Vacationing students kept busy on their winter breaks by hosting coffee hours.  Extending the reach of the community, we’re thrilled at how successful the coffee hours have been.  Here are a few reports from the hosts.

MA student Aaron drank coffee in Portland.
I hosted my coffee hour at the Public Domain in Portland, Oregon.  Seeing as how it was on the West Coast of the U.S., some of the folks who attended drove an hour or two to make it, including me.  I was expecting three prospective students, but five showed up and a few folks stopped by my table to check out the brochures and Fletcher name tent I had set up.

The biggest question from my prospective applicants was about the Fletcher “profile.”  Not an easy answer, since I’d say there isn’t one — we’ve got musicians, engineers, athletes, lawyers, military officers, journalists, NGO/Peace Corps volunteers, etc.  Your studies and experience are what count, not where you’re from or what you look like.  Another important point of discussion concerned what people do after Fletcher, and my suggestion was to check the list of Prominent Alumni on Wikipedia — you can get a pretty good idea of the alumni network and career fields, and where you think they fit in with your personal goals.

LLM student Chris drank his coffee in Berlin, Germany.
My coffee hour took place in the center of Berlin, at Café Humboldterrassen overlooking the Berlin Dome and the Museum Island, a UNESCO World Heritage site.  The island’s most famous museum, the Pergamon Museum, shares something important with Fletcher — it was completed in 1933, just when our school was founded.  Three people showed up at the gathering, including Tufts alum.  After a brief introduction, I kicked off the evening with some insights from campus life and what makes our school a very special one.  And to be sure, sitting there, telling the others about Fletcher made me realize once again what an extraordinary experience it is to be part of the Fletcher community.  Where else can you have breakfast with a Pakistani, lunch with a Kenyan, go for dinner with a French student, and party with a Chinese, all while your Australian study group fellow is complaining about the winter weather?

MALD student Kate and MIB student Michael joined forces to drink coffee in Minneapolis.
Kate reports, “We had a great group of engaged, curious prospective students, including a sophomore in college.  Pretty impressive to see a young Fletcherite in training.  I really enjoyed sharing our personal stories about how we chose Fletcher, as it reminded me yet again why this is the place for me. It made me excited and anxious to get back to campus.”

And Michael added that, “Nearly the entire groups of six prospective students stayed for the full two hours.  I’ve fielded several follow-up questions from individuals and have made introductions to other Fletcher students as well.”

Sooyeon met students in Seoul.
I took my laptop with me to the Fletcher Coffee Hour, Seoul edition, half expecting to keep myself busy for the next two hours.  To my pleasant surprise, the first prospective student introduced herself three minutes before the scheduled start time, and five others joined her soon thereafter.  The students didn’t come and go, they came and stayed.  Most of the visitors were in the process of finishing up their application (as the deadline was less than two weeks away), but some were considering applying to Fletcher a year or two in the future. They came with many questions, and as I was sharing my personal experience and views of Fletcher, it was a pleasant reminder to me that Fletcher was where I belonged.  For those who came to learn more about Fletcher, I hope I was able to offer some insights that may not come across while looking at a web page, and I hope they were able to gauge whether Fletcher is a good fit for them.

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