As I mentioned in the title, I was wondering if it's possible to collaborate with professors on any research paper if I have graduated and now working in the industry?
Here are a bit more details on why am I asking this and maybe you can provide alternatives too: While in college, I wasn't very active in academics and I also changed my stream (From Chemical Engineering to Data Science) after graduation. So needless to say that I never existed as far as the professors were concerned. But now I have done a lot more work and currently aiming for an MS/Ph.D. in the Data Science field. But one thing that keeps coming back is a recommendation letter from Professors.
I believe that if I have a few publications in my name, it'll make my profile much stronger but it'll add even more value if it's in collaboration with college professors. Not only will I get a research paper, but I'll also have a good recommendation. So I was wondering if it's even possible to collaborate with them since now I'm not a student anymore? If yes, then in what capacity, do I approach the professors?
P.S. I know that I can reach out to college professors for a recommendation without collaboration but those letters will be very generic. I have much higher aspirations and I need to have a very strong recommendation letter, and the only way to do that is to work with a professor.