Start Date after graduation

General Discussion for SMART Scholarship Recipients

Start Date after graduation

Postby Guest112 » Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:07 pm

Hello,

As Class of 2018 graduation dates are approaching, I am wondering when expected start date after graduation would be. My SF told me that the offer process would be initiated once I finish my degree. So it's confusing how the offer and negotiation will be processed. Phase 2 or 3 people, could you share your onboarding experience?
Also, I'd love to know how flexible it is for us to negotiate when to start. I hope that I can negotiate my start date to be August or September if it is possible.

Thanks!
Guest112
 

Re: Start Date after graduation

Postby Hiring » Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:35 pm

I believe your SF has 60 days to hire you upon graduating. I could be wrong, but I hope this gives you a better idea :)
Hiring
 

Re: Start Date after graduation

Postby littlehope » Fri Apr 20, 2018 4:45 pm

I will be graduating at the beginning of May. My SF has been extremely helpful in getting as much information as they currently have about starting my position since January 2018. At least for my situation and SF, they realized I am moving cross-country and are pretty understanding. So the basically told me that my start date is determinant upon when I can successfully/comfortably move there.

Personally I did not negotiate since they offer people they hire off the street as well as the scholarship the same thing for the same degree so I thought that was fair; however, I did ask for them to pay for my move. It wasn't guaranteed, but since I asked, they worked it out so I got PCS.
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Re: Start Date after graduation

Postby Guest1234 » Fri Apr 20, 2018 7:31 pm

Hiring wrote:I believe your SF has 60 days to hire you upon graduating. I could be wrong, but I hope this gives you a better idea :)


This is incorrect. My SF dragged big time on this. I didn't start working until 6 months after graduating. I tried to contact them repeatedly to begin the hiring process but they didn't start it until 4-5 months after graduating. Honestly it probably depends on the SF, but don't get your hopes up on being able to start in a specific month. Some facilities want you right away and others are very sluggish, but you may be lucky enough your SF works well with its HR department and you can get something worked out. No matter how they approach things, just contact your SF. That's the only way to really get answers and see what they can work out for you.
Guest1234
 

Re: Start Date after graduation

Postby LostinCyberspace » Fri Apr 20, 2018 7:33 pm

Guest1234 wrote:
Hiring wrote:I believe your SF has 60 days to hire you upon graduating. I could be wrong, but I hope this gives you a better idea :)


This is incorrect. My SF dragged big time on this. I didn't start working until 6 months after graduating. I tried to contact them repeatedly to begin the hiring process but they didn't start it until 4-5 months after graduating. Honestly it probably depends on the SF, but don't get your hopes up on being able to start in a specific month. Some facilities want you right away and others are very sluggish, but you may be lucky enough your SF works well with its HR department and you can get something worked out. No matter how they approach things, just contact your SF. That's the only way to really get answers and see what they can work out for you.


6 months? If I may ask, how were you able to support yourself during that time?
LostinCyberspace
 

Re: Start Date after graduation

Postby kbl2017 » Fri Apr 20, 2018 7:42 pm

LostinCyberspace wrote:
Guest1234 wrote:
This is incorrect. My SF dragged big time on this. I didn't start working until 6 months after graduating. I tried to contact them repeatedly to begin the hiring process but they didn't start it until 4-5 months after graduating. Honestly it probably depends on the SF, but don't get your hopes up on being able to start in a specific month. Some facilities want you right away and others are very sluggish, but you may be lucky enough your SF works well with its HR department and you can get something worked out. No matter how they approach things, just contact your SF. That's the only way to really get answers and see what they can work out for you.


6 months? If I may ask, how were you able to support yourself during that time?


To add to this, how much did you bug your SF before/after graduation? (were you in constant contact/did you wait for them to contact you...etc.) When was this from a government budget standpoint? Was it during a new budget time frame or the end of a fiscal year? How many students are at your SF? Did you have a change in leadership at your SF?

