Posts by: Jessica Daniels
What‚Äôs in a name?¬† A lot, if you are on the receiving end of thousands of transcripts, emails, and applications every year!¬† For this week‚Äôs blog post, I want to focus on the importance of name consistency with your application.
Your name is your own.¬† It is what distinguishes you from everyone else.¬† It has special family meaning.¬† It is your legacy.¬† It is also what ties all your application materials together into one nice package.¬† Therefore, it is important that you keep your name consistent for all parts of the application.
Starting with email correspondence to the office in your early stages of graduate school inquiries, make sure to include your full name as it will appear on the application.¬† Then when taking the GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, etc., please use the same name format you will on your application.¬† This is very important, and saves a lot of confusion when it comes to processing applications, and that is good news for both you and us.¬† Finally, on the application itself, continue to use the same name.¬† When we go to pull your materials together, it will make me and all our student interns infinitely happier if we have all your items together!
In addition to people who use different versions of their name in different settings, there are also people who changed their name (usually due to marriage) in the years between their undergraduate studies and their Fletcher application.¬† If you’re one of them, please make us aware of the name change!
So while I may want to go by ‚ÄúChris‚ÄĚ or ‚ÄúTine‚ÄĚ (I don‚Äôt) in my informal correspondence, when it comes to formal graduate school applications, I will stick with my given name.
If you’re unsure what to do, just remember to keep it consistent!
For name-related questions and other queries, email us or call us at +1.617.627.3040.
Tagged with: Consult Christine
Some of you have already submitted an application, while others are just starting to put the pieces together.¬† No matter where you are in your application process, you may have questions.¬† So that the Blog can best answer those questions, please send them along.¬† Complete this incredibly-quick one-question survey, and between student writers, Consult Christine, and me, we’ll get you some answers!
Many Fletcher student clubs and organizations are designed purely with fun in mind.¬† Case in point:¬† Fermentation 101.¬† But most students will also connect with an organization that links to their academic interests.¬† Today, second-year MALD student, Dara, tells us about her work with an activity that goes beyond the walls of Fletcher.
Like many volunteers, I became involved with the Tufts University Refugee Assistance Program (TU-RAP) in my first year at Fletcher because of my general interest in refugee issues.¬† TU-RAP pairs newly arrived refugee families in the Boston area with groups of Tufts University students.¬† The students visit the families’ homes regularly to lend a hand with anything the family members may need to orient themselves to life in the United States.¬† I learned that this may include assisting with bill paying, helping children with homework, practicing English, or teaching the family how to use public transportation.
Aware that refugees can experience a great deal of difficulty assimilating into a new life and culture, I was really excited to join the program as a volunteer.¬† My group was paired with a small family from Chad: a father (Caleb), mother, and a newly born, beautiful little girl.¬† While the family spoke very little English, luckily two members of the volunteer group spoke moderate French.¬† After being cut off from the support of their resettlement agency, and with the father unable to work due to a medical condition, the family was having a hard time meeting their basic needs.¬† Fortunately, they received government food assistance and were permitted to stay free of charge in an apartment.¬† All other material necessities such as diapers and transportation fees were hard to obtain, though.
Despite their difficulties, the family did the utmost to welcome us into their home.¬† Each time we visited, we were provided with fresh fruit, soda and water.¬† While there was not much we could do to help Caleb find a job, because of his condition, we did what we could.¬† We practiced English with the family, helped them sort through mail, and brought over a French driving manual in preparation for Caleb‚Äôs road test.¬† Once, we even helped to read and translate documents to enroll the family in health insurance.¬† Completing the enrollment paperwork took the entire visit, but it was very rewarding to be able to help with something they needed so much.
