I’ve been checking in with some of my past posters to see if they have some final words before they graduate.  First up is Joshua Haynes, to whom blog readers were introduced in January 2009, when he was halfway through his first year at Fletcher.  Now he’s eyeing the end of his second year as a pioneer in the first MIB class.  Joshua writes:

Wow.  In two months, our diplomas will signify the end of a wild journey.  Unfathomable. Sure, they say that time flies; but we haven’t flown, we’ve teleported.

Last time I wrote, it was the day before the beginning of our second semester.  I was pondering the busy-ness of the first semester and all that we had accomplished and been exposed to.  It’s now April of the second year, and when I think about all that has transpired over the interim 2.5 semesters, I realize that:  Wow!  I was naïve, ‘cause it’s been wilder than I could have ever imagined.

Classes, extracurriculars, speakers, weekend (and some weeknight) activities, conferences, travels, internships, forums, side jobs and side consultancies, friends, coffees and teas and crumpets and social hours have certainly filled our days.  We study and read sometimes, too.  Sure we’re busy, but over the past almost two years, I’ve come to most appreciate the ability students have at Fletcher to explore and deepen their interests.

I came to Fletcher thinking I was interested in Sino-Arab relations.  That quickly turned into a focus on technology and international development.  Although Fletcher has no courses on technology and international development, per se, I’ve been able to explore my interest using every means possible.  A group of students last year decided we wanted to host a conference on mobile banking in Kenya.  Fletcher was extremely supportive and the conference was very successful.  Through professors and their contacts, I was able to work on projects last summer in Niger, Germany, and Mozambique.  Along with another Fletcher student, I received a Clinton Global Initiative award for a start-up idea, which Fletcher then supported in kind.  We’ve now teamed-up with other Fletcher students and are finalists in the Tufts’ 100K Business Plan Competition.

Research, project follow-ups, and thesis have led me to London, Niger, Haiti (twice) and Barcelona — none of those during the summer.  These are just a few examples of what being at Fletcher has allowed me to do; my fellow Fletcherites — MIB, MALD, LLM, MA, and PhD alike — will certainly corroborate with their own experiences.

It’s the resources, structure and people that allow you to focus on what you want, at the level you want it.  That’s what has has made Fletcher a special and wild journey for me.

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