In summer 2008, Hania worked in the Admissions Office before she had even formally started as a Fletcher student.  We have been so lucky to have her help in the office throughout the last year-plus, and here she tells us a little of what she has learned.

Hello again, everyone! You may (or may not) remember me from my blog entry last summer when I was full of anxieties, hopes, fears, and great expectations, just before beginning my first semester at Fletcher. Luckily, my great expectations were met, my fears and anxieties were quelled, and my hopes and ambitions have only grown.

If I had to use one word to describe the feeling of being a returning second-year MALD at Fletcher, it would be “comfortable.”  Throughout the course of the year, Fletcher has transformed into an environment where I can feel at ease and even at home. That’s the strange thing about the graduate experience: you go from being an apprehensive “freshman” to a seasoned “senior” in just one year. The new first-year class has come along to remind us of what it was like in the beginning — the blur of new places, faces, and names, and the dizzying attempt to find your niche at Fletcher. But they will soon learn, as I did, that it gets easier, better, and more familiar in a short amount of time.

Throughout the course of last year, I made a lot of great memories:  dancing the Salsa (in front of all of my peers) in the Latin Club’s “Fiesta Latina” cultural night, helping to organize Mediterranean Club’s “Med Night,” attending lectures organized by the Fares Center (including a talk by Tony Blair), and meeting and greeting a number of successful alumni and Fletcher guests on our career trips to New York and Washington, DC. I also went on a Fletcher ski trip to Sugarloaf Mountain in Maine and found I could enjoy myself in an environment that I NEVER thought I would survive.  (Coldest place I’ve ever been!)  And all of this is only a small percentage of the innumerable activities that go on around Fletcher throughout the year.

Thanks to the career trip to Washington, DC, I was able to meet with people in various organizations that interested me. I scheduled my informational meetings and interviews, and secured my summer internship at a non-profit where I spent the summer doing research for my thesis and producing reports for them. Meanwhile my friends were scattered all over the globe for the summer: Israel, Syria, Kenya, Germany, … and the list goes on.  It was very hard to keep in touch with everyone, but such is the life of a Fletcher student. We are, after all, jetsetters by nature.

I’m now back at Fletcher, meeting with professors and excited to begin the thesis-writing process. I’m also trying to squeeze in as many extracurricular activities as possible, as I did last year, but time management is proving a bit more difficult this time around. Nevertheless, the plan is still to perform at Med Night, participate in SIMULEX (a major crisis management exercise in which participants assume the roles of national policy makers in an international scenario for a weekend), and complete a Mediation Practicum certificate, all while attending classes and showing up twice a week to my job at the Admissions Office to interact with stimulating prospective students like you!


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