More out-of-class activities

I’ve learned a lot about student organizations from the descriptions students sent me.  (Fletcher Sportsman’s Club — who knew?)  But each of the descriptions leaves me impressed by how much students pack into each semester.  Here’s the second installment of student group descriptions.

Kate was the first of two students to describe the International Development Group:
The International Development Group provides an avenue for students to explore their broad interests in international development.  The club regularly brings in speakers to discuss their varied experiences in the field, in areas such as the non-profit sector, children’s issues, evaluation, microfinance, and public health.  Additionally, we work with the Office of Career Services to connect students with alumni in this sector through panels and networking mixers in Boston, New York, and D.C.

Jacqui provided extra detail on IDG activities:
The International Development Group just hosted a career panel with Boston-based development professionals who gave great advice to students looking to break into the field of international development.  We also have been organizing networking Happy Hours with the development clubs at nearby schools such as Harvard and MIT.  This month, we’ll host an event with several experts to discuss the upcoming independence referendum in southern Sudan.

Since students are interested in a wide range of topics within the microfinance and development venture space and because the Microfinance and Development Venture Capital Network shares some objectives with other student groups, selecting the events on which to spend our limited funds is a challenge.  This year, my club co-president, Kathleen, and I have agreed on the objectives of outreach to professionals in the microfinance/social enterprise field, timely updates on relevant events, and supplementing students’ learning opportunities at Fletcher.  This semester, we heard from Katleen Felix, a director at Haiti’s largest microfinance institution; hosted a panel in which students who interned in the field gave valuable advice and insights on their experiences; and organized a debate on the question of whether it is fair to make a profit off the poor.  We also sent out weekly emails that let club members know about events related to microfinance and social enterprise locally and nationally.  (You’d be surprised how long it takes to compile a good summary — there are so many events in the Boston area alone!)  Next semester, we are planning to organize a social enterprise panel with local entrepreneurs, to hold a discussion on business plan competition best practices, to play a role in organizing the Fletcher School’s Leadership Program for Financial Inclusion, and to hold happy hours.

I’m a regular participant in Fletcher Green.  We are an organization focused primarily on sustainability on campus and in the surrounding community.  Some of Fletcher Green’s members helped bring a speaker to campus who works on renewable energy in Israel-Palestine.  As a result of another effort, Mugar Café now has composting, and we have also pushed to get better recycling facilities in Blakeley Dorm.  I was involved in a weatherization of one of the fraternities on campus (making it more energy efficient) and am trying to organize a weatherization of a Fletcher student house.  We also organized a community canvass to exchange incandescent light bulbs for high-efficiency compact fluorescents, as well as a light bulb exchange in the Hall of Flags.

The Fletcher Sportsman’s Club is a student organization that promotes best practices for clay target shooting.  Our organization engages new shooters as well as offers the opportunity to experienced participants to mingle and network outside school.  We are part of a network of five schools that include Harvard College, Harvard Law, MIT and Northeastern.  Today, we are one of the largest student-run clubs with over 80 members and one of the largest budgets.

Jeffrey, who provided info on two other groups on Tuesday, backs Laurence and adds:
The Fletcher Sportsman’s Club is a great time to (literally) blow off some steam!  We go trap shooting and many of us have never handled a gun before.  Afterwards, we break for some great BBQ (trust me, I’m from the South) and talk about anything non-school-related.

I’ll be back next week with more on student groups!

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