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.

 

There’s fresh information on the Office of Career Services page of the website with details about the internships that students pursued in summer 2014.  The headline:  161 internships in 51 countries!  Of those, 19% were with the U.S. government.  Students provided the information directly via a survey.

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You might remember meeting Prof. Michael Glennon last year in the Faculty Spotlight series of blog posts.  Now, Prof. Glennon has a new book, National Security and Double Government.  He recently sat down with an interviewer at The Boston Sunday Globe to discuss “America’s ‘Double Government.’”  The Globe also included a nice review of the book.  With U.S. elections less than two weeks away, this is timely stuff!

 

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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It isn’t only the Admissions Office that is busy this time of year.  Even while students are feeling the midterm heat, the daily parade of speakers and meetings continues, and community members manage to squeeze out the time to attend.  Most recently, two conferences bracketed this week.  The first, on Tuesday, “Thinking About Think Tanks,” was put together by Prof. Daniel Drezner, and my sources tell me it was a great success.  The site includes the Twitter conversation, which will give you a sense of the atmosphere.

Closing out the week is today’s PhD conference.  Organized by PhD program students, who also present papers or act as panel discussants, the annual event is this year entitled “Critical Perspectives: Contemporary Issues in International Relations.”  More details can be found on the day’s schedule.  This is the eighth PhD conference, and proceedings from previous events can be found on the conference website.

It isn’t like this is the one week of the semester offering a discussion-oriented event to enhance in-class learning.  Next Friday, the community is invited to the inaugural presentation of the Initiative on Mass Atrocities and Genocide (IMAGe), a new collaborative effort between Fletcher and the broader Tufts community.  This first event will feature four professors, each bringing a different lens to the topic of how we manage memories of violence.  Details can be found here.

And while I’m linking to the calendar, I should point you to this newly useful resource.  While we may, in the past, have been (ahem) relaxed about ensuring that every event was listed, you’ll now be able to learn about nearly everything happening outside the classroom every day.

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I was chatting with a student last week, and she said something about her “180″ meeting.  I had the vaguest sense that I had heard of this 180 thing before, but I needed to dig through my email to find information.

Having done the digging, I can report that Tufts is one of a small number of U.S. universities hosting 180 Degrees Consulting.  Students from throughout the University were invited to apply to join as student consultants and team leaders.  180 Degrees Consulting emphasizes social impact, making the program a great fit for the Tufts group, which was especially interested in Fletcher students to serve as team leaders.   Here’s some additional information from the group’s email to students:

What is 180 Degrees Consulting?

180 Degrees Consulting is the world’s largest pro-bono student consultancy.  180 Degrees Consultants work with nonprofit organizations and social venture to maximize their social impact.  Groups of University students identify and overcome organizations specific challenges, developing innovative, practical and sustainable solutions.

Across the world 180 Degrees Consulting has worked with over 2,000 highly achieving youth consultants working in teams to overcome hundreds or challenges facing real organizations each year.  180 offers a broad range of consultant services, including strategic planning, financial management, communications and social impact analysis.

Rationale

180 Degrees recognizes that while raising revenue is crucial for not-for-profits, developing strategies to utilize existing resources most efficiently is equally important.  This is why students at 180 Degrees apply management consulting principles to the not-for-profit industry and develop business solutions to social problems.  Many organizations, constrained by a lack of resources, are unable to utilize for-profit consulting services.  At the same time, many high caliber university students are willing and able to develop solutions to challenges many organizations’ face.  180 Degrees Consulting strives to connect this source of untapped potential to the organizations that need it most.

How it works

At 180 Degrees, the mission is to create value for both the organizations and students consultants.  180 Degrees selects the most talented and socially conscious university students across each of our branches.  Students are given specialized training from a leading international management consultancy before being assigned to a project aligned with their knowledge and expertise.  Teams of five — plus a team leader — work closely with key stakeholders in the organization to define the deliverables, understand the organization’s specific challenges and create final recommendations over the course of a semester.

At Tufts, 180 Degree Consulting’s mission is to strengthen the ability of nonprofit organizations in the Greater Boston Area to achieve high impact social outcomes through the development of innovative, practical and sustainable solutions.  We hope to provide a transformational experience for Tufts University students as you gain invaluable real world consulting experience by delivering free consulting services to worthwhile organizations.

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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!

JustinJustin: 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.

 

Way back in the August archives lives a week-long series that Christine and I put together to help you, dear applicant, with your application.  Consult our Application Boot Camp for tips on arranging supportive recommendations, writing strong essays, test scores and transcripts, and more!

I also wanted to pause for just a minute to tell you what’s happening around the Admissions Office.  Our first batch of applications for 2015 is trickling in, with the deadline for January enrollment coming up next Wednesday, October 15.  This will be our first opportunity to work with our new online application review system (exciting and nerve-racking in equal amounts).  We’re glad that the first batch of applications we’ll read on the new system is small enough to allow us to iron out some wrinkles.

Our travel season is in high gear, and it’s a rare day when every member of the staff is in the office.  We’ve already covered DC, Toronto, New York, the Pacific Northwest, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado.  Chicago, Minneapolis, San Diego, San Francisco, Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing, and other locations are still in front of us.  Having our application readers on the road complicates the January admissions process, but we always get everything done in time for admitted students to organize themselves to arrive here in mid-January.

Our student interviewers are getting into the swing of things, and we’ll soon be selecting students to serve on the Admissions Committee.  We also called on our Admissions Ambassadors to join visitors for lunch on Monday, during our Visit Day.

All in all, we’re enjoying hosting visitors at Fletcher, meeting prospective applicants on the road, and putting our systems together to make the admissions process run smoothly for everyone.

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Maki & MphoWhile I’m blogging away in my office pajamas, Boston Fashion Week is in full swing.  The arrival of troupes of designers and fashion writers might seem to have little to do with Fletcher and our admissions process, except for this:

Maki Nakata, a 2013 graduate of the MIB program, will be hosting a Fashion Week event with her new clothing firm, Maki & Mpho.  Along with designer Mpho Muendane, Maki’s objectives are that “Maki & Mpho’s designs will bring the delightful, positive, and exciting aspects of African experience to the global audience.”  More details on their philosophy, which goes well beyond design and includes a strong focus on development and cultural exchange, can be found here.

A group of current students is planning to represent the Fletcher community at the event.  While fashion/design is not a typical post-Fletcher path, creative implementation of concepts learned here definitely is.

 

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