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Authorly Update - Life Changing News

Small stuff first. The comps I was so stressed over turned out to be almost laughably easy. Thank you to everyone who wished me well! My study-buddy and I were so worried that we spent the entire month previous studying everything in crazy detail. That turned out to be a bit of overkill! (Not that I'm complaining.) The result of this is that I'm graduating in May with an MS in Mathematics, concentration in Education.

Now the big stuff.

I put in an application to this thing called the SMART Scholarship for Service Program back in December. I thought it would be nice if I got it, but didn't have my hopes up too high. Much to my surprise, a few days ago I got an email saying I'd been accepted!

Basically, this means the government will pay me full tuition and fees and a very generous cash stipend for the two years it will take me to get a second Master's degree, this one in Systems Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology.

I call this huge life changing news not because of the award itself, since that actually means I get to stay living where I am as a professional grad student bum for two more years. No... this is life changing because the deal includes two years of a guaranteed job at a DoD lab... in Tennessee.

I've never lived anywhere but New Jersey, my parent's house, my bedroom. For me, this is epic. And slightly scary.

But at least I have two years and a summer internship in the middle to get used to it.

Meanwhile, I'm sitting here in shock over how much money I've apparently managed to convince the government I'm worth. Here's hoping I manage to live up to that!


( 11 comments — leave a comment )
Apr. 4th, 2009 12:46 am (UTC)
Wow! That's fantastic! Congratulations :)

And, of course, by the time you graduate the recession will be ending and you'll be just in time for all the IT and computer engineering jobs bouncing back again - if you even want them, given your guaranteed job offer.

*high-fives you*
Apr. 4th, 2009 03:48 am (UTC)
Thanks! ::returns the high-five::

It's less of a job offer and more of a job requirement... the two years as a DoD civilian employee after I get the degree are how I have to pay the government back for spending what is quite frankly a ridiculous amount of money on my continued education. So it's going to be more like four years before I'm even contemplating other jobs.

Of course, the DoD hopes for longer to get a better return on their investment. So I really couldn't ask for better job security! :-)
Apr. 4th, 2009 01:07 am (UTC)
That's brilliant! And systems engineering, huh? That's what I am in RL :) Feel free to IM me if you want to talk about what that entails. Congratulations again!
Apr. 4th, 2009 03:33 am (UTC)
Thank you! :-)

We are so going to have to chat. I only have a layman's idea of what System Engineering is. I got myself into this because I was part of a team working on a larger project last year, and the project was so badly run that I figured even I could probably do it better. Googling around for related things led me to the SIT web pages about Systems Engineering.

That was in September. Look at me now! :-)
Apr. 4th, 2009 01:19 am (UTC)
he comps I was so stressed over turned out to be almost laughably easy.

The best kind of easy!

Congrats on your scholarship! That's awesome. And two years sounds like a good margin to get used to the idea of moving away. Maybe you could move into an apartment for some of that time to help the transition?
Apr. 4th, 2009 03:25 am (UTC)
Thanks! :-)

I'm hoping the two years are margin enough. I have thought about getting an apartment in NJ for a while first, like you suggested. There are even a few pretty nice apartment/condo complexes in my area that I could probably afford on the stipend I'll be getting. But I'm not sure I want to pour money into living expenses when I don't have to... I only pay about $500/mo. in shared living expenses to live with my parents. So it's a tough decision, but I do have some time to think about it.

The best kind of easy!

Definitely! I kept re-reading the instructions to make sure I wasn't missing something! There were very few questions, and they were almost all computation. (Proofs are harder, computations are usually straightforward.) It was almost fun to work through the test. :-)
Apr. 4th, 2009 04:23 am (UTC)
I kept re-reading the instructions to make sure I wasn't missing something!

Many years ago now, when I took the AP exam for literature, I had a similar feeling. We had spent the whole year being told how difficult this exam would be, and my entire class walked out of the exam and looked at each other and wondered what we had missed. :) I won't say I miss taking exams, but it can be nice to have everything in front of you to work out instead of being told, "write a research paper. GO!" every semester. :P

But I'm not sure I want to pour money into living expenses when I don't have to...

Yeah, that's really the tough part. Maybe if you did it the second year and found some roommates that would minimize the costs and still give you a chance to move out without moving away.

Apr. 4th, 2009 03:23 am (UTC)
Great news -- a scholarship is dandy, but having a guaranteed job after graduation? Now that is fine and dandy! ;) Congrats!
Apr. 4th, 2009 03:27 am (UTC)
Thanks! It was that guaranteed job offer that convinced me to even apply for the scholarship, though it's really more of a required service time than an offer. I couldn't ask for more than that kind of job security! :-)
Apr. 4th, 2009 05:03 am (UTC)
Yay for having Monetary Worth!! (Something I've been crap at all my life so I know how much it means, figuratively as well as literally...)
Apr. 6th, 2009 07:34 pm (UTC)
I'm still in shock about it, myself... :-)
( 11 comments — leave a comment )


Adalia Zandra


This is adaliazandra's fic journal, which she hadn't planned to use very often. That plan has since been defenestrated in favor of posting fic update notices and rambles about DW and TW.

If you note the spiffy paid-account layout, that's because nightrider101 is simply the most wonderful person ever! :-)

If I seem to have disappeared off the face of the Internet, it's because I probably did. I don't actually *like* suddenly ignoring my LJ friends and leaving my stories hanging, though, so odds are I'll be back eventually.