I think that will change how they handle the whole situation depending on all of the above...and there are probably more questions we could ask. I've seen people post on here a few times that they had to wait extended periods of time and were able to get support stipends during that time. I'm not sure if that changes your service commitment though. I do know that support payment time wouldn't count towards your payback time, but I would think it isn't added to the end of your service commitment.
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Re: Start Date after graduation

Postby Guest112 » Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:27 pm

Thanks for all kind replies. All really helped me.
I am just not sure why my SF does not know when exactly I can start.
I may have to find a temporary job to support myself during the temporary waiting period. I cannot just wait for several months when to get hired due to my financial situations. :)
Guest112
 

Re: Start Date after graduation

Postby kbl2017 » Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:53 am

Guest112 wrote:Thanks for all kind replies. All really helped me.
I am just not sure why my SF does not know when exactly I can start.
I may have to find a temporary job to support myself during the temporary waiting period. I cannot just wait for several months when to get hired due to my financial situations. :)



Contact LMI. Your official last payment will be the last month you're a student. (so if you graduate may 10th you'll still get paid 3rd friday of May) which gives your SF until the third week of June to get you working. But you can ask LMI is there a process to request continued support payments if my start date isn't for a few months?

Honestly, my guess is your SF is just waiting to see what positions don't get filled before you graduate and doesn't want to give you anything official until they know where they're putting you. (For example you're starting with a team and the week they give you a start date is the same week half that team is on vacation.) But the fact that they call it "offer process" leads me to believe they're literally just talking about the paperwork and moving process since you already should have clearance and stuff from your internship. Which doesn't take long - you don't have to go through an interview or anything.
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Re: Start Date after graduation

Postby Guest112 » Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:55 pm

kbl2017 wrote:
Guest112 wrote:Thanks for all kind replies. All really helped me.
I am just not sure why my SF does not know when exactly I can start.
I may have to find a temporary job to support myself during the temporary waiting period. I cannot just wait for several months when to get hired due to my financial situations. :)



Contact LMI. Your official last payment will be the last month you're a student. (so if you graduate may 10th you'll still get paid 3rd friday of May) which gives your SF until the third week of June to get you working. But you can ask LMI is there a process to request continued support payments if my start date isn't for a few months?

Honestly, my guess is your SF is just waiting to see what positions don't get filled before you graduate and doesn't want to give you anything official until they know where they're putting you. (For example you're starting with a team and the week they give you a start date is the same week half that team is on vacation.) But the fact that they call it "offer process" leads me to believe they're literally just talking about the paperwork and moving process since you already should have clearance and stuff from your internship. Which doesn't take long - you don't have to go through an interview or anything.


Thank you very much for your advice. I would definitely contact LMI.

I would like to start my job late summer after enjoying my graduation, but my SF said to work ASAP once all paperwork is processed. So I was considering to negotiate my start date along with a relocation package. Negotiating pay may sound too difficult for me to do, but I think that the hiring date and relocation package sound more likely to achieve during the negotiation. Could you tell me when and how the negotiation takes a place?
Guest112
 

Re: Start Date after graduation

Postby kbl2017 » Tue Apr 24, 2018 2:03 am

Guest112 wrote:
kbl2017 wrote:
Guest112 wrote:Thanks for all kind replies. All really helped me.
I am just not sure why my SF does not know when exactly I can start.
I may have to find a temporary job to support myself during the temporary waiting period. I cannot just wait for several months when to get hired due to my financial situations. :)



Contact LMI. Your official last payment will be the last month you're a student. (so if you graduate may 10th you'll still get paid 3rd friday of May) which gives your SF until the third week of June to get you working. But you can ask LMI is there a process to request continued support payments if my start date isn't for a few months?

Honestly, my guess is your SF is just waiting to see what positions don't get filled before you graduate and doesn't want to give you anything official until they know where they're putting you. (For example you're starting with a team and the week they give you a start date is the same week half that team is on vacation.) But the fact that they call it "offer process" leads me to believe they're literally just talking about the paperwork and moving process since you already should have clearance and stuff from your internship. Which doesn't take long - you don't have to go through an interview or anything.


Thank you very much for your advice. I would definitely contact LMI.

I would like to start my job late summer after enjoying my graduation, but my SF said to work ASAP once all paperwork is processed. So I was considering to negotiate my start date along with a relocation package. Negotiating pay may sound too difficult for me to do, but I think that the hiring date and relocation package sound more likely to achieve during the negotiation. Could you tell me when and how the negotiation takes a place?


