From the monthly archives: November 2009

If you regularly receive updates from us, you probably already know that we’ll host two on-line chats next Thursday, November 12.  If you haven’t already connected with us, you’ll find details on the first chat on our web site.  Chats later this fall or winter may be by email invitation, targeting specific geographic areas or fields of interest.

For us, the online chats can be a frenzied hour of top-speed typing.  For applicants, they’re a chance to ask your own questions about Fletcher or the admissions process, and also to see what other applicants are asking.  In our top-speed way, we’ll answer as many of the questions as we possibly can, and we’ll direct you to other resources when necessary.

Join us and check it out!


Last week, I asked Jeff (our newest staffer) to reflect on his Fletcher travels.  Here’s what he wrote:

Where has the fall gone?  Every year I feel the same way when October draws to a close.  Since graduating from college, I’ve held jobs that send me out on the road during the fall months.  What that means for me is:  no alumni/homecoming weekends, limited time for apple picking, and a jam-packed social calendar on the days when I am in town.  That being said, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

The last couple months, I’ve had the opportunity to travel to New York City, followed by Toronto, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.   Each trip was fantastic, but there really aren’t any exciting stories to share – nothing compared to Kristen’s tour of Asia last year or Peter dodging wild fires in 2007.  But I’m happy to say that the locations I visited this fall were a nice change from the travel of my previous job.

My life in corporate recruiting brought me to the same university campus once or twice a week for the majority of the fall months.  While that got old quickly, I do miss the amazing restaurants that Philadelphia has to offer, and also the budget I had to “play with.”  Despite the gastric pleasures and the larger wallet of corporate life, I don’t regret my switch to Fletcher.  Meeting so many great prospective students and alumni during my travels has been amazing.  I have enjoyed hearing stories from alums regarding their Fletcher past, as well as descriptions of what they are doing now.  Alumni go out of their way to help the School, and from what I can tell, it’s because they really value their Fletcher experience.

So, fall is flying by, but it’s been great so far!  I was able to visit friends who I hadn’t seen in quite some time, and also to try some new restaurants (Eggspectations in Toronto, Rockit in Chicago, and Sushi Roku in LA) and visit some old favorites (JG Melon in NY and In-N-Out Burger in SF).  Now I’m preparing for my next trip — North Carolina and Virginia — to host information sessions at various universities with colleagues from some other great schools.  If you happen to be in the area, check out our travel calendar for the week of November 8th and I hope you’ll drop by.

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The students who commented last week on why they chose to pursue an international affairs master’s degree captured many of the points we hear.  I’m going to add a little of the admissions perspective on the question.  I would say that casual conversations and interviews, as well as application essays, give me the sense that most Fletcher students have decided to go to graduate school for one of these reasons:

1.  They know what they would like to do in the future, and all those job opportunities are posted with “master’s degree required” attached to them.
2.  They want to internationalize work they are currently doing.
3.  They are already in the field that is (at least generally) their goal, and they need the political/economic/legal context to bring their work to a higher level.
4.  Their work has involved implementing policies, and they want a degree that will put them in a position to create policy.
5.  They are looking for specific skills (negotiation, for example).
6.  A combination of several of the above.

Even as each student’s motivation reflects individual circumstances and objectives, these are the themes that most often pop out.  Of course, if you’ve made it to the Fletcher Admissions web site, you probably have your own reasons already.


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