I’ve just finished High school and so next step is uni.
I’m set on becoming an engineer but I’m actually confused about what to choose as field of study.
My interests lie in computers/tech stuff and the uni in which I want to enroll in presents two options that are relevant to me : Software engineering and what is called in french “Informatique Industrielle et Automatique” literally “Industrial data processing and automatism”.

As I already said both fields are relevant to me but I don’t know what to choose which is why I’d like to ask any of you who have experience in or knowledge of any of these two fields to kindly give me his opinion on the matter, as in what’s more rewarding in our times.

Thank you!

In my field (computer science), students often get jobs through referrals, where faculty members pass on the student’s resume to someone employed at the company the student wants to work at. In an annual talk and throughout the year, I advise my students to use referrals if at all possible rather than applying online. I accept LinkedIn requests from my students and encourage them to ask me for referrals.

There is currently a student in our small program who has negatively impressed all of the professors he has taken classes from, as well as many of the students. He is not the weakest CS student, but, in my opinion, he is the worst at getting along with others and behaving professionally.

I am wondering what to do when he asks me to refer him to companies (which I expect him to do). In the past, when a weak student has asked for a referral, I have said that I don’t think they’re ready for the job in question [due to their technical level], recommended that they ask a different professor, or refer them without an explicit recommendation (e.g., “Jane Doe asked me to refer her to SlackJaw.”) I am hesitant to do the latter for this student because I don’t want to hurt my or my school’s reputation by putting forward a candidate who behaves inappropriately. I also dread his reaction if I decline to refer him for a job. I expect that he would get angry and allege persecution. (I’m a tenured full professor, so my job wouldn’t be in danger if he complained about me, but I’d rather not get in that situation.)

In any event, I don’t want to hurt his chances of getting a job. I’m happy to give him job-seeking advice and help him with his resume, but I don’t want to recommend him.

What should I do if he asks me for a referral?

I began my PhD in September 2017 as a part-time student and have recently (May 2018) switched over to full-time studies. I am trying very hard to understand what it is like to be a PhD student, and how should I go about thinking about it and putting myself in that mindset. Essentially, what I would like to ask you all is, what mindset should I have while working on my PhD, and what are some mental exercises/tips that I can meditate on to reach that mindset? Thanks in advance for your help!

There have been stories recently of students who were expelled from university for derogatory things they said online. It got me wondering if a student would be expelled for saying something derogatory online, except when they were a minor. In this scenario the student wouldn’t have been 17 (right before they entered college) but more around the age of 13-15 when they made the comments (many years before enrolling).

I know this probably depends on each university’s own code of conduct, but I have no specific institution in mind. Answers based off your own university are fine, and I’m more interested in Canadian universities (although members of universities in the US, Europe, etc are also welcomed to share any info).

To me it doesn’t make much sense for a student to be punished for something they said years ago as a young teenager, but I digress.