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Adapting to a new application system meant we weren’t sure how many student staff members we would need this year.  It turned out we need one more than we first introduced in October.  Today, meet David, our newest student intern hire.

Davd THi everyone!  I am a first-year MALD, focusing on democratization and human security.  I am particularly interested in transitional governments, former communist countries and Latin America.  I am a first-generation American, born and raised in Wheaton, IL.  I attended DePauw University for my undergraduate studies and majored in political science and Spanish.  Prior to Fletcher, I lived in the Czech Republic teaching high school English on a Fulbright grant.  I have also completed internships with The Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the U.S. State Department.

While this is my first semester at Fletcher, I have found it tremendously easy to get involved and have really enjoyed becoming part of the Fletcher community.  I am currently a researcher on a joint Fletcher-ICRC study on conflict migration in the Sahel, co-president of the European Club, and a member of the Tufts Refugee Assistance Program.  Outside the classroom, I love hanging out with other Fletcher students, exploring Boston, and venturing out to find new restaurants and breweries in the area.  I look forward to hearing from you soon!

 

I’ve already described my exciting road trips to Boston’s western suburbs and the great state of Maine (which — fun fact! — used to be part of Massachusetts), but I thought you’d want to hear from one of the staffers who traveled a greater distance for Fletcher.  Here’s Liz’s report!

Hello Blog readers!  I recently got back from a great recruiting trip to Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai, and Beijing and wanted to share some pictures from my trip!

I arrived in Tokyo first, and had a few hours before I my work obligations.  I really like to see the sights when I visit cities, especially if it means I get a great view.  As such, before I went to work, I decided to try and visit some of Tokyo’s highest structures.  I had already visited the Tokyo Tower, so I wanted to see the new Tokyo Sky Tree!  The Sky Tree boasts heights of 350 and 450 meters, and so it was on my to-do list!  I took the elevator up to the first landing and was greeted with amazing views of all of Tokyo and could even see all the way to Mt. Fuji!  I was thrilled the weather cooperated and gave me a great clear day.

Here you can see me (actually my feet!) standing on the glass floor 350 meters up!

TOkyoAfter the Sky Tree, it was time to get to work!  I headed to our admissions event where I caught up with some of our fantastic Japanese alums.

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After my visit to Japan, it was time to head to Seoul, South Korea where I got to meet some great prospective students and see another terrific Fletcher alum, who helped me represent Fletcher at the admissions fair!

Liz and Han

My time in Seoul was brief, but I did have the opportunity to go out for some delicious Korean BBQ – one of my favorite foods:

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From Seoul I headed to China for visits to Shanghai and Beijing.  I was particularly excited to visit one of our partner schools, China Europe International Business School (CEIBS).  I had a great time touring the CEIBS campus and meeting my counterparts there.CEIBSIn Shanghai I also had the opportunity to have dinner with some colleagues at one of my favorite restaurants — Din Tai Fung.  Though they are a chain and have restaurants all around the world, I still love to go whenever I can!  If you ever have the chance, get the soup dumplings – you won’t regret it!
ShanghaiFrom Shanghai I headed to Beijing to finish up my trip — where we participated in another admissions fair and I also did some interviews.  The highlight however was a group dinner where we had Peking Duck. There were about 30 school representatives from all over the world, so it was really fun to make some new friends and enjoy a Chinese specialty!

picstitchAll in all it was a wonderful trip!  I had a chance to meet really interesting prospective Fletcher students and catch up with some enthusiastic Fletcher alums, and even had time for a little sight-seeing!  If you missed us in Asia this time around, not to worry, we will be back in Seoul and Tokyo in early December.  To see where else we’ll be, feel free to check out our travel calendar.

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A question that comes up regularly in our emails, conversations, meetings, and info sessions regards opportunities for students to find work as research or teaching assistants.  This fall, I snagged several emails publicizing RA/TA opportunities and I thought I’d share them here.  I’ve taken out the specifics — the point is to give you an idea of what professors might be looking for, without implying that these exact positions will be available in any given semester.  I also don’t want to lead you to think that every student has an RA or TA position.  The majority of students who work on campus are supporting office activities.  All of those qualifications aside, these notices may help you imagine what would be available whenever you enroll.

