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Every year I introduce our new graduate assistants, and I write posts as needed about new staff members.  But I generally (and inexcusably) neglect to tell you about the long-time staff.  In fact, you may be wondering whom I’m referring to when I mention Liz or Kristen, or another of my Admissions pals.  Today I’ll fix that.  Note that all of us do a little of everything, but each of us has greater responsibility for certain projects or programs.  My introductions focus on the activities that distinguish us from each other.  With that, please meet us!

In alpha order, we have:

Dan
Dan may be best known to blog readers as the human friend of Murray, our canine pal, but even more noteworthy is that Dan is the lone Fletcher graduate among us.  He had previously worked in international education, and a post-MALD position in Fletcher Admissions was a natural for him.  Dan is also the Admissions liaison to the LLM program.  He reads LLM applications and works with the program staff throughout the application process.

 

 

 

 


Jessica

Jessica is me!  In addition to the blog, I’m the Admissions link to the PhD program.  Anything else you might need to know about me has turned up in some past post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kristen
Kristen is unlike the other members of the staff in that her desk is not within the Admissions Office.  She’s upstairs with other folks working on Fletcher’s business programs, reflecting her dual-focus.  Like the rest of us, she does a little of everything, but she manages the Admissions process for the MIB program, and also oversees some content aspects of the program itself.

 

 

 

 

 

Laurie
Laurie is the director of Admissions (the assistant dean, to be precise) and naturally she has a hand in everything.  Laurie doesn’t have a Fletcher degree, but she’s still a double Jumbo, with undergraduate and graduate degrees from Tufts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Liz
You’ll hear from Liz if you have sent us a question about the May Your Future pathway to admission to the MALD or MIB program.  And once MYF applicants have been admitted, it’s Liz who provides them with a pre-enrollment Fletcher community.  Liz is also the master-organizer for our fall visit days and spring open houses.

 

 

 

 

 


Lucas

Lucas oversees our Slate application system with zen-like calm.  No matter what crazy request we make, he’s likely to make it happen.  The interview program took a step into the 21st century this year when Lucas created a mechanism for our volunteer interviewers to receive reminders and for them to file their reports directly into Slate.  It’s a behind-the-scenes change, but if you participated in an interview, you benefited from his work.

 

 

 

 

 

Marquita
Marquita is the newest member of the Admissions Staff and anyone who visits will find her out front in the office.  We gave her a couple of months to learn everything she would need to know about Fletcher, and then we passed her the task of organizing the winter break coffee hours.  Apparently, details do not faze Marquita.

 

 

 

 

 

And that’s the Admissions team.  You don’t need to worry about keeping track of who does what, but I hope this makes it clearer why you’re hearing from one of us rather than another.

 

The Admissions Office wasn’t closed last week, but it was a lonely place for Marquita, who was keeping everything going.  We’re back today and ready to take your questions ahead of the January 10 deadline.  Send us an email, give us a call, or participate in our online chat on Thursday.  We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Please note that the Admissions Office, and the rest of Fletcher and Tufts University, will be closed today and tomorrow (Tuesday) for the Christmas holiday.  We’ll also be closed on Friday and on Monday, January 1, for the New Year’s holiday.

If you have questions on any of these days when the Admissions Office is closed, please feel free to send them by email.  We’ll respond as soon as we can.

I wish all the readers of the Admissions Blog happy holidays and a happy and healthy start to 2018!

 

Rather than wait until the Admissions Office is already closed for the holidays, I thought I’d highlight our schedule and some key dates coming up in the next few weeks.   This week, of course, there’s tomorrow’s December 20 “odd couple” MYF and PhD application deadline.  Our staff is here to answer your questions!  Send them along.  (If your question is what time on December 20 you need to submit the application, the answer is no later than 11:59 p.m. EST (UTC-5).)

Then, the University will be closed on:
Monday, December 25
Tuesday, December 26
Friday, December 29
Monday, January 1

On the 27th and 28th, Marquita will be here to take your calls and emails.  The rest of the staff will return on or around January 2.  That will give us plenty of time to reconnect with applicants aiming for the January 10 deadline.  Note that those who are still working on their applications can take advantage of a pre-deadline online chat on January 4.  Sign up here to ask your questions, or — sometimes even more helpful — to hear the questions of others.

