Posts by: Jessica Daniels
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’m 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 résumé 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’s 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 résumé 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’s social life. Whether supporting the Los Fletcheros on Thursday nights at Johnny D’s in Davis Square, attending events organized by the many Fletcher student groups (recent highlight: a lecture titled “Do Human Rights Matter?”), 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 “controlled and happy chaos.”
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’ve 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 Fútbol 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.
November 7 already. How does that happen?
Regardless of the shocking speed at which time passes, only eight days remain before the November 15 Early Notification deadline. So what are we up to? Well, we’re actually still working on getting decisions to those who applied for January enrollment. But tomorrow we’re also meeting for the first time with our new Admissions Committee members and we’ll kick off the process with them. Compared to the number of applications we will receive in January, the EN pool is manageable and creates a good opportunity for training new Committee members (this year: six new students and two new professors) and turning them into expert readers.
The applications for January enrollment were a brief reminder of what our work is all about. Only eight days until we start meeting new members of the class that will start next fall! Exciting!
Dean Stavridis joined us here at Fletcher just last July, and we’ve all been enjoying getting to know him. Lucky for us, our opportunities to learn what he thinks extend beyond meetings or occasional interactions in the Hall of Flags. Here are some sources of info on the Dean:
• An article in Tufts Magazine that was also featured on the Tufts Now site.
• His own blog, “To Know the World,” which also includes videos created in October and September.
• Op-Ed pieces in publications, such as The Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The New York Times, and The Boston Globe.
Tagged with: Dean Stavridis
Christine’s response to a perennially frequently asked question.
A popular question in the inbox this week (and always) is about scholarship aid: who is eligible; how can I apply; how many full tuition scholarships do you have; and are there other financial aid opportunities. I have always been taught that it is not polite to talk about money, but in this case, I will make an exception!
We consider all applicants for Fletcher scholarship awards based on both merit and need. To be considered, you must fill out the Fletcher Scholarship Application, which is included as part of the online application. The more complete your answers to the questions, the better the picture we can get of your individual financial situation. There are no awards based on need alone or on merit alone. And no distinction is made between U.S. and international students when awarding funds.
In addition, some special externally funded scholarships become available throughout the year for enrolled students, and announcements will be made with further instructions on eligibility and application requirements. More information on these scholarships can be found here.
As for full-tuition scholarships, while they are offered relatively rarely, they have been granted to the most outstanding candidates, also based on a combination of merit and need. Emphasis is placed on candidates who exhibit exceptional academic achievement and a strong commitment to the field of international affairs. Both international and U.S. students are eligible.
In addition to scholarships offered by Fletcher, U.S. citizens and permanent residents can apply for loans and work-study funds. These awards are determined by the university’s Student Financial Services office, based on the FAFSA.
Besides scholarships and loans, there are also opportunities for students to work on campus during their time here. The great thing about Fletcher being a part of the larger Tufts University community is that students can work within a Fletcher department (for example, Admissions!) or find something that suits them better elsewhere on the Tufts campus. Campus employment is a great way to help finance your education or earn some pocket money for a night out in Boston!
In addition to office work, there is the also the possibility of becoming a teaching assistant or research assistant. Opportunities for teaching assistants can be found both at Tufts Arts and Sciences departments such as political science, economics and history, and also here at Fletcher. It is very unusual for students to be hired as teaching assistants in their first semester, but they have more opportunities in the second and later semesters.
We understand that graduate school is as much a financial investment as it is a professional one. Fletcher scholarships are offered to as many students as possible to help meet the cost of attending graduate school, but nearly all students identify other sources of funding beyond the scholarship, such as savings, loans, family contributions, and income from campus work. Following graduation, the Tufts University Loan Repayment Assistance Program can be a source of further assistance.
Financial aid is a key consideration for most of our applicants. For further questions, please contact us by email or phone to +1.617.627.3040.
Tagged with: Consult Christine
Returning to the second-year student bloggers, we pick up Scott’s story as he considers the post-Fletcher future that awaits him after graduation next May. As you’ll read, to Scott’s surprise, the learning and exposure he gained at Fletcher have caused him to reconsider his planned career path.
