SMART or Start Work

General Discussion for SMART Scholarship Recipients
newSmartScholar2021

SMART or Start Work

Post by newSmartScholar2021 »

Hi everyone.

I am in kinda a tight situation. This year (2021) I was awarded a SMART scholarship for 2 years to get my masters degree. I was accepted into an awesome university and program. It seems to be a no brainer. The program is set to start this Fall and my first stipend payment is set to start in just a few weeks.

My problem is that a job offer I accepted many months ago finally got back to me and wants me to start this August. This would mean me withdrawing from school and SMART.

Normally, I would not care and just take the scholarship... its a fantastic opportunity. The complication comes when considering the job position I was offered. It is pretty unique and so detailing it here would be giving away more information that I am conferrable with. The job is in what I believe to be a pretty prestigious organization and the training and work experience I would get is very incentivizing. I believe this job would set me up very well for the future, and more importantly, I think I could get into some great PhD programs.

What is the likelihood that if I withdraw from SMART, that I can still be considered favorably for the scholarship sometime in the future (maybe 2-3 years from now)? The job would offer amazing experience in the Defense world, actually even within the same branch as my sponsoring facility. If I apply again for SMART, will they still give my application a chance after finding out I was awarded it in the past and dropped out of the program?

I know this situation is unique to me and may not be helpful to everyone, but I would greatly appreciate input.

hmmmm

Re: SMART or Start Work

Post by hmmmm »

Reach out to your SMART coordinator, they're honestly able to provide the best insight! It sounds like you have a really great opportunity and I imagine SMART will a) understand and b) be eager to have you back with the additional experience and accomplishments you'll have under your belt. :)

Sisyphus
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Re: SMART or Start Work

Post by Sisyphus »

To counterbalance the optimism...

Both from personal experience and many stories from other participants, SMART has a long track record of getting very indignant if not outright threatening if they ever think a participant isn't properly grateful for the Amazing Opportunity they offer (i.e. start acting 'uppity') to be a serf whose life they can ruin with debt on an administrative whim.

Or since you haven't formally signed on to be their indentured servant yet they might just smile and play along instead...but either way there's only one way to find out.

human234895
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Re: SMART or Start Work

Post by human234895 »

So I would explicitly advise AGAINST contacting SMART to provide any detail on this matter. They don't need to know and they probably won't care. Bureaucracies generally don't hold grudges unless you are remembered by the people in them - they just follow their policies and procedures. If you have already signed your service agreement and SMART is expecting you to begin your tenure on August 1st, you might be disqualified from future applications as a past scholar who violated the terms, but you also might just slip away for a few years as a scholar that never was. If you haven't signed the service agreement yet, even better! Just decline. Even if the former proves to be true, I have some doubts that the review panel consults a database of past offers when reviewing applications...

If this job is a great opportunity, take it. There are plenty of scholarships and fellowships out there. It's not the end of the world if SMART winds up burning you. The important thing is that they haven't spent any money on you so you can't get wrapped up in a debt collection.

petzold
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Re: SMART or Start Work

Post by petzold »

Contrary to the above posts…you don’t have to be concerned about anything. If you’d rather pursue the other opportunity…then do so! So long as it’s prior to 1-Aug…then it’s no skin off anyone’s back. If you come back and apply again later, then it’s a fresh slate.

Guest

Re: SMART or Start Work

Post by Guest »

Both are unique opportunities and difficult to obtain opportunities.

Keep in mind that are many scholarships out there for a PhD

Guest

Re: SMART or Start Work

Post by Guest »

I don't think you'll have a particular problem applying again in the future as long as you decline before the deadline. You also have to remember that most qualified applicants do not receive an offer, so it's really a crapshoot if you would receive it again anyway. PhD also have some of the biggest problems with SMART because of their variable graduation time and extended service commitment. If it were me, I'd take my dream job and figure out my PhD later.

