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Continuing to draw on willing volunteers, today we’ll hear from Kristen, who provides useful information on research opportunities for Fletcher students.
Being an admissions person, I’m nosy by nature. To enjoy reading applications, you have to be generally curious about what makes someone tick. And because of this, I am currently reviewing not only our Fletcher applications, but two other sets of applications as well, both for funding for current students.
There are several sources of funding for current students looking to conduct their own research or community projects. Several research centers, as well as the Dean’s Office, offer funding opportunities, and I work with two in specific: the Institute for Business in the Global Context (IBGC) Fund and the Tisch Fund for Civic Engagement.
The IBGC fund awards up to $2,000 to students doing business-related research. I’ve worked with this program since its inception several years ago, and truly enjoy seeing the ideas that our students are pursuing. From market research on nutritional products in Tanzania, to executive interviews about transportation infrastructure in India, to urban slum innovation in Peru, these projects truly represent the interdisciplinary interests of our students. It is very gratifying to help the students take their well-crafted and thoughtful project ideas out into the field, and then back to Medford, with interesting results.
I’m newer to the Tisch Fund, but find it similarly rewarding. This Fund is oriented towards student groups looking to work together on community service projects, and we saw everything from a project by Engineers Without Borders in Uganda, to Urban Agriculture right here in Boston. Very often, these teams comprise students from multiple Tufts grad schools, and it’s fun to see how they bring their various talents to each project.
Once at Fletcher, there are quite a few opportunities for you to take your ideas to the field, and it has been rewarding for me to be part of this process!
The Admissions Office will be closed on Monday and Tuesday, December 31 and January 1, for the New Year’s holiday. We realize time is growing short before the January 10 application deadline, and we will answer your emails as early as possible on January 2. Meanwhile, Happy New Year from Fletcher!
Regular blog readers know how I feel about volunteers — I love them! Especially volunteer blog writers. Here, interim LLM program director (and LLM alum) Hyejin Park, follows up on her first post with a run-down of fall semester out-of-class activities for LLM students.
I can’t believe it’s already the end of the semester! It’s always with mixed feelings that I find myself at this time of the year – relief at making it to the end, combined with bittersweet feelings at having to let go of another piece of my life, especially if that piece is filled with so many exciting memories. In this sense, December does seem to be a time of major transition, as well as of thanksgiving.
Finishing off the fall semester, the LLM class had several more out-of-class activities. One of them was our third High Table, featuring Andrew Loewenstein, partner at Foley Hoag LLP’s Boston office. As someone with an extensive experience in international litigation and arbitration, including disputes involving public international law, he was in an excellent position to comment on the topic of “Representing Sovereign States before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and Other International Courts and Tribunals.” Since his perspective was that of a counsel and advocate in these proceedings, he focused on providing the behind-the-scenes views as to what litigating international disputes involves in practice. The class got to hear all about the strategic and tactical decisions that go into conceiving, planning, and proving the parties’ claims and defenses, which is an enlightening subject for any international lawyer, and certainly for our LLM students.
Another event took us to downtown Boston, for a November visit to the Massachusetts government. We combined our visits to all three branches of the state government in a day’s trip, as the John Adams Courthouse is adjacent to the State House, home to both the state legislature and the Governor’s Office. Fittingly for a field trip, a classic yellow school bus took us to our first destination, which was the State House.
Guided by Anthony, the State House tour director, the members of our LLM class from 13 different countries had a glimpse of how a state legislature and executive work under the U.S. federal system, including how state laws are made and how they interact with federal and international laws. Students also had a chance to expand on the comparative insight when they sat down with our local representatives, Senator Patricia Jehlen and Representative Paul Donato, to hear more about state legislative activities.