While I‚Äôm sure our assistance really benefited the family, I think we as volunteers gained the most from the experience.¬† Having a close-up look at the difficulties refugees face gave us an awareness of the gravity of the problem, and helped us to appreciate the conveniences of our own lives.¬† What really affected me was how this family — completely uprooted from their country, isolated from their relatives, and placed in a foreign country where they neither speak the language nor know the culture — remains positive.¬† Until this day, I speak often to my Chadian family and am happy to know that they consider me a friend.¬† For me, TU-RAP has been a life changing experience.¬† For that reason, I joined TU-RAP leadership this year to ensure that more students and refugees in need benefit from this program.
Tagged with: Outside the classroom
I’ve let a month slip by since I introduced the first member of the Class of 2008 to be profiled.¬† Continuing with the updates from this class who graduated just over five years ago, let me introduce Carmen Arce-Bowen.¬† I can remember working with Carmen during her application process, so it’s amazing to me that it has already been five years since she was at Fletcher!
I have always been very interested in learning about other cultures, their traditions, their food, their history and their language.¬† I come from a medium-sized town in Northern Mexico.¬† Most of our exposure to other cultures is only to the U.S., because of our proximity to it.
I was part of the Rotary Club Youth Exchange program after I graduated from high school.¬† I spent a year in Germany learning its culture and language.¬† This experience definitely solidified my desire to live in another country and be part of a multicultural and transnational community.¬† After my year in Germany, I returned to Guadalajara, Mexico to study law in a five-year undergraduate program.¬† While studying there, I met my now husband ‚Ä¶ who happened to be from Massachusetts!¬† We got engaged during my last year of law school and moved to Boston in the summer of 2005.
While in school in Mexico, I interned at the Economic/International agency of the state, at the National Immigration Institute, and at a local law firm.¬† At that time I wanted to study law in the U.S. to become an immigration law attorney and work with the Latino community.
I applied to LL.M. programs and to Fletcher, hoping eventually to complete both programs.¬† I learned about Fletcher from a good friend of my husband who had graduated just a few years before.¬† I was admitted to two¬†LL.M. programs, but not to Fletcher.¬† I decided to attend one of the¬†LL.M. programs and re-apply to Fletcher the following year.¬† I wanted to study policy and development, and take a more macro-level approach to immigration and other economic and social development issues.¬† Fletcher was my top and only choice for a policy graduate program.
I started the MALD program in the summer of 2006.¬† My Fields of Study were Development Economics and Latin America.¬† I interned at a local international development agency called Grassroots International for a summer and throughout one academic year.
My experience at Fletcher was an intense and very rewarding one.¬† Classes were definitely challenging, with all sorts of assignments, mid-terms and presentations.¬† But sometimes I just couldn‚Äôt believe that I had the opportunity to simply hang out and chat with my classmates (and professors) — all well-rounded, down-to-earth, smart people.¬† We came from different paths in life, but we all had the same desire to learn and change the world.
During my second year, I became president of the Latin America club.¬† We organized 10+ events with a budget of $500!¬† One of the events included all the Latin American consuls in the Boston area.¬† The consuls were grateful for this invitation and said that it was not very often they happened to be in the same room together.
Right after graduation, I worked for three years at a local non-profit organization doing economic and social development work.¬† We organized revenue campaigns, and trained grassroots groups on the importance of civic engagement, on government transparency, and on tax revenues in the state.¬† I did it all, from talking to the media, to training members of local unions, to writing blogs, to drafting grant proposals and grant reports.¬† I was also very involved locally in three nonprofit boards and as a member of the Commission on the Status of Women.¬† Networking has definitely been a key part of my professional development in Boston.
Two years ago, I came to work in the office of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick as Director of Personnel and Administration.¬† ¬†In the personnel office we oversee applications for justices of the peace, notaries public, and public administrators in the state, along with one-day marriage designations.¬† We also oversee the internship program for our office and run background checks on all high level managerial hires in the state.
My experience at Fletcher was one of the most rewarding of my life.¬† It shaped how I see the world, how I interact with my colleagues, and how I see life through the lens of global understanding.¬† I can only hope that I can pass all this experience to my three-year-old daughter ‚Äď who hopefully will become a Fletcherite, too!
