From the monthly archives: October 2009

A couple of years back, one of our most beloved Admissions student staffers from Sri Lanka took a call in the office.  The person at the other end of the line was irritated about something, and then further irritated when he thought he had reached a call center in another part of the world!  Trust me, dear blog readers, we do not outsource our office operations!  But we do hire fabulous Fletcher students to help us out.  While Liz is the first person our visitors meet, the student staffers may be the first Fletcher representative you speak to or hear from by email.  So here, they offer self introductions.

First up, Rebecca:

If you’re reading this, it means you’re interested in or excited about Fletcher.  That’s great — I am too!

Here’s a little bit about me: I’m half Danish and half Australian.  (My mother likes to joke that the good half is Australian.)  I was born in Denmark and moved to the States when I was five.  After graduating from college, I spent a year volunteering teaching English in Ecuador, with an international education NGO called WorldTeach.  When I returned from Ecuador, I spent two years working in the national office of Teach For America. There I learned the ins and outs of how a successful, results-oriented non-profit functions.  It was a fantastic experience, but I knew that ultimately I really wanted to apply everything I was learning to the international realm.

So, I’m now a first-year student in the MALD program. I’m studying International Business Relations with a focus on strategic management and Human Security Studies (I think!).  After graduating, I’m intending to go into management consulting or private sector development, which I hope will give me experience that I can use in managing an international NGO in the future.  But, from what I hear from other students, these plans might change, so I’ll get back to you about how this works out in two years.  In addition to working in the admissions office, I’m involved with the International Business Club, Global Women, the Gender Inequality Project, Fletcher runners, and the Latin America club.  In case you’re wondering, I live on campus, which helps make this hectic schedule possible.  I look forward to answering your questions — don’t hesitate to call or email us!

Next, Sabah:

Hello Fletcher applicants!  My name is Sabah and I’m a first-year MALD student, so I very clearly remember the position you all are in now.  The good news is that you have internet access and have found this site!  That’s more than I can say for myself at this time last year, when I was working as a Project Manager for an NGO in a refugee camp in rural Zambia.  (No electricity or running water — the whole nine!)  Prior to my year in Africa, I worked for the Department of Justice in San Francisco, in the Antitrust Division.  I’ve also held internships at the White House and the Council on Foreign Relations.  My favorite job that never makes it onto my résumé was being a Junior Zoologist at the San Francisco Zoo (for three summers!).

I am now studying Human Security, geographically focused on southern Africa, and my second concentration is not yet decided.  If you have any questions and call or e-mail the Admissions Office, chances are I might just be the person on the receiving end, more than willing to help out.  I look forward to eventually meeting  you, and chatting about your undoubtedly fascinating paths to Fletcher.

More intros coming up tomorrow!  And one scheduling note:  The office will be closed on Monday, October 12, for the Columbus Day holiday.


I want to catch up a bit and post something every day this week.  Today I have only a short note for you, and it’s about the blog itself.

This will never be the fanciest blog around.  I generally need to focus on the essence of my work in admissions, and I find it hard to create time to concentrate on the blog’s IT needs.  So, apologies in advance that I won’t be posting many videos or other media.  I’m nearly (if not completely) limited to words.

But, at the very least, you should know that you don’t need to slog through all of the archived posts to find what you need.  Take a look at the left side of the front blog page (where you are now,  if you’re reading this on October 7, 2009).  You’ll see that the posts are archived by category and by date.  The categories represent the way that I think about the blog — what do I want to share with you about Fletcher, Fletcher admissions, and those of us who spend a lot of time at the School.

The date-based archive is also useful.  Admissions work is completely cyclical.  I will frequently find myself doing something in 2009 on exactly the same date as I did it in 2008, with no special intention to stick to a certain day.  It’s just how things work here.  So if you want to check out the usual topics for September, you might also want to look at what’s posted for 2008 and 2007.

Besides those two tips, I think this blog is as simple as it could be — not maximally searchable, I suppose, but if something is worth saying, I’ll probably say it every year.  So stay tuned!  And if I don’t offer the information or advice you need, let me know about it!  I welcome your comments.


My daily schedule has finally cleared enough to focus on the blog and finish the round of staff introductions that I started in September.  Today, I’m giving Liz a little more space than I provided to my other admissions pals.  And she earns it — Liz is the first person most visitors to the office will meet.  And whereas most of us started in “international” and ended up in higher education administration, Liz took a different pathway to both.  Here’s her story:

I graduated from the University of Southern Maine with a degree in Business Administration.  Degree in hand, my first “real world” job was with USA TODAY, and before you ask:  No, I wasn’t a journalist.  (It’s funny how that’s the first thing people think of when you tell them you worked for a newspaper.)  I worked in Circulation, the behind-the-scenes operation required to make a newspaper work.  Our office handled the printing, sales, distribution, and customer service for the New England area.

I started out as an Administrative Coordinator in USA TODAY‘s Marketing department (marketing, in the newspaper industry, being a fancy word for sales), handling any and all paperwork, purchasing, data processing, and general support for three managers.  I find enjoyment in routine, and in the structured chaos that exists in an admin position (including what others may consider mundane, such as paperwork and data processing).  After a year or so, I moved to the Customer Service side of the office, which allowed me to experience the unpredictability of working directly with customers — it made for an exciting and sometimes frustrating day, but it kept me on my toes and taught me how to juggle competing work demands.  In addition to my 9-to-5 job, I remained highly active in my National Sorority which you’ve previously read about.  Needless to say, I rarely had a dull moment with either position.

Fortunately or unfortunately (depending on how you look at it), after three years at USA TODAY, I was forced to think about my future career, when I was one of many customer service reps who were laid off.  And so, after I had finished crying over being laid off for the first time ever, I started to think about what I liked to do.  I realized that a return to higher education administration was the way for me to go.  I loved my time in college:  I loved working with students when I was a student worker in a university office and when I was a Resident Assistant; and I loved the sense of community that higher ed brought, and that didn’t exist for me at the newspaper.

This brings me to where I am now at The Fletcher School.  Working in the Admissions Office as the Staff Assistant has allowed me to get my foot back in the door of higher education.  I’m in a position where I utilize my admin and customer service skills from USA TODAY, as well as the event planning experience I gained from my sorority.  I don’t know if Admissions is my final stopping place in higher education, as it’s a brand new area for me, but I am enjoying what I do here every day.  I still have the structured chaos that comes with being in an admin role, and I truly enjoy the spontaneity and unpredictable nature of working with prospective applicants and current students.


Today’s the first day for our experiment with degree-specific visit days.  Besides today, PhD program applicants are encouraged to visit on October 26 or November 16, and MIB program applicants may want to plan their visits for October 19, November 9, or December 7.

With the vast majority of our visitors applying for the much larger MALD program, we saw the benefit in directing a little extra care and attention to prospective students in the smaller programs.  Depending on the date and program, we’ll arrange for meetings with current students or faculty, in addition to the interviews, info sessions, and class sessions that many applicants build into their visits.

If you’re interested in a visit day, contact us and we’ll set you up!


Between the interview schedule, upcoming deadlines, events at the School, and introductions to staff and student workers, I have a lot that I want to get out there via the blog.  Next week should be a little freer than this week has been, so I hope to post more.

Today I wanted to direct blog readers toward another way to use their blog-reading hours.  There are new student-written blogs on the Fletcher 2.0 portion of the web site.  Check out Fletcher Reflections, where students share the products of their academic work, as well as A Year in the Life, where three students will share some of the, well, possibly less academic aspects of their life.  (I love their posts already!)

More admissions nitty-gritty coming up soon!


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