1.  TA needed for international law course
We are looking for a TA to help with organizing and teaching an undergraduate course taught by Fletcher international law faculty.  Ideally, you would have the following qualifications:  1) Background in international law; 2) You would still be at Fletcher next year.  You would be the TA for the course this spring, and next spring, you would be the coordinating instructor with another TA.

Your tasks would include the following:
– preparing discussion questions and leading weekly discussion groups;
– helping to organize a moot court exercise;
– assisting with general logistics of the course, including grading;
– holding half of the office hours.

2.  A Professor announces the availability of five research assistant positions
Positions 1-3 require assisting in a research and writing project on the fusion between religion and nationalism in Israel, India (the Hindutva Movement in particular), Palestine (Hamas in particular), Sri Lanka, and Serbia. The positions require the assistants to conduct research on manifestations of the fusion between religion and nationalism in one (or two) of the above areas and their policy implications, summarize reading materials, and draft short papers. The successful candidates should have relevant academic background and knowledge about one of the above-mentioned areas and good writing skills. Each position requires 8-10 hours per week.

Position 4 requires assisting in the following tasks: a) coordinating a seminar series for the Fletcher Seminar on International Conflict (three to four seminars per semester);  b) preparing the material for a web site page for the INCR program and the various research projects it conducts; c) coordinating the necessary technical steps to design the web site and post the material.  This position requires an average of 8 hours per week.

Position 5 requires assistance in a research and writing project on “new paradigms in conflict resolution.”  The position requires the assistant to conduct research on major issues in the conflict resolution field, summarize reading materials, and copy-edit drafted chapters. The successful candidate should have relevant academic background and should have taken or should be currently taking D223 at Fletcher or an equivalent course in another institution. This position requires an average of 8-10 hours per week.

3.   A research group seeks to hire researchers to complete case study reports as part of its “How Mass Atrocities End” research project.
Project Description:  There is no other phase of mass atrocities that is less studied yet more debated than endings. Individual case study analyses of endings are usually characterized by lament over the enormous losses incurred and a hasty summary of the final moments. Debates in policy, activism, and scholarship often take as their starting point a more ideal ending in which outside forces (usually armed) are able, theoretically, to change the ending next time. Actual endings—discussion of when and how large-scale violence against civilians declines in frequency and scale—are notably absent from the discussion.

This project aims to help fill that gap by creating a dataset that focuses exclusively on the ending of atrocities.  Researchers will be required to select a case study and complete a report.

4.  Researchers needed for Fletcher/ICRC project
This year Fletcher is working with the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) to develop a “Joint Lab” around the issue of conflict migration.  The first set of questions focuses on assessing current humanitarian challenges entailed in conflict migration in the Sahel and North Africa. This segment of the work of the Joint Lab is oriented toward building a firm foundation of knowledge on conflict migration in the region, focusing on gathering and analyzing available data related to migration flows and migrant needs, as well as assessing the current networks of local, regional and international organizations engaged in the response to the humanitarian needs of migrants in the region.  One or two Research Assistants are needed to help put together a desk review on this topic.  We expect a commitment of 6-8 hours a week.

5.  Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Tufts needs Winter Study Group Leaders
The Osher LLI at Tufts is an adult education program for retirees with one important characteristic in common:  a desire for intellectual stimulation in a convivial atmosphere.  Which is exactly what our program offers.  No tests.  No pressure.  No grades. Just learning for the sheer joy of it.  While most of our classes are led by our own members—”seniors teaching seniors”—we generally supplement our offerings with study groups led by Tufts graduate students, often from Fletcher.

We’re currently soliciting proposals for our 8-week spring 2015 program and we’d love to hear from any Fletcher grad students who might be interested in leading a 4- or 8-session study group for us.

 

The fall semester is speeding along and we’re already down to about three weeks remaining for the on-campus interview program, which wraps up on Friday, December 5.  (Interview appointments still available — book yours now!)

For applicants who can’t visit before December 5 and those who can’t come to campus at all, we offer the option of a video interview.  Let me say at the outset that we are well aware that the video interview is not precisely the same as an in-person interview.  But it still offers applicants a forum for presenting themselves, as well as information that doesn’t otherwise fit in their applications.  The same student volunteers who conduct our on-campus interviews also review the video interviews.

To save you the searching, allow me to point you toward the instruction page, which gives you the details you need to get started.  In particular, note the section that says:

Topics covered in the interview include: why you are interested in The Fletcher School, your previous professional and personal experiences, and your future career goals.

