Yesterday I received this email from a YRSer – they are happy for this to be published but I have removed all references in the email that might identify this person. I am publishing it for several reasons:
1. to get the help asked for from a wider community than just me
2. to show the kind of dilemma our students are facing
3. to give Universities/Google a chance top snap this person up
Email copy starts here:
I am studying Biology Chemistry Physics and Maths with Mechanics at A level (Year 13- upper sixth).
This year, I attended YRS and won a prize, I also won an award at the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge.At GCSE I recieved A*A*A*AAAAAAABB.
I was always interested in the sciences, and after taking some work experience, decided firmly on Medicine as a future career.I didn’t do as well in my AS levels as I was expected to. I have a short history of underperforming relative to my skills in a given subject, but was naïve enough to assume it wouldn’t affect my AS results, though I think this can be remedied.I took Biology, Maths, Chemistry and Physics respectively.I believe these grades can be remedied, and after sorting myself out and really applying myself, I believe I can achieve A*AAB (or similar) at A level, please forgive me if I sound arrogant – I am really intending to work hard this academic year through retakes in January and Christmas.
This, of course has the potential to get me into medicine once I have picked myself up, but after this I see things in a different light and am having second thoughts for medicine as a career.
YRS was one of the most enjoyable things I have ever undertaken – before this I felt all IT jobs (aside from the legendary Google jobs) were writing simple, static programs for big companies in C, or inaccessible to me. I was really looking for a job where I could be challenged with problems to solve (which drew me to medical diagnostics), but I met lots of interesting people who were working on equally interesting problems including an IBM employee working on a web spidering project who I discussed Machine Learning with (I am taking an online Introduction to Machine Learningcourse at Stanford university), and the man who wrote the very popular National Rail iPhone application, and made a similar train tracker.
As things are going I will probably end up at a fork in a road when I reapply to university next year, but having never considered this area as a future career, and not knowing anyone who works in this area I am lost. I understand there are many computer related IT courses, of which I know Computer Science, Software Architecture and Computing, but I don’t know which one is what I would like to go into, or even if I have what is necessary to get into the business.
I would be very thankful if you could answer a few questions I have:
- What IT related course should I take, or- how do I decide on one?
- How difficult is it to work at Google? What path would I take?
- What should I do to increase my chances of admission?
- Do I have what it takes to do a course, if not, what should I do?
- What areas, in your opinion, would I be interested in?
- What sort of work would I be doing?