From the monthly archives: October 2007

Although all Admissions staff members conduct interviews, the majority of our applicants are met by a current student. Here, one of our veteran volunteers describes the experience.

Welcome to the Admissions Blog! My name is Margherita and I am a second-year MALD student from Italy.

This is my second year as a volunteer interviewer of prospective students for the Admissions Office. I really enjoy interviewing potential classmates and future members of the Fletcher community. It is so nice to have an opportunity to help Admissions in the hard task of selecting a new class. It makes me feel part of the community to help create the new group of students, with incredibly interesting and different backgrounds, who will join Fletcher and will sit next to us in class or will be part of our network.

Having current students interview prospective students is part of this unique Fletcher feature: creating a friendly environment where interesting people meet, learn, study, share experiences, have fun (we also have fun!) and help each other!

I love meeting the applicants. It reminds me how much I was hoping to be accepted at Fletcher, how much time I spent writing my application, and all the questions I had in my mind, such as: Am I the right match for Fletcher?; Are students happy there?; What do they think about the classes and the professors?; Is it true that diversity is one of the School’s strengths?; What does being part of the Fletcher community mean in practice?

For those of you interested in attending Fletcher, coming for an interview is a great opportunity to ask questions of a current student. But it also helps you to gain a sense of what Fletcher is, to understand better if Fletcher is what you want and if it will suit you. And it is a chance for you to share your experiences and interests with Fletcher. Although the interview is not required, it certainly helps both you and the Admissions Office in the application and selection process! So my advice to those of you who have a chance, is to call the admissions office and set up an interview!

Good luck with your application!


In the interest of full disclosure, I’m not much of a sports fan, but I live with one 17-year-old sports fanatic, and a 13-year-old whose brother is a sports fanatic (trickle-down fanaticism), so what can I do but pay a bit of attention?  And this fall, there’s so much to pay attention to!

There are few bleary eyes at Fletcher today, because the Red Sox won last night in such convincing fashion.  We non-fanatics could all go to sleep when they were up 10-1 (before 11:00 p.m.).  Overall, I’d say that this year’s World Series lacks the intensity of the 2004 “Reverse the Curse” series.  For that matter, it’s also not as intense as some of the previous almost-great seasons that kept Red Sox Nation awake to the late hours.  But most people seem pretty comfortable with the idea of perennial winners.

And, in fact, the Red Sox have not won championships with anything like the regularity of the Patriots.  Here, I need to refer readers to the experts.  I’m not a football person.

But I’ve always loved basketball, and the Celtics are finally worth our attention again.  It has been a long dry spell for a storied franchise, but my in-home sports expert tells me that the Pierce-Garnett-Allen team core will bring great basketball to the Garden again.

If your sports interests were born in a different country, rest easy!  The Boston area is loaded with pubs and restaurants where transplanted fans of international soccer(aka football)/rugby/cricket can watch games.  My husband spent the last two Saturday afternoons at the Phoenix Landing,  a Cambridge pub that drew people together for the Rugby World Cup.  He reported that plenty of South Africans joined the usual British pub-dwellers for the match.

So, sports fans, now’s the time!  Come to Fletcher and join the sports-crazed among our students in playing your favorite game, or for multicultural cheering.




This is the heart of the busy season for student activities at Fletcher. The newbies are fully oriented into all phases of student life, yet the academic heat hasn’t reached maximum intensity. This year, I’ve been especially aware of the level of activity, because I finally stopped trying to prevent overfilling of my in-box and signed up to receive email reminders of Fletcher events.

What’s been striking to me is not the usual big-name lectures, but the really interesting talks, panels, meetings, etc., etc., organized by students and student groups. Last Monday, the Latin American Student Group invited Boston-based diplomats from Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Spain, and Brazil to discuss challenges their communities face in the New England area, and what their consulates are doing to address them. Also last week, Fletcher’s Human Rights Project hosted a talk with Todd Wassel (Fletcher ’06) on Sri Lanka’s complex internally displaced persons’ situation. Todd (who was a loyal two-year member of the Admissions student staff) is now working for the Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions.