 

Twice a year, we’re lucky to be able to connect prospective students with current students over a cup of coffee in a city near you.  How does this happen?  We ask students to volunteer, and they do!  Once they have pinned down a date and location, we’re in business.  As of today, the cities in which we’ll offer coffee hours is:

Abu Dhabi, UAE
Amman, Jordan
Ann Arbor, MI
Atlanta, GA
Bogotá, Colombia
Boston, MA
Chapel Hill, NC
Chicago, IL
Cleveland, OH
Dallas, TX
Dubai, UAE
Dublin, Ireland
Geneva, Switzerland
Hanover, Germany
Havana, Cuba
Islamabad, Pakistan
Karachi, Pakistan
Kathmandu, Nepal
Kuwait City, Kuwait
Los Angeles, CA
Mexico City, Mexico
Minneapolis, MN
Mumbai, India
New Delhi, India
New York, NY
Norfolk, VA
Phoenix, AZ
San Antonio, TX
San Francisco, CA
Seattle, WA
Seoul, South Korea
Taipei, Taiwan
Tbilisi, Georgia
Tokyo, Japan
Toronto, Canada
Washington, DC

There’s a good chance that more locations and dates will be added.  You can learn more here and sign up here.  (Filter for “off-campus events.”)  Don’t leave our students sitting by themselves in a café!  Join them, and other prospective students, for coffee/tea/whatever and a chat!

 

This is one of those weeks that most clearly brings home that we are a single Admissions Office in the middle of several admissions cycles.  Our newest Januarians are preparing for Orientation in just over a month.  The majority of our September 2018 applicants are completing their applications before our January 10 deadline.  Applicants to the PhD program and MYF pathway to the MALD or MIB are six days out from their December 20 deadline.  And earlier this week we released decisions on our Early Notification (EN) applications for September 2018 enrollment.

To those EN applicants who were admitted, congratulations!  Learning in December that you have been admitted is a great opportunity to plan for your graduate studies.  Some of you have already sent questions to the Admissions email, and we’ll be getting back to you, as well as reaching out to everyone else who was admitted.  We enjoy the opportunity to work with some real live admitted students while we’re also reading applications.

Today, though, a few words for those who weren’t admitted.  To those who were denied admission, please let me say that we’re sorry to make these decisions, but we hope it will help you craft your strategy on where to apply in January.  Later in the spring, you will also be welcome to request feedback on your application.

This post is really for those applicants whose applications were deferred for review in the spring, a good news/bad news situation.  We know that you didn’t submit an application in November in hopes of waiting until March for a decision.  On the other hand, you have the opportunity to update us on your application during the next few months.  If you choose the right update, it can be the difference between bad news and good news in March.

As I’m sure you can imagine, we’re not asking to be flooded with extra information, but here are suggestions of what we’d like to see:

  • An updated transcript that reflects grades received since you submitted your application;
  • New standardized exam (GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, IELTS) score reports;
  • A revised résumé that includes information on a new job position;
  • An additional recommendation that sheds light on an aspect of your background you weren’t able to illuminate in other parts of the application.

Updating your application is strictly optional, but I’d encourage you to think through whether you have something useful to add.  And in that case, don’t turn down the opportunity!

What should you update? Well, you probably (in your heart of hearts) can identify the weaker areas of your application.  That’s where you should focus.  Are there any documents, or is there anything extra that you can say, that will help us to understand or interpret the weak points in your application?  If so, go ahead and update.  For example, did you decide it would be better not to mention the causes of your weak undergraduate semester?  I’d encourage you to explain it, particularly if it pulled down your overall GPA.  Did you indicate that your language skills are not strong enough to pass our proficiency exam?  Send us information on your plan for achieving proficiency before the end of the summer.  Did you mistype your years of employment at a certain job, making it look like you were there for two months, rather than four years and two months?  You can make that correction now.  And, if your GRE/GMAT scores were significantly lower than you expected, you may want to take the test again.  Note here that I’m not telling you to take the standardized exam again.  I’m encouraging you to review your credentials and make that decision for yourself.  The same is true for your TOEFL/IELTS.  If your scores are low, but you have continued to study English since your first test date, it could be worth it to retest.  Give it some thought.

Another suggestion:  If, upon reflection, your essay didn’t state your goals as clearly as you would have liked, send us a clarifying email!  We won’t substitute it for your personal statement, but it will certainly be reviewed.  This could be particularly helpful if you’ve taken steps to learn more about your ultimate career goal.