The Early Notification deadline was Friday, and we are well into the process of compiling and reviewing applications.¬† Now that most applicants submit scanned copies of their transcripts, compiling the application generally requires only that we connect test scores and interview reports with the materials that are submitted online.¬† We should easily keep up with the applications that come through each day and, by the end of this week, everyone should be able to log into GAMS and find good information on what items, if any, are missing.
But this simple description of the process ignores one important part of the application, which is recommendations.¬† Because most applicants ask their recommenders to submit their letters online, the applications emerge from the system with recommendations included.¬† On the flip side, if any of your recommenders don’t submit their letters, your application will be stuck in the system, waiting for the letter to be attached.
For EN applicants, that means that your next step is to ensure your recommenders have submitted their letters.¬† If not, a gentle reminder is warrented.¬† The EN review period is short, and incomplete applications will be reviewed after January.¬† That’s not a terrible outcome, but it’s surely not what you intended.
Tagged with: Recommendations
This time, Christine isn’t exactly answering a question she has been asked.¬† More like she’s answering a question that she wants you to ask.
While the semester seems to be flying by, we still have a few more weeks of information sessions, visit events, and interviews before the January 10 deadline!¬† One of our additional special offerings is ‚ÄúCoffee with a Student,‚ÄĚ¬† which allows prospective applicants the opportunity to chat informally with a current student about anything from classes, to life in grad school, to internships and other topics.¬† Nothing is off the table!¬† And the best part?¬† You get a free cup of coffee (or tea, for people like me!).¬† So while you plan your visit to The Fletcher School, consider dropping in for one of our three weekly Coffee with a Student sessions:
Mondays, 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
Wednesdays, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.
Fridays, 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
You do not need to register for Coffee with a Student, but you should stop by the Admissions Office to check in and we will guide you from there.
We hope you can join us!
As always, for questions please call us at +1.617.627.3040 or email us.
Tagged with: Consult Christine
My second-year student bloggers are busy people.¬† We last heard from Mirza in the summer, when he reported on his internship.¬† Today’s post will give readers a very good sense of why this is the first time we’re hearing from him since classes began this semester.
After some months of silence, I am happy to be writing again for the Admissions Blog.¬† My silence has been rooted in several factors: 1) Dealing with a busy academic schedule (nothing new at Fletcher); 2) Balancing a couple of paid job positions with my academic schedule; and 3) Attempting to be a responsible second-year student and remain fully engaged in the Fletcher community.¬† The first two months of my second year indeed proved to be quite chaotic, but I would describe this as controlled and happy chaos.¬† For me at least, the self-awareness that I am successfully managing my own Fletcher chaos seems to be the biggest difference between the two years thus far.
One striking change that I‚Äôm noticing as a second-year student is that I feel significantly more grounded as a member of the Fletcher community than I did last year.¬† I have come to understand more clearly who I am at Fletcher; what Fletcher and the people here can offer me and what I can offer them; when to say yes and when to say no to various events and social activities; how to assess my personal opportunity costs (chatting with a friend in the Hall of Flags for 15 minutes or spending those 15 minutes answering emails — the former increasingly taking precedence over the latter); and how to take advantage of this special time in my life to the fullest extent possible.¬† Having spent the summer back in the working world, this last point has been especially resonant.
This is not to say that the first year at Fletcher is less meaningful, but simply that by the time the second year rolls around, one is likely to have gained a better understanding of the nuts and bolts of this rich community.¬† One will also have figured out how to perform most effectively and efficiently in the general chaos that is graduate school.¬† For me, this meant becoming more strategic with my time.¬† While I have four paid jobs this semester, they each play an important role in enhancing my¬†r√©sum√© with relevant skills.¬† A good amount of my work responsibilities have also directly complemented my academic coursework, thus bringing my overall learning into a cohesive whole.¬† For example, as an Academic Technology Fellow at Tufts University‚Äôs Educational and Scholarly Technology Services, I have been exposed to numerous web-based learning platforms and tools that have nicely complemented my coursework in a Harvard Education School course on education and technology.¬† My role as Business Director for The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs, on the other hand, has provided me with an opportunity to put into practice some of the skills acquired in my marketing and entrepreneurship courses at Fletcher.¬† Together, these connected experiences will allow me to tell a rounded story in my cover letter and r√©sum√© when it is time to jump into the post-Fletcher job hunt.