Less related to the curriculum is the upcoming Asia Night. I see that students are holding regular planning meetings for this annual event. They promise an evening filled with singing and dancing Fletcher students, food, a raffle, and other activities, with proceeds going to the Massachusetts-based Burma Border Project. Asia Night is a long-standing Fletcher tradition, and is one of several student-organized cultural nights each year.

And, demonstrating that Fletcher students don’t lack creativity in the visual arts, there’s a new “Perspectives” exhibit in the Ginn Library, Impressions on My Mind’s Eye: Argentina, Chile, Mexico & Peru,” with photographs taken last year by one of our second-year students.

As I said, I’m not even touching on the lectures that one usually associates with a school like Fletcher. It’s the student and student-group led events that bring home to me the vitality of this place.

Visitors to the School, whether you’re here for an interview or to check out classes, should take a look at the Events Calendar. Nearly all events are open (the exception would be lectures that take place over lunch or dinner) and applicants are welcome to join in.


I had high hopes for writing a long and newsy post today, but it looks like time and the schedule are conspiring against me. I want to post at least a little something, though, because I want to test-drive my new blog software. So here goes…

We admissions folk are keeping more than busy these days. At least half the staff is out of the office each day. Kate is on her way home from Michigan. Roxana is on her way to Denver. Kristen is on vacation in Morocco (o.k., so it’s not only work that keeps us busy). Next week, there will be a different line-up. Kate will be back, but Laurie and Peter will be gone. So it goes.

Monday was our deadline for applications to enroll in January. The total number of applications is much smaller than the crop we’ll read in January, but they still need to be read. I’ll be taking some home tonight. Applicants should hear from us by the first week in December, which doesn’t leave a lot of turnaround time for any of us. Somehow, it always works out. People manage to pack their bags, get their visas, and find a place to live, all in time to be in class by mid-January.

There’s so much happening at Fletcher these days, but I’m going to hold the details for a future post, which I hope to write by Monday. (We’ll see how it goes). Meanwhile, please keep our Early Notification deadline of November 15 in mind. And always feel free to contact our office with questions.

(So far so good with the new blog software, but I can’t see the button for linking to an email address.  While I look into it, here’s the email address for your questions:


For the past few years, we’ve felt really fortunate to be able to offer help to our alumni repaying their student loans. Fletcher’s Hargens Loan Assistance Program is designed to support students who choose to work in the public or not-for-profit sectors. The program is available for as long as it takes for a graduate to repay loans, or to earn sufficient salary to comfortably make the yearly payments. Now, we’re proud that this Fletcher program has been adopted and extended by Tufts University to cover undergraduate students, and graduate students beyond those at Fletcher, making similar choices. The new program was described first in an article in the Boston Globe, and then in an editorial. (Note that Laurie Hurley, Fletcher’s admissions director contributes to the article!)

There’s a lot happening at Fletcher these days. I hope to write an update blog later this week. For now, I’m off to another local school to offer an information session.


I’m going to be out of the office for most of next week, so I thought I’d better post some more Admissions Tips for those of you currently planning applications to meet our October 15 (January enrollment) or November 15 (Early Notification for September enrollment) deadlines.

The first tip for today is: Be aware of the application deadlines! It’s your responsibility to meet the deadlines, and you should not expect deadline extensions. Of course, if there’s a problem with the reporting of your test scores, you should let us know. We will work with you under those circumstances. Similarly, it’s your job to pester your recommenders so that they will meet the deadline, but we know that sometimes they don’t. We’ll accommodate you as best we’re able, but eventually we need to make a decision!

And speaking of recommendations, the second tip for today is: Remember that all recommendations need to be in English! You’re really gambling if you take a chance that a member of the Admissions Committee will understand the particular language in which the recommendation is written.

I hope blog readers find these tips useful. Remember that each time Committee members read applications, we’re taking on a tall stack! You do yourself a favor when you make sure that all information is in the format we expect.

A special note to New Yorkers – I’ll be at the APSIA fair next Wednesday. Hope to see you there!