Sisyphus
Posts: 75
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:40 pm
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Re: SMART or Start Work

Post by Sisyphus »

Guest wrote:
Wed Jul 28, 2021 2:22 pm
I don't think you'll have a particular problem applying again in the future as long as you decline before the deadline. You also have to remember that most qualified applicants do not receive an offer, so it's really a crapshoot if you would receive it again anyway. PhD also have some of the biggest problems with SMART because of their variable graduation time and extended service commitment. If it were me, I'd take my dream job and figure out my PhD later.
"Figure out my PhD later" == don't do it because it's just not worth it unless you just HAVE to be a professor at a university and teach or engage in primary industry research.
- If the former, you might as well start playing the lottery in terms of quality tenured teaching spots available vs # of people competing for them, where you'll often still not do better than in the private sector.
- If the latter, get in with a company that will pay your way without the downside space of SMART.

Guest

Re: SMART or Start Work

Post by Guest »

Sisyphus wrote:
Wed Jul 28, 2021 4:40 pm
Guest wrote:
Wed Jul 28, 2021 2:22 pm
I don't think you'll have a particular problem applying again in the future as long as you decline before the deadline. You also have to remember that most qualified applicants do not receive an offer, so it's really a crapshoot if you would receive it again anyway. PhD also have some of the biggest problems with SMART because of their variable graduation time and extended service commitment. If it were me, I'd take my dream job and figure out my PhD later.
"Figure out my PhD later" == don't do it because it's just not worth it unless you just HAVE to be a professor at a university and teach or engage in primary industry research.
- If the former, you might as well start playing the lottery in terms of quality tenured teaching spots available vs # of people competing for them, where you'll often still not do better than in the private sector.
- If the latter, get in with a company that will pay your way without the downside space of SMART.
Come on now, let him have a little optimism left.

Sisyphus
Posts: 75
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:40 pm
Contact:

Re: SMART or Start Work

Post by Sisyphus »

Guest wrote:
Fri Jul 30, 2021 11:40 am
Sisyphus wrote:
Wed Jul 28, 2021 4:40 pm
Guest wrote:
Wed Jul 28, 2021 2:22 pm
I don't think you'll have a particular problem applying again in the future as long as you decline before the deadline. You also have to remember that most qualified applicants do not receive an offer, so it's really a crapshoot if you would receive it again anyway. PhD also have some of the biggest problems with SMART because of their variable graduation time and extended service commitment. If it were me, I'd take my dream job and figure out my PhD later.
"Figure out my PhD later" == don't do it because it's just not worth it unless you just HAVE to be a professor at a university and teach or engage in primary industry research.
- If the former, you might as well start playing the lottery in terms of quality tenured teaching spots available vs # of people competing for them, where you'll often still not do better than in the private sector.
- If the latter, get in with a company that will pay your way without the downside space of SMART.
Come on now, let him have a little optimism left.
Optimism is Parteo Dominated by brutally cold and rational cynicism - the one true universal Optimal Bayesian Estimator.

Anymouse

Re: SMART or Start Work

Post by Anymouse »

Sisyphus wrote:
Mon Aug 09, 2021 11:48 am
Guest wrote:
Fri Jul 30, 2021 11:40 am
Sisyphus wrote:
Wed Jul 28, 2021 4:40 pm


"Figure out my PhD later" == don't do it because it's just not worth it unless you just HAVE to be a professor at a university and teach or engage in primary industry research.
- If the former, you might as well start playing the lottery in terms of quality tenured teaching spots available vs # of people competing for them, where you'll often still not do better than in the private sector.
- If the latter, get in with a company that will pay your way without the downside space of SMART.
Come on now, let him have a little optimism left.
Optimism is Parteo Dominated by brutally cold and rational cynicism - the one true universal Optimal Bayesian Estimator.
You had me at setting up the discord, I stay for “Optimal Bayesian Estimator”.

Oh, and, the fact that I found in/on that discord the lawyer I set loose on the SMART program b/c they’re every bit of what you’ve (Sisyphus) just described.

Forget about SMART OP. Take the job. Don’t look back. (You can never look back)

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