Tip:  Take these clues and turn them into question form; then be prepared to answer.  Second tip:  Follow the suggestion to click the “learn more” option, so that you’re prepared for the video format.

Finally, as has always been the case, Fletcher offers interviews as an opportunity for us to get to know you, and you to get to know us.  They remain strictly optional, if also very helpful for applicants.

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It’s November 10, five days before our Early Notification deadline.  Only 26 people have submitted applications for September 2015 enrollment so far, but past experience tells us that nearly all of the remaining EN applications will flow in on November 14 and 15.

To help the 26 early birds, and as advance knowledge for everyone else, our application guru Christine has created a handy chart for tracking your application.  Note, especially, the instructions on how to access your Application Status page.  Here’s the chart, minus the hyperlinks (use this PDF for the links):

App tracker, p1

App tracker, p2

 

Sunday’s weather was rainy/snowy/windy in our local area, but snowy/windy in Maine.  On Monday, I jumped in my car to drive to Colby College for a presentation alongside Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School.  The eight inches of snow that fell on Sunday had mostly packed down or melted on the roadways and paths, but there was still plenty on the grassy areas.

From Colby, we drove on to Bates College for an evening presentation.  Yesterday found us at Bowdoin College, where a lone snowman punctuated the otherwise autumnal scene.

I’m not usually the Fletcher rep who joins our peers out on the road, so this was a good opportunity for me to get to know John Templeton from Princeton, and to hear more about the program at WWS.  And the career office staffs at the three colleges facilitated our conversations with engaged and interested future international affairs professionals.  Today I’m back in town for a beautiful warm day, and I look forward to following up with students I met on my quick road trip.

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October 27This morning’s weather was cool and crisp.  We’ve had some cooler days and some warmer days lately, but today truly felt like autumn.  Around here, it’s not uncommon to have trees that are still green and trees that are nearly bare side-by-side, as in this photo from my walk up to campus.  Looking at our schedules, the Admissions staff is also in autumn mode.  Though several travelers are now back in the office, several of us are on the road or soon will be.

What’s happening today?  Prospective MIB students are visiting, keeping us all busy as they come and go from the office.  In our new online application review system, I can see that nearly 1000 people have started applications.  A small percentage of those are for January enrollment, and we are busy reviewing them, getting to know this small group that will be with us very soon.  We need to finish reading the applications in time to allow the new incoming students to prepare to join us, and also in time to start on the Early Notification applications that will be ready for us on November 15.

Meanwhile, we’re selecting students to sit on the Admissions Committees for the MALD/MA and the MIB degrees.  The selected students don’t yet know they’ll be offered slots on the Committees, and yet we’re counting on them to attend the first orientation meeting on November 7 — less than two weeks from now.

One of my other current tasks is working with new student bloggers.  I’m regretting that I’ve let so much of the semester slip by, but I do have three returning bloggers and three new ones, and their posts will start appearing soon.

 

In an unusual scheduling fluke, the entire Admissions staff has been in the office for the past two days.  Not for long, though.  Flights will soon be carrying my colleagues to California and to the midwest (Chicago and Minnesota), and then next week to Asia.

While not as glamorous, but with the advantage that it requires no flights or jetlag, I’ll be taking off in less than an hour for my tour of Boston’s western suburbs.  At noon, I’ll be at Wellesley College, followed by a late afternoon information session at Boston College.  (So crafty of me to fit them both in one day!)  It’s the perfect time to take a drive in that direction — the fall foliage is in full color burst — and we always receive great applications from graduates of both colleges.  Plus, at Wellesley, I’m looking forward to meeting up with not one but two alums working in the careers office.

Two colleges, alumni visits, fall foliage, and home for dinner.  A quick trip with lots of benefits!

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Today we’re hosting a PhD Visit Day.  Like all of our Visit Days (and there is one for MIB applicants coming up next week), the day is light on programming, but still draws together all the activities an applicant might want before applying to Fletcher.  In the case of the PhD Visit Day, this means that at 12:30, I’ll be eating lunch with our visitors and offering information about the program.

Are you interested in the PhD program but not here with us today?  It’s still easy to put together a day of relevant activities.  PhD applicants need to contact us directly to set up an interview, but you can arrange one for a day when there is an Information Session scheduled.  If you have questions about the program even after the session, any member of the Admissions staff can help you.