I have also really embraced what most Fletcher students would identify as the essential component of the Fletcher experience: our lively and passionate community.¬† So, besides academic and work obligations, I have tried to stay very active in Fletcher‚Äôs social life.¬† Whether supporting the Los Fletcheros on Thursday nights at Johnny D‚Äôs in Davis Square, attending events organized by the many Fletcher student groups (recent highlight: a lecture titled ‚ÄúDo Human Rights Matter?‚ÄĚ), driving to Cape Cod with my classmates for Prof. Hess’s annual barbeque picnic, engaging in (somewhat) heated debates on the Social List, group-biking from Fletcher to Harvard, or offering to be a second-year buddy to a first-year student, I have become truly connected to and inspired by the multifaceted world of Fletcher.¬† Many of the people I have met here over the last year will undoubtedly play an important role in my post-graduation life, and these tight-knit social networks — strengthened through shared experiences in and outside of classroom — are what make Fletcher such a unique place.¬† Understanding how to balance this cornerstone of the Fletcher experience with my academic, work, and personal responsibilities has been an important accomplishment for me in my second year of graduate school, and has accordingly led to the aforementioned comfort of a ‚Äúcontrolled and happy chaos.‚ÄĚ
Tagged with: Student Stories
We tinkered with our application essays this year.¬† Our intention was to ensure applicants would provide the information we need in the personal statement (Essay 1).¬† The unintended result is that we’re hearing a lot of questions about Essay 2.¬† For those of you who haven’t started the application yet, Essay 2 asks:
Share something about yourself to help the Committee on Admissions
develop a more complete picture of who you are.¬† (500 words, maximum)
What applicants are asking is what, exactly, we really want them to tell us in answer to Essay 2.¬† The implication of their question is that we’ve left the question too structureless.
As I’m sure savvy blog readers would expect, I’m going to tell you that there’s no correct or expected answer to the essay question.¬† And I’d understand if you roll your eyes while muttering blah, blah, blah in your heads.¬† But it’s true:¬† there’s no correct or expected answer to the essay question.
Still aiming to be helpful, I’ll suggest, instead, a way of approaching the essay.¬† Think about the information you have provided in your application through all its parts.¬† What dimension of you/your background might you still want to share?¬† That is, don’t view the essay as a throw-away, and use it to fill in some gaps left after the rest of the application is complete.
Elaborate on your international experience.¬† Share your thoughts on leadership.¬† Talk about your hobbies (assuming there’s a link to your international affairs interests).¬† Describe a challenge you have faced.¬† Tell us how you needed to learn Spanish to speak to your rescue dog.¬† Describe the importance of community to you.¬† Tell us how your family upbringing made you the person you are.¬† Provide more detail on the origins of your interest in international affairs.¬† Write about your quest to cook the perfect dish from a country you love.¬† Any of these approaches (and many, many others!) would be a nice addition to an application.
In past years, we’ve used essay prompts that resulted in a few interesting responses and a zillion similar ones.¬† When we asked applicants to describe an item of particular importance to them, nearly all the responses were:¬† passport, bookcase full of IR books, hiking boots, or backpack.¬† We moved away from questions that draw such responses because we really want to know about you — not about what you think we want to know about you.
So, friendly applicants, choose a subject that boosts your application and go for it.¬† There’s no correct or expected answer to Essay 2, and we’ll enjoy learning about what’s important to you.
With students from around the world, the Fletcher community acts quickly in response to regional disasters.¬† Since Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda struck the Philippines, students have started to organize fund-raising activities, and I’m sure we’ll have details on their plans this week.