Our next stop was the John Adams Courthouse, home to the Supreme Judicial Court (the state’s highest appellate court) and the Massachusetts Appeals Court (the state’s intermediate appellate court). Here, our gracious host was the Honorable Robert Cordy, Associate Justice of the SJC and also a member of the Fletcher LLM Program’s Advisory Council. He personally took the class on a guided tour of the Courthouse, sharing all the fascinating stories behind each corner of the architecture. He even let our LLM students sit on the seats of the seven Justices of the SJC!
Thanks to our welcoming hosts, our very international LLM class was fortunate to have the chance to get a little more acquainted with the fascinating Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which is at once steeped in history and very much forward-looking. Back on campus, my best wishes to all, and congratulations to the LLM students on the conclusion of the first half of their academic year!
Tagged with: LLM
The Office of Admissions will be closed today and tomorrow (December 24 and December 25) for the holiday. Please feel free to email us while we’re away. We’ll respond as quickly as possible when we return on Wednesday, December 26.
Whether you’re celebrating a holiday at this time of year or not, it’s always a good time to receive a gift, right? We agree, which is why Liz has pulled together tips that will help you through the (optional) online interview process. This is the first year we’ve offered online interviews and, if we’re going to draw accurate conclusions from our experiment, we need applicants to submit high quality interviews. Without further ado, here is Liz’s gift for you:
Fletcher online video interviews: How to prepare
We recently launched our optional Interview Stream online video initiative and we’ve already started receiving submissions. A big thank you to those who have already sent us videos! We’re reviewing them currently, and we’ll note that you didn’t have these tips when you submitted them, so not to worry! For those who haven’t yet taken advantage of this special opportunity, we thought it would be helpful to share some tips and tricks on how to prepare.
As you would for the on-campus interview option, take some time to prepare for your interview. The technology enables us to provide an online interview experience that mirrors an on-campus interview reasonably well, and the questions asked are quite similar to those you could expect if you visited Fletcher. You should be prepared to talk about your résumé, your previous work experience (internships and professional experiences), your interests and professional goals, and why Fletcher is a good fit for them. By answering these questions, you can show the Admissions Committee a little more about who you are and what you will bring to the Fletcher community.
Some additional tips:
- Learn More! From the interview sign-in page, click the Learn More button, which leads to a host of helpful features including the opportunity to test your technology (microphone and camera), and tips and tricks on how to select and light the setting in which you are filming. Most important, it will give you a practice question so you can familiarize yourself with the technology and how it works. Take some extra time to explore this helpful section.
- Be specific! In answering the questions, don’t assume the person watching your video has your résumé in hand. Use some of the time allotted to highlight your experience. Use the full name of organizations or companies you’ve worked for, and use titles to help us understand your roles. It’s important to create a clear picture of who you are and what you’ve done.
- Use your time wisely! As noted in the instructions (found on page 13 of the online application), you have two minutes to answer each question. You may be concerned that this isn’t enough time, but you should be able to adequately answer each question and provide specific examples. (Tip: You have an opportunity for a “do-over.” Use your first try at each question as a practice to help you prepare your thoughts.)
- You have options! As noted above, you do have the chance to re-record your response to any of the questions asked. However, once you have moved on to the next question, you cannot go back to previous questions. After each question is asked, you will begin recording your answer almost immediately (there is a countdown clock). Once you’ve finished recording your answer, you can either review your response, re-record your response, or press continue to move on to the next question. You can see right on the screen how many tries you have left, so make sure you know when you are recording your final try.
- Wait until the end! After the final question is asked and recorded, Interview Stream must upload the video into our system. This will happen as the closing video plays. You will receive an email confirmation to let you know it has been submitted.
We hope you enjoy this new option for interviews! Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.
Tagged with: Interviews
In my past life as a visa coordinator, I gathered some information that international students may find useful. With the application season fully upon us, I wanted to take a moment to share some tips for your application and (looking ahead) the visa process. Here goes:
- Certified English Translation: You may be asking yourself, “What does this mean? I can speak, read, and write English, so why do I need someone else to do it for me?” The short answer is that your translation needs to be done by someone with an official stamp and/or contract, so that we know the translation is accurate. Certified translators, like notaries public, have passed an exam to keep their standing, and will offer you the most comprehensive and accurate translation. The best way to find a certified translator in your area is to do a search online, or ask a local bank, post office, or attorney’s office, as they will often utilize translation services. When submitting documents that have been translated, please make sure to send us both the original and the translation!
