Dear Mentor:

Will part-time school affect my career?

I am a 2nd year undergraduate [Bachelor's degree] student in Computer Science. After finishing my first semester, I have found myself short of funds. No way can I afford to go to school full-time. I am planning to work and go to school part-time. How will it effect my career?

Balancing Act, Montreal, Canada

Dear Balancing Act:

We are pleased to hear that you intend to continue attending school, albeit part-time, despite your financial hardship. Many students choose this path of part-time school and work, given personal circumstances. This situation will have one obvious effect on your career -- you will finish your degree a little later. As a result, your employment as a full-fledged Computer Science graduate will be delayed somewhat. The mix of school/work and social life will also be different. You may miss camaraderie with fellow full-time students, but you will develop relationships with people at your place of work.

Having said all that, this situation in no way will derail you from your own path to success, provided you remain motivated and determined. Some employers find a self-funded education to be a badge of honor -- proof that you are a hard worker and that you can be dedicated to accomplishing a difficult task.

We would also encourage you to consult your Student Advisor at the university to explore whether you can qualify for financial support, in the form of outright aid or loan.

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