Possible additions to your application need not be limited to what I’ve listed above.  The key question to ask yourself is:  Does this actually add anything?  If the information is already included in your application, then there’s there’s not much value in sending it again.  An additional academic recommendation will add little to an application that already includes two.  On the other hand, a professional recommendation will add a lot to an application that only includes academic recommendations.  Think it through before you flood us with info, but don’t hesitate to send something that will give your application a happy bump.

Whether you were offered admission this week, or you were told we’ll reconsider your application in the spring, we look forward to hearing from you and to working with you during the coming months.  Please be sure to contact us with your questions.

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This has been a nice week, but not a productive week for blogging.  One thing or another got in the way of my pulling together some meaningful posts.  And now it’s that happy day in the fall semester when the MALD/MA Admissions Committee will first meet, leaving me no time for a lengthy post today, either.  I have high hopes for next week.

Today’s Admissions Committee meeting will bring the students, professors, and staff reading MALD and MA applications together for the first time.  All the students have read a nice batch of applications, but hearing the perspectives of others will broaden their perspectives.  Same for the faculty members.

In case you’re wondering, the MIB and LLM committees meet separately and, I think, may even have met already this week.

On the very same day when we will take the earliest steps toward admitting the incoming class for September, we’ll be saying farewell to the Januarians who started at Fletcher in January 2016.  Though they still have finals in front of them, a ceremony this afternoon will recognize this tight-knit class.  There are some active members of the community in this group, and we’ll miss them.  Here they are, with the dean.

Now I’m going to grab the coffee we’ll serve to keep everyone perky during the four-hour discussion, and I’ll head over to the meeting.  Committee meetings are an absolute highlight of my work, and I’m looking forward to jumping right in.

 

We reckon that 65 person-meals were served at our house between Thursday dinner and Saturday lunch.  Since one of those meals (Saturday breakfast) was for only three of us, that leaves a lot of busy raucous events.  No wonder, then, that I’m happy to be quietly reading applications at home today.  Warmly (but presentably) attired in fleece and slippers, I’m settled into my kitchen work station with a steady flow of hot beverages.

It’s not only the tea/mint tea/coffee that keeps me going!  Some really wonderful applicants are passing my way: Lots of strong students with interesting experience (including an unusual confluence of applications indicating study abroad in Argentina!).

Most members of the Admissions staff will take a day to read Early Notification applications this week, but we still have a lot going on in the office.  In addition to a thank-you lunch for our volunteer interviewers, we’re offering several virtual information sessions this week and next.  And even as we’re plowing through the EN applications, we’re less than a month from the December 20 deadline for PhD and Map Your Future applications.

Back to work for me.  I still have hours of reading in front of me today, punctuated by occasional brisk walks around the house to stay focused.

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The Early Notification deadline was only last Wednesday, but I feel like we’re already deep in the application review process.  Our student Admissions Committee members dove into reading over the weekend, and now the burden is on the staff to follow-up.  I’m planning to read applications at home on Monday, which will be a treat.  Decisions will be sent to applicants before the end of December.

One question that has come up a few times regards submitting the scholarship form.  You may already have submitted it with your Early Notification application, but if you didn’t, you’ll want to send it along by the deadline of January 10.  In fact, there’s no reason why you can’t (or shouldn’t) complete it and submit it today.  But if you’re not going to do that, stick a reminder in your calendar so that you don’t need to call us in a panic on January 10.

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Our friend and Admissions Canine Representative, Murray, is all dressed up and looking forward to reading applications for September 2018 enrollment, some of which have already arrived or will arrive today before our Early Notification deadline.  (As usual, Murray reminds you that the ultimate last minute for submitting the application is 11:59 PM EST (UTC-4) today, November 15.)

We have our Admissions Committee — including ten new student members (two for MIB, eight for MALD/MA) — ready to start their reading, and we’ll be meeting early in December.  The turnaround is pretty quick on Early Notification applications.  Everyone with a complete application will hear from us before the end of December.

That speedy process means that, if you’re one of the EN applicants, you should make sure all needed materials reach us very soon.  All the basics (form, essays, transcripts) should be submitted by tonight’s deadline, and you’ll want any lagging items (test scores or recommendations, for example) to reach us within the next week.  Incomplete applications will simply be rolled into the regular application group, which means you’ll have until January 10 to gather those last materials.  (No penalty, and not a big deal, but you also won’t get an early response from us.)

I don’t have a gingham tie of my own but, like Murray, I’m looking forward to reading some applications!

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