I am a 25 year old European student, I will graduate in a CS & Math dual degree this year. I have accepted an offer from a very good company (Meta) and I would like to get into a top CS Master program (either in the US or in Europe) and maybe consider PhD in a couple of years. I don't want to start right now because I am burnout from academy and I need the money.
My grades are solid although not perfect (around 9 / 10) and I have one publication in a mid-level conference in the topic of Machine Learning.
What can I do to improve my chances of entering into a good program? All the advice I have found is aimed to bachelor students, like improve your grades or create a relationship with your teachers.
Some ideas I have:
- Try to publish more. My advisor has shown favorable, so it may be possible to keep researching and try to get publications. However, publications would have to be limited to somewhat niche fields, as I am not sure I can keep up with the frenetic path of Machine Learning research while working full-time.
- Participate or assist to congresses, workshops or other academic events.
- Participate in professional events, like Hackathons. Most of these events involve coming up with ideas to approach industry problems, so it may reflect favorably on my capacity to approach practical problems.
- Do personal projects, collaborate more with open source projects, get certifications: I think all of these are valuable for getting hired, but I am not sure they will provide any advantage at academic level.
What of these will improve my chances the most?
Observation: I am not asking about my chances of entering a concrete program. I rather want advice on what is the best way to improve your admission chances to a program once outside of university. While every program has its own process, I believe admissions valuate more or less the same things (correct me if I am wrong)