11/07/2005: "back to school?"
Today I had a meeting with the head of admissions for the Masters program I have been trying to get into. Seeing as my entire career has changed since last I talked to him, I thought it would be a good idea to go in and speak directly with him, and see what kind of a chance I have at being admitted.
I'm happy to say I came away smiling.
The bad news is that the program I originally applied to, the part-time distance education Masters, is pretty much dead. Something will replace it, and that something will be a 2-year part-time program, but it will not be the same program I applied to. You simply can't compress 3 years into 2 and assume that it'll work on a part-time basis. Regardless, the program hasn't even been named, let alone fully structured, and the earliest it could ever start at this point would be January 2007. That seems like a long way away, so I'm going to put all my effort into the full-time program. That means September 2006.
I explained that I was no longer doing engineering, and laid out the plans for my career as last I heard them from John and Bob. The real prize in this career path is the recycling project management, which could be used as the commercialization project that is integral to this program. As it turns out, the head of admissions had investigated recycling technology along the very same lines as we are going to do. With the explanation of the (highly secret proprietary) technology used in this process, his interest was quite piqued. It was agreed that such a project would do well as my commercialization project, exactly as John had expressed back in September when I first learned of it.
So at this point the only stumbling block to my admission would be my undergrad marks. As I wrote before, I was told that the best I could hope for would be a probationary admission. Based on today's discussion, which included the founder and director of the program, I can be admitted as a "mature student" thanks to my 8+ years in the workforce, which will eliminate many of the admissions requirements that may impede me. (Why this wasn't an option this summer, I'm not sure.) All in all, things are sounding good.
My action-item from this meeting is to get a letter from John outlining the recycling project and my role in it. With that, with the application and letters of reference already on file, I will be submitted to a formal interview procedure, and the decision will be put to the Graduate Studies board. As they are only now getting started with enrollment for next year, I will have an answer within a week of my interview. Once that is done, I'll be able to concentrate on what I need to do to prepare myself for a year of school, likely including the hiring of a number of distributors to cover territories in my absence. The next 22 months should be fun, indeed.
Some interesting points that came out of my meeting today:
- There are currently 5 students enrolled in this year's program that are on probation. They are out-performing the non-probationary students, and the head of admissions is not worried about them succeeding.
- Two students in this year's program are running businesses as well as attending school full-time, and have organized themselves to be able to make calls and visits as necessary. So while it is possible to work and do the full-time program, I have been doubly avised to not do so for the first term, as it is quite strenuous.
- The program's office (where the full-time program occurs) is being moved into a new technology park. It's nominally closer to where I live, maybe 2 minutes closer by bicycle. (I hope they have a locker room with showers.) The move is still being negotiated, but should happen this scholastic year.
- Even people in positions of power and respect are human... the head of admissions fiddled with what looked like a plastic rosary while we were talking (maybe I was looking demonic) and was wearing an odd combination of peach T-shirt underneath a nearly identically-coloured peach polo shirt. There's a fine line between matching colours and mismatched colours, and I'm not sure where I'd put him. I would have gone with a different colour T, personally.
I suppose I should start writing that letter that John has to submit for me. And then break it to my dad that he has 10 months to liquidate enough assets to pay for tuition! Hee hee...