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The Fletcher Admissions website currently has a page called Apply to Fletcher, but there’s no application to be found.  We usually keep the application up throughout the summer, but this year is different because we are in the process of transitioning to an entirely new application system.  ENTIRELY new!  Applicants should find the new interface to be far friendlier than the old one, and the Admissions Committee will be able to stop dragging applications around — everything will be found conveniently in the cloud.  As you can imagine, this is a big change for us.  I think it’s fair to say that we’re all excited but nervous about how the change will play out.

Meanwhile, for those who really wanted to get going on their applications, there’s one big piece of info I can share.  The essay questions will not be changing.  The two essays that are shared by all degree programs will be:

Essay 1: Personal Statement (600-800 words)
Fletcher’s Committee on Admissions seeks to ensure that there is a good match between each admitted student and the School.

Please tell us your goals for graduate study at Fletcher and for your career.  Describe the elements of your personal, professional, and/or academic background that have prepared you for your chosen career path.  Why is The Fletcher School the right place to pursue your academic objectives and to prepare you to meet your professional goals?  Why have you selected the degree program to which you are applying?  If you are planning to pursue a joint degree, please be sure to address this interest in your personal statement.

Essay 2 (500 words maximum)
Share something about yourself to help the Committee on Admissions develop a more complete picture of who you are.

That should be enough of an assignment to keep you busy until we post the link to the new application.  Even if you don’t want to start writing yet, you might like having a little extra time to think through your answers.

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I was at a conference last week (in Montgomery, Alabama — adding a new state to the list of those I have visited).  I still hadn’t intended for it to be a such a slow blog week, until Friday slipped away from me.  But I’m back today, with apologies for the blog absence!  At least Mirza was able to help fill the midweek void.

Another area of silence (cue the chirping crickets) is the sudden lack of correspondence between Fletcher and our incoming students.  For most of the people who will join us in September, the work of the Admissions Office is nearly complete (aside from answering questions as they roll in).  After Commencement next Sunday, the Registrar’s Office will be the prime correspondent and source of information, and once they take over, the silence will end.  (International students are already working with a member of the Registrar’s staff on their visas.)

I just interrupted the Commencement preparations of a few members of the Registrar’s staff to ask when they’ll start contacting incoming students, and I learned that the answers to most of your questions will start flowing at the beginning of June.  They’ll share details on getting a Tufts email address and on registration, as well as info about Orientation, advisors, equivalency exams, billing, and health insurance.  Meanwhile, we’re happy to answer your questions, or just advise you to relax for a few weeks.  Once the information starts to flow, you might well wish you could slow it down.

Finally, there’s the silence that comes from an empty Fletcher School.  Most first-year students have left town, either to go directly to the location of their internships or, possibly, stopping off to see friends and family on the way to some remote location.  The students due to graduate on Sunday are enduring a punishing social schedule, ranging from museum visits, to trips to Martha’s Vineyard, to barbeques and parties.  Occasionally, one turns up in the building, though I can’t claim a sighting yet this morning.

Over the weekend, I attended a family event in New York.  I was chatting with a cousin who is just completing an MPA degree in Seattle.  He asked whether Fletcher students bother to go to their graduation.  Oh, yes, they sure do, I told him.  Occasionally, a graduate commits to start a new job before Commencement, but it’s otherwise a rare student who declines to attend the ceremonies.  I expect that this Sunday’s event will look much like last year’s — full of students, families, and joy.  I’m looking forward to it, but first a quiet and busy week of catching up after my week away.

 

We’ve put some Information Sessions on the calendar for the summer months.  Though we welcome visitors at any time, we know that it can be most efficient to plan a visit around an Information Session.  The dates and times are:

Monday, May 5 at 12:30 p.m.

Monday, May 19 at 12:30 p.m.

Monday, June 2 at 12:30 p.m.

Thursday, June 19 at 4:00 p.m.

Monday, July 7 at 12:30 p.m.

Thursday, July 24 at 4:00 p.m.

Monday, August 4 at 12:30 p.m.

Monday, August 18 at 12:30 p.m.

Sign up here for the date of your choice.

 

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While we continue to count the enrolling students, now is a perfect time for applicants on the waitlist to tell us that they are still interested in being considered for admission.  We know that many applicants offered a place on the waitlist accept it in March, but have moved on by now.  That makes total sense!  But it also means that it takes us time to figure out who is really still waiting, and who has enrolled elsewhere.

What can you do to help?  Well, if you have an update to your application, send it along soon.  Monday, April 28 would be a good target deadline to aim for.  If you have missed my suggestions for what constitutes an update, here’s the general list:  transcripts listing any new grades you have received since applying; new test scores; a new résumé, indicating a change in professional experience; an email updating us on activities that may not fit on the résumé; an additional recommendation that tells us something we didn’t already know.

But what if you simply don’t have an update — your application was complete as submitted.  Well, then there is no need to send one.  This is an opportunity, not an obligation.  But it would still be helpful if you would send us a quick note to say that you’d like for your application to be considered.  Updates and notes can all be sent by email.

