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The Georgia Institute of Technology

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Date: Jan 24 2012
Major: Electrical Engineering (This Major's Salary over time)
I started undergrad at Georgia Institute of Technology back in 2003 and finished in the winter of 2007. I took classes during two summer semesters as well. Upon graduating I found a good job at a Fortune Global 500 company doing software consulting. I survived the great recession of 2008-2009 without being laid off, and I'm doing quite well with compared to most of my peers at the moment.

Looking back on my 4.5 years at Georgia Tech, I have to say the frustration and bitterness I experienced during that time still affects me to this day. I constantly wonder how my life would have turned out if I had gone somewhere else and had a more pleasant college experience. Despite making some great friends, I still have vivid memories of the misery we went through. It was as if Georgia Tech was a bonding experience for us like people would have bonded through an epic war. We had a common enemy and it was the ridiculous workload and unhelpful professors. Images of students bursting out in tears during tests, people joking about suicide, friends taking Redbull, Monster, and Adderall to help pull multiple all nighters are burned into my memory. I remember one time watching the sun rise up from inside the library after pulling two consecutive all nighters and wondering what the heck I was doing with my life… questioning if this pain and suffering would be worth it one day. The negativity of the atmosphere has sadly made me a more cynical and sardonic person.

Academically, Georgia Tech had the potential to be a great school. The professors definitely knew what they were talking about, but for the most part classes seemed very rushed and if you wanted to understand concepts better, you would need to invest time outside of class to ask them questions. Many times professors would be very busy with research and defer your questions to the TAs. Individual attention was not expected. What helped me the most was working through a lot of problems with my classmates on conference room whiteboards. I feel like my teamwork skills improved drastically during this time.

Socially, GT is not as bad as people make it out to be. There are many interesting people, just as there are many strange and uninteresting ones. The school definitely taught me that associating with certain people helps elevate your mood more than associating with others. You definitely learn to pick your friends here. One thing that helped me get through the tough times was working out at the CRC. The gym facilities were amazing and served as a sanctuary when everything else was going to hell. It was also very difficult to meet girls at Georgia Tech, and I ended up dating girls from other schools in the Atlanta metro region during this time.

After I graduated in December 2007 it was not difficult to find a job. I found a job after living at home for a few months which turned out to be nothing closely related to what I had studied. Instead of doing hardcore electrical engineering, I ended up doing software consulting for engineering software. Fortunately for me this opened up a career path into areas which I could excel and prosper in the growing software/IT industry.

I also ended up relocated to a different part of the country. What I found disappointing was the fact that nobody outside of the south gives GT alumni the recognition you feel you deserve. The school is simply not well known outside the south by the people who matter. When I say people who matter, I'm not talking about technical coworkers. I'm talking about people who matter towards your employment prospects who are mostly managers and HR people.

In conclusion, I had to put up with more hardship than the average person during undergrad and it did not make a huge difference in terms of results. Unless you are serious about being an engineer, and engineering is your passion that you will devote most of your life to, I would advise against going here. I was motivated by wanting an above average salary, and I got what I wanted. However I could have accomplished the same at someplace moderately easier but similarly ranked. A moderately easier school may have also helped me in the search for a graduate program. This is really the next step I am looking to take and I feel like having a sub 3.0 GPA has really hurt my chances of getting into a top tier graduate program. I'm into my late 20s now, and for what it's worth I look back and slightly regret missing out on a more enjoyable while I was 18,19,20, and 21. I have a solid career now, but one thing I cannot have back are those lost years of my life.

I found a job after living at home for a few months which turned out to be nothing closely related to what I had studied.

Well, yes, I can see why living at home would turn out to be nothing like what you studied [snicker], but I get your point.
If finding a decent job is the reason for going to college, then you got what you wanted from your education, right?
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