- Notarized Documents: For your transcript, if you do not have access to the official document (because many schools will not issue more than one), please make sure to have a copy made and notarized. Notarizing your documents provides verification that the information is accurate and official. Finding a notary now will also save you concerns during the visa process, when you will be required to submit notarized documents. As with certified translation, do a search online, or ask a local bank, post office, or attorney’s office.
- Financial Aid vs. Proof of Funds: I have received quite a few questions about the difference between the Fletcher Financial Aid Application and the proof of funds process. The main difference is that the Financial Aid Application provides Fletcher with general information about your current financial standing so that we can make scholarship awards, which we base on both merit and need. Proof of Funds is for the visa process, which requires accurate and official information on your finances. Although some universities request a Proof of Funds form as part of the application process, Fletcher does not follow that procedure. More information about Proof of Funds and the visa process will be sent to admitted students from Fletcher’s International Student Advisor.
- Time: While this may seem obvious, make sure that you leave enough time to mail any needed documents to us. To avoid the worry and expense of overnight shipping, put your materials in the mail extra early. Look online for average mail times, or check with FedEx/DHL for estimated arrival dates.
As always, feel free to call the Admissions Office or email us with specific questions. Best of luck with your application!
It doesn’t matter how many years I’ve worked at Fletcher, the transitions between vacation and the semester, or between the semester and exams, is always surprisingly abrupt. A week ago, the Hall of Flags was still filled with activity. Today, it’s very quiet and nearly empty. Students go through the critical phases of visible (in classes); hiding (studying and taking exams); and gone. Many have already taken off, though others are still enduring exams and papers.
Occasionally one of our student interns pops into the office for an hour of brain-clearing application filing, but we mostly don’t see them much during exams. In fact, the last time I saw Ariel (the last two times, in fact), she was singing holiday songs with the Ambassachords (Fletcher’s a cappella group). Then she went back into hiding. Thus, the Dear Ariel feature is on hiatus.
With the students goes the school’s energy, but sometimes it’s good for us administrators to have a chance to recharge. We know it won’t be long before the students return and, by then, we’ll be ready for a busy Hall of Flags.
Tagged with: Dear Ariel
Our youngest and our most academically accomplished applicants will both be submitting their online applications by this Thursday, the 20th. It’s the deadline for applications to the PhD program, and also for the current undergraduates who wish to enter the MALD or MIB program through the Map Your Future pathway. It’s a funny pairing, with no special logic behind it except that it’s simplest for us to have fewer deadlines. And these two categories of applications will travel two different roads, with the PhD applications merely compiled in the Admissions Office before they head out for careful consideration by the PhD Admissions Committee. We moved to a December 20 PhD deadline several years ago. Though PhD applicants will learn their decisions in March, along with all the other January/February applicants, PhD applications are so much more complicated that we decided the extra time would serve everyone well.
As for the MYF applications, we’ll receive a small batch from very organized college seniors and May 2012 graduates. The larger group of MYF applications will arrive by the May deadline, when seniors will have had more time to consider their plans.
Tagged with: deadlines
We posted Early Notification decisions on Friday, and applicants will probably have seen their results by now. Some of you will also have wandered through the blog archives and found previous years’ posts about the decision options. Here’s the outline for those who want fresh info.
First, congratulations to our newly admitted students! You probably don’t need further explanation of what the news means. If we have made the decision conditional upon pursuing study to improve your English or to raise your foreign language proficiency, you’ll be hearing from us directly about the requirement.
