem with bad GPA. Advice for future?  (Read 2429 times)

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Offline skydog22

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I studied for three years in the Chemical Engineering program at a school ranked in the top 10 for Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, but I'm being forced to switch to Chemistry in the fall because of poor performance. Luckily, my school offers a chemistry program that is highly customizable, and nearly all of my high level math and chemical engineering classes transfer over; in fact, I will graduate after the fall semester. I have a research internship working for a small company this summer, and I will graduate this winter with around a 2.5 GPA. I am concerned about my future, whether I can get a well-paying job, or even a job at all after I graduate, so I'm leaving all options open.

If you were in my position, what would you do? What advice can you give me?

Offline Arkcon

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I for one are interested in the specifics of your research internship.  Are you expecting tasks that mesh well with your skillset, and are also in high demand?  You have an extensive Chemical Engineering background, grades and major switch notwithstanding,  so you've got to try to highlight what you do know, for your future.
Hey, I'm not judging.  I just like to shoot straight.  I'm a man of science.

Offline skydog22

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I'm doing mostly academic research for a very small company. The best way to describe the company would be a very successful student startup. For the past couple weeks I've been the only man on the project, so I've had a large degree of freedom. A typical day is a few hours of academic paper/online research, then at the end of the day I may do an experiment which was set up by the day's research. So far the lab stuff has been very simple, testing for boiling point elevation of certain solutions and the like. Starting next week I will have a larger team of people, and we'll be doing more complex labs, specifically experiments with low-pressure systems.

Gathering and organizing knowledge and data has been the most important skill so far in this job; I spend a lot of time looking up pieces of data and using them for correlations which I've organized in excel spreadsheets.  I've also used a bit of chemical engineering knowledge, such as Raoult's Law and liquid-liquid mixture composition diagrams. Other than that, it's a lot of basic chemistry stuff like Le Chatlier's principle, acid-base chemistry, etc.

Offline Babcock_Hall

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Assuming that you want to progress in chemistry, you might look for a chemistry department with a master's program.  Some master's programs are willing to overlook a weak GPA, when a student finishes his or her academic career with a strong GPA in the final semesters or shows other promising qualities.

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