Answers by Jennifer Turner-Valle
I think that your age upon finishing a second bachelor's degree might actually be an advantage with most employers: you are more mature, you have worked full time and therefore developed good time-management skills by attending school while simultaneously working a straight job, and you will be very focused on the types of work you want to pursue in your new field. In short, you've already gone through the new graduate adjustment break-in period that I've seen in many of our younger employees. Although returning to quantitative classes like calculus, physics, and chemistry may sound challenging, I believe that your previous good math experience and scientific technical skills (as evidenced by the guidance of your high school instructors to choose an engineering career) will kick in after a short brain warmup period if you give them a chance. Given the time commitment usually required by the first year core courses, you might find it helpful to start out with a single course per semester for the first year to allow yourself a chance to reallocate your time between work and school. Some strategies I can think of for managing your time and getting the most out of your classes would be to block out time on your calendar for studying and homework, joining a good study group, or picking up and working problems in some physics and math review study guides of the kind you might use to study for the SAT exams.
Best of luck!
Dear Sayali, There is no embarrassment in dropping a class. Instructors have different teaching methods and students have different learning styles, and sometimes a student has an instructor for a class who doesn't approach problems in a manner that makes sense to the student- this makes learning the material from that instructor particularly challenging. You must understand what you need for the next time you take this class so that you will succeed. For example, if you need supplemental books that provide examples to study, you must look for those books at the library. If you learn best by discussing problems with other students in a study group, you need to seek out or start the right study group to help support your learning. The most important part of your studies at university is learning the material, not in how many tries it takes you to learn that material; if you can identify ways to learn that work for you, you will then be able to tackle any challenge you face in the future- particularly those that arise in the course of performing research and engineering work. Qualities researchers need to have include persistence (particularly in the face of difficulties), the ability to learn, good observational skills, and the ability to communicate. Your persistence in learning the material in your electronics class and your work to identify how you best learn the material will serve you throughout your engineering career. Good luck! Jen