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Zakiya Carter: It’s never too late to change your mind

Zakiya Carter

Not everyone recognizes their interest in materials science and engineering at an early age. For some, it takes years of working in a different arena before they realize that materials is the right field for them.

Zakiya Carter, currently pursuing a B.S. in MSE, worked as a computer programmer for more than five years before she gave even a second thought to a degree in MSE. The September 11, 2001 tragedy affected many IT companies, including hers, and she soon found herself working a government job that was not in her field at all.

"It was then that I realized it was time to go back to school," Zakiya says.

Zakiya was looking into physics and chemistry degrees that she could pursue on a part-time/evening basis at Drexel when Professor John DiNardo, current Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and professor of physics, turned her on to materials.

"I initially thought the field would be too small and narrow, but I read an introductory text on nanotechnology that Dr. DiNardo suggested, and I was hooked," she says.

Now Zakiya’s experience at Drexel has literally created her post-graduation plans. She hopes to pursue her interest in organic electronic devices, eventually becoming a professor.

"I would have never imagined myself as a professor, or pursuing a Ph.D. before I came to Drexel. I wasn’t even sure if I could handle the coursework until I did it, and did it as well or better than many of my classmates, even though I was a little bit older than the traditional students."

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Last updated Friday, June 6, 2008