It’s interesting being a graduate student (and the ripe age of 32) and confused about the type of work I want to do after Fletcher. I came in with a very set plan: to use the Master of International Business (MIB) program to transition from the global health sector to the field of international economic development, by filling gaps resulting from my lack of work in the private sector. I was focused on international organizations, such as the World Bank, or consulting firms that would value my non-profit work and mindset but would also (thanks to the MIB program) be confident in my abilities to understand financial markets.
Fletcher offered me the chance to meet and listen to many individuals who worked at the organizations I had originally targeted. Unfortunately, around February of last year, after multiple career panels, information sessions, and my own research, I started to question whether this career track would be the right fit for me. At the same time, I was enjoying all my business courses and dissecting cases — especially within the areas of strategy and business development.
Coming to this realization in February/March was a problem because I had to completely switch my internship search, and by the time I did, most of the internships I had pinpointed were already filled. I made the best of this situation by taking a position in May that was similar to my previous work (but was salary based — always a good thing) and then took the remainder of the summer to do something very exciting. I used the time to cycle across the US — from the west coast of Oregon to New York City — raising funds for the charity run by one of my best friends from college, the Ace in the Hole Foundation. (If interested in that journey, you can read about it here.) It was the experience of a lifetime, but it didn’t boost my future job search the way a summer internship could have.
Which leads me to where I am in the first semester of my second year at Fletcher. I have decided to cast a wide net and to try to meet with as many people as possible this fall, to help focus my job search, which should start this winter. I have learned a lot already, namely that I’d love to focus on technology, health/wellness, and, if possible, to work at a start up or even start a venture of my own. My current classes — Starting New Ventures, at Fletcher, and Strategy and Technology, at Harvard Business School — definitely have had an influence on my current thinking, but I’m also continuing to speak with individuals outside of that realm. Making up for lost time last summer, I also have an internship in downtown Boston at a hybrid venture capital and creative agency, which has given me exposure to multiple industries that could interest me.
With these commitments, and a couple more classes, I have found myself busy. It’s a different kind of busy than my first year, when most of my time went into tough, but great, classes. As a second-year MIB student, I have completed the program’s core courses and I have the flexibility to choose classes that allow me explore new avenues. I’m actually excited for the whole process, even if it will be a challenge.
Tagged with: Student Stories
I truly had planned to write about admissions related topics today but, like so many local folks, I’m bleary eyed from staying up late watching the Boston Red Sox, our local baseball team, win the World Series, professional baseball’s championship. How could I ignore such an important event in our home town?
Boston (and we often say “Boston” when we mean the city and the surrounding area) is a sports town. People are passionate about their teams and, for the past 15 years or so, there has been a lot (Patriots! Celtics! Bruins!) to be passionate about. In 2004, the Red Sox ended decades of futility and won the World Series for the first time since 1918, and the team repeated as champs in 2007.
In 2012, though, the team was dismal (DISMAL!), crumbling into last place. Big surprise for everyone when the 2013 line-up, composed primarily of good, but not superstar, players, finishes first in the league and then prevails in the playoffs. We love this stuff! And what could be better than having the team led by the inspirational pep-talks and smoking-hot bat of fan favorite David Ortiz. Topping it all off, the Red Sox have a recent tradition of charming the fans (and annoying the rest of the country) with some team-bonding exercise or other, which this year took the form of beards. Crazy beards.
Best of all, the Sox won the championship at home — Boston’s beloved Fenway Park. Tucked into the heart of the city and smaller than most modern ball parks, Fenway is a museum of baseball history where the Sox hadn’t won the World Series since 1918, the 2004 and 2007 victories having taken place at the opponent’s home field.
Grasping for a Fletcher-friendly international theme to today’s post (beyond the obvious meaninglessness of the “world” in World Series), I’ll add that the Red Sox, like most teams, have an international roster (including the amazing closing pitcher Koji Uehara). It’s a team that’s easy to like, even for a native New Yorker like me.
So, hooray for the Red Sox! Admissions topics will wait one more day.
Yesterday was fun. After the fair at Bowdoin, I joined about ten students and a rep from the career office for dinner and conversation. I’m hitting the road now, directly back to Fletcher, where Kristen and I are going to hold an information session for Tufts undergrads. Back to more varied blog topics on Thursday. Meanwhile, here are some pix from Bates and Bowdoin.
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