Meanwhile, readers might be interested in the work of a graduate of Fletcher’s PhD program, Patrick Meier.¬† Through a current student, Patrick sent this message to the community over the weekend:
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs just activated the Digital Humanitarian Network (DHN) in response to Typhoon Yolanda, which has already been described as possibly one of the strongest Category 5 storms in history.¬† The Standby Volunteer Task Force (SBTF) was in turn activated by the DHN to carry out a rapid needs and damage assessment by tagging reports posted to social media.¬† So colleagues and I have launched MicroMappers in partnership with the SBTF to micro-task the tagging of tweets.¬† We need all the help we can get given the volume we‚Äôve collected (and are continuing to collect).¬† This is where you come in!
In short, Patrick is part of team that is calling on individuals to monitor posts to social media as a means of determining where need is greatest in typhoon-struck areas of the Philippines.¬† He has asked Fletcher students to jump in and help.¬† Blog readers are also invited to be part of this effort.¬† Details , as well as a live crisis map, can be found on Patrick’s blog.
With apologies for taking so long to put this together, please meet the remaining three of our Admissions student interns, who work alongside Daniel, Emma, and Rebekah.
Ayako:¬† I am a second-year MALD student from Tokyo, Japan.¬† I’m a “career-changer” at Fletcher; my Fields of Studies are International Political Economy and Human Security.¬† I studied economics and music at Wellesley College for my undergraduate, and then worked for four years at Morgan Stanley’s equity research division covering Japanese financial institutions.¬† I spent the past summer in Lahore and Islamabad, Pakistan, working for Aghaaz Leadership Labs, an NGO based in Pakistan.¬† I interviewed entrepreneurs (with more focus on female entrepreneurs) to explore the opportunities and constraints that they face in Pakistan, in order to draft an analysis report.
Having only one more year at Fletcher, I’m trying to make the most out of the opportunity here — auditing classes, attending on and off-campus lectures and events, taking advantage of Boston’s finest art scene (Boston Symphony Orchestra, Museum of Fine Arts and many others!).¬† I’m excited to be working here to answer any questions or concerns that you may have!
Juanita:¬† Hi everyone!¬† I am a second-year MALD studying international business and international negotiation.¬† My interest in international business stems from my experience as a student strategy consultant for a Field Studies in Global Consulting course that I completed during my first year of study at Fletcher.¬† During this course, my teammates and I were able to gain real-world experience as we developed an international partnership engagement strategy for our client.¬† This experience not only allowed me to develop invaluable skills that I will surely use long after I leave Fletcher, but it also allowed me to refocus my coursework and internship experiences as I prepared for my second year, and my career after Fletcher.
While my future aspirations of working at the nexus of international business strategy and strategic partnerships differ from my pre-Fletcher experiences, the Fletcher School has served as an incubator by providing me with exposure to this industry through my classmates, courses, and career services.¬† I look forward to helping you all navigate the admissions process, and answering any questions that you may have about being a “career changer” at the Fletcher School!
Kiyomi:¬† Hello there!¬† I am a first-year MIB student focusing in Strategic Management and International Consultancy and am interested in understanding market-based approaches to social change.
Like many Fletcher students, its not so easy to say where I’m “from.”¬† I grew up in both LA and the Boston area then attended the University of Miami, where I received a degree in communications.¬† After college I worked in consumer banking and private wealth management in the Boston and the Bay areas before leaving corporate America behind to spend time in Latin America.
Immediately before Fletcher I was implementing micro-credit programs as a Kiva Fellow in Mexico and Colombia, and worked with a social start-up in Medellin developing social impact bond initiatives in Latin America.
Outside of my busy school schedule and time as an Admissions Intern, I am a member of the Fletcher F√ļtbol team and Fletcher Net Impact.¬† For fun I am always looking for more soccer games to play, trying to catch a Football game (Go Pats!), and of course hanging with my wonderful and amazing classmates.
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