I guess this is a question to group leaders and those who have some influence on what PhD students join their group. Essentially - I want to know your thoughts if someone like me applied to your PhD project.
At 20 I graduated with a 2:1 BSc in Human Biology from a top 50 Uni, then achieved a Merit MRes in Functional Genomics from a top 10 Uni. I pretty much went straight into industry working on lentiviral vectors for gene therapy treatments; however, after three months I was running low on money, having a pretty hard time at home and this all affected my work so left the company after 3 months.
In the economic downturn I had more trouble getting jobs and money so went did waitering and sports coaching to get by. For the last 3 years I've been in international IT sales and have picked up lots of skills - sales, communicating, negotiating, presenting, strategy, training, motivating and leading teams. I've also earned a fair amount of money and I'm in a pretty safe position financially to the point where I could not earn anything for 1-2 years before I hit zero.
At this stage in my life (27) I'm looking back at research and really want to give it a go, but have no idea whether I'd get accepted onto a PhD course. At my old University there is a project based on baculovirus vectors that's right up my street.
I'm definitely applying for it but wanted to understand how an application from a 27 year old with this history might be received. Essentially - what positives and negatives can you see from a mature application?
I feel like I have a good chance. I've got (old) experience in a related field; I'm more mature than a freshly graduated student; I have a lot of skill useful for promoting the groups work and teaching classes; and I'm used to working long hours in a results driven environment, dealing with rejection but making things happen - especially racking through large amounts of work based on personal plans and goals. This is all in a legitimate way rather than a lip-service way.
I'm hoping I can address any negatives people come up with and enhance the positives!