 

Commonwealth and HerefordThe staff is back in the office after the long Patriots’ Day weekend.  Yesterday was a beautiful day for a marathon, and I had a chance to go over to the race course, where I wandered from one vantage point to another.  It was very busy so I can’t say I ever achieved a perfect view, but my goal was to join the crowd, which I definitely achieved.

Next year, I should time my visit so that I see more of the Fletcher runners.  (I was there for the trailing end of the elite runners and the first wave of fast-but-not-elite runners.)  I’ve checked, though, and it looked like the students I know best, including Liam, all finished.

Even while we’re back in our usual places, we’re trying to figure out where we are with regard to enrollment.  The enrollment decision deadline for admitted students was Sunday, so it should be simple to pull the data and see how many people have decided to enroll.  Alas, it’s not quite that easy to get an accurate number, because we also have deferral requests coming through, especially for future students who will start their dual degrees at another institution.  Once all the required review is complete, we’ll know if we should turn to the waitlist.  I’ll provide more information when I have it.

As we approach May 1, I’d also encourage any applicants who weren’t admitted this year (but who plan to reapply in the future — the only reason they’d still be reading the Admissions Blog) to request feedback.  It may take us a few weeks to respond, but receiving the input now, rather than closer to the date of the new application, gives you maximum opportunity to improve your preparation for Fletcher in the future.  Send your request by email on or after May 1.

 

Tufts University (including Fletcher) is closed today for the Patriots’ Day holiday.  We’ll reopen tomorrow at 9:00 a.m.

While you’re waiting for us to return, you may want to take a photo tour of Fletcher.

 

As a public service for admitted students, with the enrollment decision deadline approaching, I want to run through the Admissions Office schedule for the next few days.

Today, Wednesday, April 16:  Office open normal hours (9:00-5:00 EDT (GMT-4))

Tomorrow, Thursday, April 17:  Office open normal hours (9:00-5:00 EDT (GMT-4))

Friday, April 18:  Office open normal hours (9:00-5:00 EDT (GMT-4))

Saturday and Sunday, April 19 and 20:  Office closed for the weekend

Monday, April 21:  Office closed for the Patriot’s Day holiday

Tuesday, April 22:  Office reopens for normal hours

Note that enrollment decisions are due on Sunday, April 20, no later than 11:59 p.m. EDT.  And even though the office will be closed, the GAMS system cannot accept enrollment decisions after the deadline.  Do yourself a favor and make your final decision a few minutes before the deadline, so that you don’t need to worry about being locked out of the system.

Questions?  We’re here!!  Please take advantage of a staffed office today, tomorrow, and Friday to contact us with your questions and concerns.

 

Well, we finished off yesterday’s Open House in fine style, waving off a few of the last visitors (and their luggage) at about 6:00.  Each of us Admissions folk agreed that the sessions we attended went very well.  Adding it all up, we consider the day to have been a success.

Poking around the blog last week, I found a few posts that I had forgotten about, and that might be helpful for admitted students (and future admitted students) who didn’t attend the careers sessions at the Open House.  In 2010, I asked the Office of Career Services staff to describe their work.  Each member of the OCS staff focuses on a sector that is a typical objective for Fletcher students.  Though there are new names attached to some of the sectors, Phillip, the OCS director (and a participant in Admissions Committee meetings) confirms that the structure of responsibilities is the same.  So, below, please find links to past blog posts on OCS’s approach to sector coaching.

Of course, 2010 employment statistics aren’t very relevant now.  To round out the picture, you’ll want to check more recent career reports.

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Open House balloonsWe’re hosting our newly admitted students today and the place is jumpin’.  It’s only about 11:45, and we’ve already had an alumni panel and reception (o.k., those were last night), a welcome session, and break-out sessions for each of the degree programs.  Visitors are currently either grabbing some lunch, attending a panel discussion with current students, hearing from the Office of Career Services, or engaging in a roundtable discussion with the folks from the International Environment and Resource Policy or with Students in Security Studies.  And so it will go, for the rest of the afternoon.  Liz did an amazing job of organizing roughly one bazillion sessions for the day.  And balloons.  She also organized the balloons.

I have just these few minutes to write this post, check my email, etc.  Then I’m off to a lunch discussion on international economics.  I fully intend to learn something while I’m there.  (A perk of the job.)  This is an annual event that, while exhausting, gives meaning to our work throughout the winter and early spring.  It’s such a treat to put together names and faces!

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So it’s about 7:40 a.m. as I write, and I can hear five voices from all corners of the Admissions Office as current students reach out to newly admitted students who live in a time zone 12 to 14 hours ahead of ours.  We’ll be holding these call sessions throughout the week to connect with as many people as we can.  It’s a great way to draw out questions that may not otherwise have been asked.  We generally feel that the more incoming students know, the better prepared they are to make a decision on where to pursue their graduate studies and then to succeed at Fletcher.

It’s a week loaded with activities like the call sessions.  We’ll also hold online chats, two information sessions, and receptions in several different cities around the world.  And then we gear up for our two-day Open House for admitted students.  As of today, only a small percentage of our admitted students have made their decision to enroll (or not to enroll, for that matter).  Over the next two weeks, we’ll learn much more about who will make up the incoming class in September.

 

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