Then there are applicants for whom we’ve decided to defer decision-making until the spring. I realize this is a good news-bad news place to be. On the good news side, we encourage you to update us before the end of February if there are changes to your application. New grades, new test scores, updated résumé, or even an additional recommendation can be good additions. Please, though, make sure that the additional information reflects something new. We don’t need a fresh copy of your résumé if nothing has changed. Send the new materials by mail or email — there’s no special defined protocol.
Finally, applicants to whom we have already said no. It’s only in the last three years that we have been telling EN applicants that they would not be admitted, and we were initially very reluctant to take the step. Now we feel more comfortable, knowing that the best in this group will use the information to make good decisions about where/whether to apply in January.
Before we call it a wrap on this phase of the admissions cycle, let me give you the details on the very wide geographic spread of this rather small group of admitted students. Whether they are only temporarily in these places or it’s their home town/country, we have admitted students currently in:
Afghanistan, Kandahar and Kabul
Albania, Rreshen, Mirdite
Bangladesh, Chittagong and Dhaka
Brazil, Rio de Janeiro
Cambodia, Battambang town and Phnom Penh
China, Manghuai, Yunxian County; Beijing; Shanghai
Democratic Republic Of Congo, Bukavu
Germany, Berlin and Hamburg
India, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi
Indonesia, Tanjungpandan, Belitung
Japan, Urayasu-shi, Chiba; Kashihara; Tokyo; Yokohama
Mexico, Guadalajara and Mexico City
Philippines, Guiuan, Eastern Samar and Dingle, Iloilo
South Africa, Kuruman
South Korea, Seoul
South Sudan, Juba
Switzerland, St. Gallen and Zurich
Tanzania, Monduli and Moshi
Turkey, Ankara and Istanbul
United Kingdom, London and St. Ives
And, in the U.S., outside of the Maine-Virginia corridor (always well represented), our EN admits live in California, Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Texas.
Christine just handed me an idea (nay, a plea) for today’s post. She told me that, as the staffer who answers the questions of most callers and emailers (particularly while our student interns are in the middle of exams), she has been fielding endless special requests this week, mostly related to taking and submitting results for the GRE/GMAT. Requests such as: Can I submit scores late? Can I take the exam after the application deadline? Can you waive the requirement for me, because I haven’t studied for the exam? Or because I graduated from college many years ago?
So, with Christine and all the applicants who take the exam in a timely way (and don’t make special requests) in mind, here’s the deal: Fletcher requires submission of GRE/GMAT scores because we find them to be a useful analytical tool, even though GRE/GMAT scores are never the sole basis for an admissions decision. Our expectation is that you will make your application complete as quickly as possible after the deadline. That is, you must submit the online application materials before the deadline, but supporting credentials (test scores, recommendations) can arrive a little bit later without having a negative effect on your application. Today’s date is December 13. If you’re aiming for the January 10 deadline, you have about three weeks to take the exam and still expect to complete your application in time.
(Note that, even within the structure outlined above, you can still see a typically Fletcher-ish flexibility. We could (but don’t) say we refuse to review an application if all materials don’t arrive by the deadline. We want to give our applicants every opportunity to put together a strong application. But that flexibility doesn’t extend as far as offering special arrangements to each of the thousand people Christine feels she has spoken to this week.)
Since many graduate schools have January deadlines, testing centers tend to be very busy this time of year. That is why, if you haven’t taken the test yet, you need to act RIGHT NOW and find a test date.
What happens if on January 10…January 15…January 20…February 1, your scores still haven’t reached us? Well, we’re just going to hold all your materials in a folder while we wait. Leaving your application in that endless purgatory is, let’s say, not a great strategy for obtaining admission.
As for all the other reasons people give for not wanting to take the exam (graduated long ago, math skills are rusty, etc.), I can only say that your fellow applicants would probably say much the same. No one likes taking these exams. We understand that. But like many unpleasant things in life, you simply need to do it. In this case, you also need to do it on our schedule — not because we seek to inconvenience you, but because not following our schedule may hurt your own chances of gaining admission.
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