Think long and hard...

Answers to various questions regarding the SMART Scholarship application process. Includes many tips and statistics.

Think long and hard...

Postby regret » Thu Mar 08, 2018 3:42 pm

Think long and hard about this decision. I thought this would be perfect for me because of my background. The new managing company has become nothing but a pain in the ass. I regret taking this already. I am only 8 months in and want to cancel my contract already. Most likely will if offered a position at my next interview.

Just make sure this is 100% what you want!! also, don't plan on taking summer classes or anything "off plan".

Re: Think long and hard...

Postby benhjake » Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:09 pm

To aid others in making their decision, what difficulties have you been experiencing, specifically? (if you're able to say)
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Re: Think long and hard...

Postby Sisyphus » Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:35 pm

I just want to add on this this...

If you are considering doing SMART for a PhD and you are not 100% sure you can complete things on time (i.e. have a good topic, good advisors and basically already know what the hell you're doing) do NOT do this program.

The new LMI management seems perfectly okay with just throwing you out if you take too long for your PhD even if you've documented you're doing nothing but still working on it with a minimum of TA'ing or RA'ing to feed yourself and not go tens of thousands further in debt. A fact of life is most PhD's do NOT go according to plan; your stipend and tuition waiver will not save or help you in this regard it just makes the trap that is grad school all the more alluring.

They don't give a shit about you. You are literally nothing more than a part they are trying to procure for the DoD research machine that if things don't go exactly according to (their ever changing and seemingly more brutal) spec you WILL be discarded.
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Re: Think long and hard...

Postby regret » Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:01 pm

I have had many issues with the new company. In my opinion ASEE was great! LMI, not so much. The way my school is set up I either take one summer semester or extend my degree an entire year. However, if I extend my degree for the full year I will not hold a full time status for all four semesters. LMI wants neither to happen. They do not want to approve me to take summer classes(they would not be playing for them and they are online so they do not effect my summer internship) or to have non full time semesters. I have no choice, one has to happen. They do not care about you, they would rather throw you out than approve something out of the norm. They have also reported false information on my file. I have contacted my coordinator to get this changed but he refuses to acknowledge the question. On top of this, I have requested documents from LMI that they should be able to provide and they have refused. I have emailed my cordinator multiple times and they completely avoid the questions they do not want to answer no matter how many times you ask. This has been an utter nightmare for me. I have worked for the government before and I loved it. Personally, I belive the issues are stemming from LMI and not the DoD or the government.

Re: Think long and hard...

Postby kbl2017 » Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:36 pm

I am loving it. But you are right LMI right now is dead set on following the "rules" to the T. So they're making it difficult to do things out of the ordinary. However, the benefits have outweighed this as I love the job prospect and my Masters degree is getting funded. If you are going to be on a non-traditional schedule I do suggest making sure your SF and LMI know before you officially accept an offer. Make sure anything you'd need special approval for is in writing that you can do it. I would also make sure you have it in writing from your school just so LMI knows there isn't another option.

As someone going through more traditional schooling I haven't had any problems from LMI and my point of contact has been extremely helpful with questions. I am currently on a non-compliance semester because I didn't realize what was considered full time at my grad school, but that hasn't changed how LMI has been treating me or created any negative repercussions unless I mess up this semester as well.
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