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The first-year students who just started work in the Admissions Office don’t need to direct all their questions to Corinne (see yesterday’s introduction). Here, our two remaining second-year student workers introduce themselves. First, Michael-John:

Greetings potential Fletcher students!!! My name is Michael-John and I am one of the student workers here in the Admissions Office. If you call, there’s a good chance you’ll talk to me or one of the other student workers. We’re always available to answer any questions you might have about the application process or what it’s like to attend Fletcher.

I started at Fletcher in January and am studying Development Economics and have a self-designed Field of Study in NGO Management. This summer I took classes here at Fletcher and did a research internship with Catholic Relief Services in their Emergency Operations Department.

In addition to my classwork, I also am married with two sons and a third child on the way in December (just in time for finals!). My whole family has enjoyed being in Boston and I’ve gotten lots of help with my homework from my 4-year old Michael.

I’m looking forward to talking with you throughout the admissions process or when you come to visit.

Michael-John and I like to recall the day we met for his evaluative interview. January 2 of 2006. There’s hardly a day in any year that is quieter than January 2. The students are still on their break, and many staff and faculty members are away. Still, we had a good talk and now he’s a valued member of the admissions team.

And now, Rashad introduces himself:

Welcome to the Fletcher Office of Admissions Blog!!! My name is Rashad and I am a second-year MALD student from Atlanta, Georgia. I am currently in my second year of work for the Office of Admissions. I am really excited to meet many of the new applicants and to hear about the experiences that have led them to Fletcher.

My Fields of Study are International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, and International Organizations, and I intend to self-design a field in Humanitarian Crises and Forced Migration. After graduation, I am hoping to use the skills and insight I acquire from these fields of study at Fletcher for my work at the U.S. State Department as a Foreign Service Officer.

This past summer, I worked in Phnom Penh, Cambodia at the U.S. Embassy in the Political/Economic Section. It was a very rewarding experience because the embassy had relatively few staff members, compared to other embassies. As a result, I was able to take initiative and responsibility for assignments that interns usually do not have the opportunity to do. I also enjoyed working for an institution that had a great reputation for providing assistance to those in the country who needed help. Last, but certainly not least, the Cambodian people were quite friendly and the food was delicious!!!


Who are those people who answer the Admissions Office phone? Who writes back when you send your questions to Many times, you’ll be reaching a Fletcher student who works in the Admissions Office. We love our student workers! They fulfill a vital need, and they also keep us current on student news. They generally have rich pre-Fletcher employment, which makes them both perfectly suited to representing the school, and way overqualified for some their other tasks, which they nonetheless complete with good cheer. Over the next week, I’ll post self-introductions from our second-year staffers. First up, Corinne, who writes:

Classes have already been going for almost four weeks, and I’ve already got several things due and a ton of reading to catch up on.

I should introduce myself: My name is Corinne and I’m a second-year MALD student. I work at the Office of Admissions and lead one of the office’s two weekly information sessions. I’ve been working with the lovely people at the Admissions Office for about a year now and am usually put to work handling the mail, responding to your emails, and answering any questions applicants might have about life and academics at The Fletcher School. I’m also the only second-year working at the Office of Admissions who lives in Blakeley Hall, the on-campus housing for Fletcher students.

Like all the other MALD students, I have chosen two Fields of Studies: International Business Relations and International Environment and Natural Resources Policy. What that really means is that I’m combining my interest in promoting responsible international environmental management, with concrete business skills. My thesis focus (because it’s now time to really get started on it) is on developing business strategies to encourage access to energy in developing countries.

I spent this summer in D.C. doing an internship for the AES Corporation – a global power company with investments in 57 countries. I worked on a political risk project, developing a quantitative tool to measure their exposure to a variety of non-financial risks. The project was incredibly relevant to some of the course work I’d done in my International Financial Management course with Professor Jacque. I also had the opportunity to work on developing AES’s strategy, and got the chance to learn more about advances in clean energy technology.

Before coming to Fletcher, I lived in London, where I worked for a non-profit dedicated to protecting wildlife in Africa, and before that, was the international sales manager for a large art gallery in St. James’s.


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