Fellowship for Cornell at the cost of selling my soul?

<p>First, I want to apologize if the title is a bit too exaggerating :-)</p>

<p>Basically I got my employer sponsored fellowship for the Software Systems Engineering (M.Eng) program @ Cornell. All tuition been paid for, plus full salary while at Cornell, the total package is slightly more than 100K combined.</p>

<p>So of course there's a catch: sign a contract and work for three years after I come back. Now that's a problem... The place I work is a major defense contractor and I disapprove everything we do over here. Company politics + bad location also didn't help either. I've tried to get out whenever possible, but economic downturn makes getting a new job impossible. Anyways just for the heck of it I applied for fellowship (heard it was competitive) but somehow I got in, now I need to make this very difficult choice.</p>

<p>If I decline the fellowship I'll have to quit and pay everything out of my own pocket for grad school, but I get to choose more ORIE classes (Finance, optimization etc), and potentially land a much better job to switch from my current boring engineering career. On the other hand, with employer fellowship I'm stuck with Software Systems Engineering classes (yep they will check my transcript to make sure classes I took are "work related"), but I get to go to school for free with salary support...</p>

<p>I know it's a tough choice... any suggestions or insights?</p>

<p>George example - Bernard Williams</p>

<p>Where did you go for undergrad?</p>

<p>You only have one life-- Some people might like to do all Software Systems Engineering classes, but if you don't then you shouldn't- Do what you want to do- don't follow the money.</p>