From the monthly archives: December 2011

It appears that Early Notification applicants are getting jittery, wondering where we are in the notification process.  That’s completely understandable, though we tend to figure that, as long as we’re well ahead of our stated January 1 notification date, all is good.

Keeping our feet to the fire are blog-reading detectives who have noticed that last Friday’s Admissions Committee meeting occurred a week later than the similar gathering in 2010, and I want to acknowledge that notification will also be later than it was last year.

Here’s a bit of an explanation.  The EN deadline is always November 15, but Thanksgiving falls at different times in November, as does the last day of Fletcher classes.  We put these and other calendar issues together and come up with a schedule for ourselves.  This year, we were also set back by the off-site meeting that Laurie, Jeff, and Dan are attending this week.  They’ll be back on Wednesday, which is when we’ll start the final-process clean-up work.  So I encourage you to relax.  We’re on a different schedule from last year, but we’re right on track for this year, and you’ll be hearing soon.

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Alas, the fantastic run of the Fletcher Fútbol team came to an end yesterday in a replay of the final game.  The mid-morning start, and holding the game at Tufts, ensured that light on the field wouldn’t be an issue.

Despite freezing temperatures, and final exams knocking at their doors, intrepid fans turned out to cheer for the team.

As I live not far away and had a bit of Sunday morning free time, I decided to swing by the field for a while.  This, I’m afraid, was an unfortunate decision.  When I arrived, toward the end of the first half, the score was tied at 0-0.  But soon the HBS squad managed a goal.  After a brief break, our hardworking athletes returned to the field, only to suffer the surrender of two more goals.  Fearing that I was the problem, I headed home.  From that moment, HBS managed no further goals, and Fletcher scored one.  If only I had left a little sooner!  I’m so sorry Fletcher Fútbol.  I know you could have done it without me.

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If, like me, you’re pursued through elevators, shopping malls and supermarkets (or, in my husband Paul’s case, Tokyo hotels) by an endless loop of holiday songs, you may think that this post’s title refers to snowmen and trappings of the season.  No!  The most wonderful time of the year is….Committee Time!

The Committee on Admissions reviewing fall 2012 applications will meet for the first time today.  The meeting kicks off the part of the year when most (all?) admissions staffers agree we’re doing our most interesting work.  We have three returning student Committee members who will help us train the five new students and three new professors.  The Committee’s task is the same each year, but every group has its own vibe and I’m looking forward to learning what this one is all about.

Time to grab my coffee and head over to the meeting.  It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

Mighty Fletcher Fútbol last night confronted Harvard Business School’s juggernaut of a team, playing to a 1-1 tie before Harvard switched the lights off on them.  LLM student Sevan delivered the crucial goal.  Back at Fletcher, team captain Sebastián updated the community:  “On behalf of the Fútbol team, we want to thank all the fans (100+) who cheered for us tonight.  It was awesome to see you all at the soccer field.”  To the team’s supporters, Elia vows, “Our victory (to come at a later date) will be for you.”

This is the semester’s last week of classes.  Exams loom on the immediate horizon.  But that didn’t stop the Fútbol enthusiasts from working tirelessly to draw their supportive crowd.  There were posters:

(Note the Movember moustaches.  These players excel at more than one game.)

And emails exhorting their classmates to come out and cheer for the team:

We promise you a very exciting game.  We play with the passion of the Colombians, the finesse of the French, the flair of the Italians, the speed of the Afghans, the sacrifice of the U.S. Marines, and so much more.

and, with no shortage of exclamation points:

Our football team, Fletcher Fútbol, have made history!!!  After a grueling season, they made the LEAGUE FINAL!!!!  Standing between them and the championship trophy: Harvard Business School.  Fletcher has never before brought the trophy home!  Therefore, it’s up to us to have a really good turn-out and get behind our heroic boys and girls!!!  Papers and exams are not due for another week. The team have worked their backsides off to get to the final, and it’s a fantastic achievement.  Now, with the full support of the School behind them, we’re going to act as the “12th man” and help them bring the trophy home!

And, finally, more posters:

The date for the tie-breaker game is still TBD.  Can our valiant players bring home the trophy?  Stay tuned, dear blog reader.  Win or lose, with the team’s endless enthusiasm and supportive fan base, how could I not love Fletcher Fútbol?

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I had my reading day at home on Thursday, which was, overall, blissful.  I started off a little slow, but soon got back into a groove and motored through a big pile of applications.  Along the way, I noticed a particular phenomenon that I want to bring to your attention (in order to convince you to avoid it).  I read several applications that included detailed information about the applicant’s job experience — information that, nonetheless, left me in the dark.

If I wanted to, I could be uninformative, too.  For example, instead of wearing down my typing fingers, I could list my employer as “FSLD/TU.”  My résumé could note that I have “transmitted actionable information to customer base via social media.”  Neither is wrong, exactly, but the résumé would be much more helpful if it said that I work at the Fletcher School and I write a blog for the Admissions Office.

When you prepare the résumé to accompany your application, remember that your reader is in a different part of the country/world and works in higher education.  If your organization goes by a name that doesn’t hint at its mission, please give us some clues.  Just a few words (in common English) about what it’s all about will go a long way.  And even if everyone in your industry knows exactly what V2RRX means, when you apply to grad school you’re not writing for people in your industry.  Please provide a hint as to V2RRX’s meaning.

It’s always possible that applicants are trying to obscure the nature of their work, but that wasn’t my assumption on Thursday.  It’s more likely that they didn’t stop to consider that a résumé written for one audience won’t be as useful for others.  If you haven’t yet submitted your application, please be sure that it includes clear information about the nature of your work.

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I don’t usually have a chance to take a full day to read applications at home during our Early Notification review, so today is my lucky day.  All the stars aligned:  a calendar free of appointments and a big box of applications needing attention.  My slippers are on and I’m ready to read!

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