Hello guys, new poster here.
Brief background: I am currently 25, with a B.S. in Business (Finance, Int'l Business, minor Econ), planning to re-enroll in a second bachelor’s degree in Physics & Math at my alma mater (big state school, top 40 physics) this fall. Originally went to school for Finance for reasons unrelated to my interests (family was recent immigrants, needed to help out & get a job after graduation to stay in the country, finance/business seemed to be the optimal track).
Now I’ve been out 4 years, working full time as an investment analyst and portfolio manager. I have a greencard, and feel like I finally have the resources and oppty to go back to school and do something that I have had a keen interest in since childhood. I have taken math up to and including diff eq and entry level physics classes in college/part-time, and have done a lot more online in edx, coursera and MIT opencourseware, and self-study with books like K&K mechanics, Griffith E&M, Feynman, etc. The B.S. should take me no more than 3 years to complete, and my end goal is to go to grad school afterwards and do full-time research.
I was hoping to get your guys’ input on several items:
1) How disadvantaged will I be vs traditional applicants when applying to competitive graduate programs? Is getting into a top 20 or top 10 a realistic goal (assuming competitive scores, research experience, letters, etc etc)? I have looked through most of the “Applicant profiles and admission results” threads so I am aware of the caliber of applicants that are able to get into such programs.
2) I am quite successful at what I am doing currently, but I still wish to leave it aside to focus on my long-term dreams and goals. How can I spin my experience and unique background in the context of applying to graduate schools, fellowships or trying to finagle profs for research projects? I will also have my CFA by the time of completion, which is a very rigorous series of 3 exams that each require about 250-350 hours of study time, and is the highest professional credential in my current field. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chartered_ ... al_Analyst
). Will this be of any use to me in undergrad or when applying for PhD, as it speaks to my high level of work ethic and general aptitude?
3) Any other suggestions or help is greatly appreciated. I can elaborate on any part of the above if necessary.
Thanks for reading, and I hope to get some feedback