As you may know, most of our evaluative interviews are conducted by current Fletcher students, providing the students with a special opportunity to help shape a future class and the applicants with a forum for learning about the Fletcher student experience. Here, Jessie, an interviewer and office student staffer, shares her perspective:
Hello applicants and Fletcher fans! As a second-year student who has worked closely with the Admissions Office over the past 14 months as an interviewer, info-session leader, and student worker (and who was an applicant myself not so long ago!), I want to address a question we hear often: Why should I come for an evaluative interview?
The purpose of the interview is two-fold: it’s one more way for us to get to know you as a person who aspires to study at Fletcher, and it’s also your chance to ask questions of a current student. Each of these aspects are important, so I’ll discuss them both.
Fletcher really does take a holistic approach to admissions – it’s about evaluating a person as a whole, with all of the academic and professional and personal qualifications factored in. Some of the Admissions Committee’s metrics are quantifiable, while others are more subjective. Coming in for an evaluative interview allows you to tell us exactly why you want to go to grad school – and, more specifically, why Fletcher – which I have always felt were the most important questions of the interview. You also can tell us about all of the dynamic and unique traits that make you special. Granted, you should address this in your application essays, but let’s be honest – 700 words is not much! We want you to tell us why you want to be here, why you feel it’s the right time for you to be here, and how you can make this school academically and socially a great place.
The second purpose to the interview is, of course, to give you a chance to ask questions of a current student and try to ascertain whether Fletcher is the right place for you. To a certain extent, the application process is a mutual audition of sorts. You are trying to show grad schools why you should be there, but you’re also auditioning the schools themselves. While I often joke that I’m afraid I love Fletcher more than I will love my first-born child, I recognize that not everyone will feel this way. You need to find the school that will be the best fit for you, not only academically but based upon social, financial, and whatever other criteria are important to you. Grad school is expensive, no doubt about it – you want to be sure of your decision before you make the investment. So when you come for an interview, please ask whatever questions you may have, no matter how off-the-wall they may be!
My own interview two years ago (wow, has it been that long?!) was a great experience, because I felt well-prepared for both of the interview’s purposes. I knew I could do more than recite my own resume; I had clear reasons for wanting to come to Fletcher and was prepared to articulate them. I also had my own questions, about financial aid, the students’ social life, the workload, the utility of the alumni network. I came out of the interview surer than ever that this was where I wanted to be, and I was able to translate that conviction to my application essays.
Despite everything I have said about the usefulness of interviews, please remember that, if you can’t come to campus for an interview, you should not fret! While a helpful component of the admissions process, it is OPTIONAL and if you don’t do one, you will not be penalized in any way.
I wish you all the best of luck in the admissions process and hope that, for each of you, your next step (whether school, more work, or something else) proves to be the right one.
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