I'm not sure for this as I haven't been hired by SMART yet either. But generally for my friends who did pathways or something similar and work in government it's all gonna be right around the offer period. I'm guessing you'll get contacted by an HR person right after graduation. Unless you have previous full time work experience in stuff directly related to your position you're pretty stuck on the GS scale based off of your degree level. As for hiring date and relocation when they reach out to you basically write up something mildly convincing saying you need the time off to pack up and move to your work location and pick a date that seems good for that! For example, I live right near my SF but I'm in a pre-furnished place and when I move out to start work I have to go back across the country to get all the things I need. So that's how I would put into writing that there is a cost associated with that and I need X months to comfortably do that.
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Re: Start Date after graduation

Postby Guest0101 » Tue Apr 24, 2018 7:38 pm

I'm graduating this semester as well and have already received my tentative offer. I was told I will not receive my final offer until they receive my final transcripts and of course once my security clearance comes through. Before receiving my offer, my hiring person told me she had to prepare something for HR at my facility, then they had to send it to HR in Washington, then Washington had to send it back to my facility's HR before they could send me my tentative offer. That process could likely take up to a month or more depending on how many other people are being processed at the same time (I was told it's processed in the order received). I don't know about your facility/pay system, but I was told ahead of time that my salary is not negotiable (ND pay scale). Every facility may operate a little differently so it's hard to offer concrete answers. I would keep pushing, make sure you keep up with your sponsoring facility, keep them up to date. Don't wait for them
Guest0101
 

Re: Start Date after graduation

Postby Guest0101 » Tue Apr 24, 2018 7:42 pm

Also, in regards to relocation costs. I was told I was eligible for something called First Duty that covers expenses for myself and my wife to move across the country and also pays for movers to come to my apartment, pan everything for me, and ship it to my new residence. I would ask HR about that.
Guest0101
 

Re: Start Date after graduation

Postby ky502 » Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:18 pm

The technical deadline is 60 days, but my HR person said it is flexible depending on what they want. I have to graduate, move home, travel to my SF to find housing, go through the process of apartment background checks, and move everything the 13 hours to my SF, so my HR person said I can have more than 60 days.
ky502
 

Re: Start Date after graduation

Postby Guest » Wed Apr 25, 2018 7:51 am

For what it's worth, I graduated early Dec. (2015) and started early June (2016). Even though I had completed 3 summer internships and had been pinging HR at least twice a year, hiring me was apparently not on their radar at all.

Since HR didn't respond to my emails, I started pestering SMART about interim payments early and often. They approved the interim payments without any trouble. I would note that these interim payments were approved month-to-month, and the last month my SF tried saying that I was stalling, which was quite stressful.

I tried to negotiate, to no avail. I had verbal confirmations on several occasions that starting salary would be GS13, but the offer came in at GS 12 step 1. But the negotiation only added about a week to the process.
Guest
 

Re: Start Date after graduation

Postby armyPhD » Fri Apr 27, 2018 10:17 am

Guest wrote:For what it's worth, I graduated early Dec. (2015) and started early June (2016). Even though I had completed 3 summer internships and had been pinging HR at least twice a year, hiring me was apparently not on their radar at all.

Since HR didn't respond to my emails, I started pestering SMART about interim payments early and often. They approved the interim payments without any trouble. I would note that these interim payments were approved month-to-month, and the last month my SF tried saying that I was stalling, which was quite stressful.

I tried to negotiate, to no avail. I had verbal confirmations on several occasions that starting salary would be GS13, but the offer came in at GS 12 step 1. But the negotiation only added about a week to the process.


Your original offer was for GS 12? Were you a PhD? This is actually pretty incredible considering I am continually told that all SMART people start at GS 11 regardless of education level. Which is quite contradictory to OPM guidelines... I do not want to piss my SF off with salary negotiations (which I will be doing this summer), but after graduating with a PhD I feel I deserve more than GS 11.
armyPhD
 

Re: Start Date after graduation

Postby Guest » Fri Apr 27, 2018 4:30 pm

armyPhD wrote:
Your original offer was for GS 12? Were you a PhD? This is actually pretty incredible considering I am continually told that all SMART people start at GS 11 regardless of education level. Which is quite contradictory to OPM guidelines... I do not want to piss my SF off with salary negotiations (which I will be doing this summer), but after graduating with a PhD I feel I deserve more than GS 11.


Yes, the offer was for 12 step 1, with a PhD. It wouldn't have actually ticked me off that much, but they consistently told me a number around $90k per year. Then, when I started I realized I was more or less the only GS 12 in the whole place. With my particular situation, it was hard to thrive in an expensive area at that rate of pay.

You definitely deserve more than GS 11. I may have pissed off my HR but not the people I actually worked with. When I negotiated, I wrote a letter stating the amount of salary I thought I should be paid (with justifications) and send it to the person who sent the offer. My SF supervisor even wrote a memo to HR suggesting that I start at a 12 step 4 (which I would have been happy with) but HR said no due to "lack of government experience".
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