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I always like applicants to know who it is who may answer the phone when they call or their emails when they write.  This year we have a small group of four dedicated student interns working in the Admissions Office.  They’ll introduce themselves in today’s post, but this won’t be the only time you’ll be hearing from them on the blog.  I’ve asked them to write about their student activities, too.  But first the intros.

RebekahRebekah: Hi everyone!  I am a second-year MALD student focusing on gender and human security.  I am originally from San Luis Obispo, California and attended Occidental College in Los Angeles for my undergraduate studies.  Prior to Fletcher I lived in Washington, DC and worked as an administrative and research assistant for an international trade consulting company, where I focused primarily on trade and investment issues in Latin America.

I spent this past summer interning with the conflict resolution NGO Search for Common Ground (SFCG) in Luanda, Angola, where I had the opportunity to work on SFCG Angola’s gender programming.  This year at Fletcher, I am excited to be serving as the co-president of Fletcher’s Gender Initiative and as the second-year Student Representative on Fletcher’s Committee on Diversity and Inclusiveness.  I also represent the Fletcher student body on the President’s Sexual Misconduct Prevention Task Force.  When I’m not on campus, I enjoy cooking, running, and exploring the Boston area. I look forward to hearing from you in the Admissions Office this year!

Justin, 2Justin: Hey!  I am Justin Peña, a second-year MALD student at Fletcher.  I’m from New York City, having grown up in the lower east side of Manhattan.  I graduated from Wesleyan University in 2012, where I majored in Government and International Politics.  My current interests revolve around U.S. Foreign Policy, with an emphasis on U.S.-China relations.  I’ve had a long interest in Chinese politics and society, which stemmed from my study of Mandarin in high school.  This had led me to study abroad in Hangzhou, China during my undergraduate years.  Prior to Fletcher, I interned for a Beijing-based NGO, the China Development Brief, which reported on civil society in China.  In Beijing, I also spent some time advising Chinese high school students seeking to matriculate in U.S. colleges.

While at Fletcher, I have decided to concentrate in Security Studies and Pacific Asia.  Outside of the classroom, I have tried to remain engaged in a number of ways.  During my first year, I worked as a research intern for the Center on Conflict, Development, and Peacebuilding, examining the Turkish-Armenian rapprochement process.  I had also worked with PRAXIS, Fletcher’s journal of human security.  My work with the Office of Admissions began in the latter half of that academic year. Over this past summer, I interned at the State Department’s Office of Chinese and Mongolian Affairs, which exposed me a bit to the world of diplomacy.  This year, along with continuing my work with the Admissions office, I am one of the co-leaders of Fletcher’s China Studies Society.

So that’s about it for now, but I look forward to sharing more of my experiences at Fletcher as the year rolls on.

EmmaEmma: Hi!  I am a second-year MALD student from Cleveland, Ohio and Portland, Oregon.  Here at Fletcher, I focus on International Security Studies and International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, with a particular interest in strategies for confronting non-state armed groups in the Middle East.  I spent last summer in Beirut, Lebanon assisting a peacebuilding and conflict resolution organization and eating all the fattoush I could.

Living close to Davis Square, just a few T stops from Cambridge and Boston, means that I get to explore my new city, eat a ton of delicious and diverse food, and indulge my love of U.S. history.  Outside of the classroom, I’m a senior staff editor for our foreign policy journal, The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs.  I look forward to hearing from you all soon and hopefully welcoming you to the Fletcher community!

AllisonAllison: Hi everyone!  I am a first-year student in the Masters of International Business (MIB) program.  I started at Fletcher last January, so I am one of about 40 “Januarians” at Fletcher.  For my undergraduate degree, I studied political science at Tufts.  After graduating in 2009, I moved to Geneva, Switzerland to work at the World Economic Forum on its social entrepreneurship initiative.  I later joined the Peace Corps as a Water and Sanitation volunteer in Peru.  Upon concluding my time with the Peace Corps, I returned to the social entrepreneurship team at the World Economic Forum.  When I arrived at Fletcher, I planned to focus on the role of the private sector in international development, but my interests have shifted as new professors and courses have given me the opportunity to explore new areas of study.  My Fields of Study are International Finance and Banking and International Business and Economic Law.  When I’m not studying, I love hanging out with other Fletcher students, going running, and cooking.

 

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