Returning to the second-year student bloggers, we pick up Scott’s story as he considers the post-Fletcher future that awaits him after graduation next May. As you’ll read, to Scott’s surprise, the learning and exposure he gained at Fletcher have caused him to reconsider his planned career path.
It’s interesting being a graduate student (and the ripe age of 32) and confused about the type of work I want to do after Fletcher. I came in with a very set plan: to use the Master of International Business (MIB) program to transition from the global health sector to the field of international economic development, by filling gaps resulting from my lack of work in the private sector. I was focused on international organizations, such as the World Bank, or consulting firms that would value my non-profit work and mindset but would also (thanks to the MIB program) be confident in my abilities to understand financial markets.
Fletcher offered me the chance to meet and listen to many individuals who worked at the organizations I had originally targeted. Unfortunately, around February of last year, after multiple career panels, information sessions, and my own research, I started to question whether this career track would be the right fit for me. At the same time, I was enjoying all my business courses and dissecting cases — especially within the areas of strategy and business development.
Coming to this realization in February/March was a problem because I had to completely switch my internship search, and by the time I did, most of the internships I had pinpointed were already filled. I made the best of this situation by taking a position in May that was similar to my previous work (but was salary based — always a good thing) and then took the remainder of the summer to do something very exciting. I used the time to cycle across the US — from the west coast of Oregon to New York City — raising funds for the charity run by one of my best friends from college, the Ace in the Hole Foundation. (If interested in that journey, you can read about it here.) It was the experience of a lifetime, but it didn’t boost my future job search the way a summer internship could have.
Which leads me to where I am in the first semester of my second year at Fletcher. I have decided to cast a wide net and to try to meet with as many people as possible this fall, to help focus my job search, which should start this winter. I have learned a lot already, namely that I’d love to focus on technology, health/wellness, and, if possible, to work at a start up or even start a venture of my own. My current classes — Starting New Ventures, at Fletcher, and Strategy and Technology, at Harvard Business School — definitely have had an influence on my current thinking, but I’m also continuing to speak with individuals outside of that realm. Making up for lost time last summer, I also have an internship in downtown Boston at a hybrid venture capital and creative agency, which has given me exposure to multiple industries that could interest me.
With these commitments, and a couple more classes, I have found myself busy. It’s a different kind of busy than my first year, when most of my time went into tough, but great, classes. As a second-year MIB student, I have completed the program’s core courses and I have the flexibility to choose classes that allow me explore new avenues. I’m actually excited for the whole process, even if it will be a challenge.
Tagged with: Student Stories
I truly had planned to write about admissions related topics today but, like so many local folks, I’m bleary eyed from staying up late watching the Boston Red Sox, our local baseball team, win the World Series, professional baseball’s championship. How could I ignore such an important event in our home town?
Boston (and we often say “Boston” when we mean the city and the surrounding area) is a sports town. People are passionate about their teams and, for the past 15 years or so, there has been a lot (Patriots! Celtics! Bruins!) to be passionate about. In 2004, the Red Sox ended decades of futility and won the World Series for the first time since 1918, and the team repeated as champs in 2007.
In 2012, though, the team was dismal (DISMAL!), crumbling into last place. Big surprise for everyone when the 2013 line-up, composed primarily of good, but not superstar, players, finishes first in the league and then prevails in the playoffs. We love this stuff! And what could be better than having the team led by the inspirational pep-talks and smoking-hot bat of fan favorite David Ortiz. Topping it all off, the Red Sox have a recent tradition of charming the fans (and annoying the rest of the country) with some team-bonding exercise or other, which this year took the form of beards. Crazy beards.
Best of all, the Sox won the championship at home — Boston’s beloved Fenway Park. Tucked into the heart of the city and smaller than most modern ball parks, Fenway is a museum of baseball history where the Sox hadn’t won the World Series since 1918, the 2004 and 2007 victories having taken place at the opponent’s home field.
Grasping for a Fletcher-friendly international theme to today’s post (beyond the obvious meaninglessness of the “world” in World Series), I’ll add that the Red Sox, like most teams, have an international roster (including the amazing closing pitcher Koji Uehara). It’s a team that’s easy to like, even for a native New Yorker like me.
So, hooray for the Red Sox! Admissions topics will wait one more day.
Yesterday was fun. After the fair at Bowdoin, I joined about ten students and a rep from the career office for dinner and conversation. I’m hitting the road now, directly back to Fletcher, where Kristen and I are going to hold an information session for Tufts undergrads. Back to more varied blog topics on Thursday. Meanwhile, here are some pix from Bates and Bowdoin.
Just a super quick post today. I’m sitting in a hotel room in Auburn, Maine. In about an hour, I’ll head over to Bates College for a grad school fair, and then zip over to Bowdoin College for a fair there. With Colby College yesterday, it’s a three-fair wander up and down route 95 at a beautiful time of year. I’ll try to share some pix later.
When you send us an email or call the Admissions Office, the person on the other end of your correspondence may very well be a current Fletcher student. Our Student Interns are called on to do everything from endless photocopying to guiding visitors around the building. We could never complete our work without them, but equally important is that we love getting to know them and having them around! So that you’ll have a sense of the person who wrote the email you just received, the Student Interns will be introducing themselves through the blog. First up are Daniel, Emma, and Rebekah, who between them give a good sense of the diversity of pre-Fletcher professional experience among our students.
Daniel: I am a second-year MALD student focusing on International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution and Human Security. My interests in conflict resolution include facilitated dialogue as part of problem-solving workshops, as well as conflict mediation. Additionally I am interested in the role that the narratives of conflict in history curricula play in promoting reconciliation in post-conflict societies. This interest stems from the eight years that I spent working in history education before coming to Fletcher. I worked as a middle school history teacher, first with Teach for America in Brooklyn and subsequently at a private school in New Orleans. Through the New Teacher Project, I also trained first-year history teachers to work in New Orleans schools. I spent the past summer interning with Search for Common Ground in Zanzibar where (in addition to enjoying the beaches) I helped facilitate trainings for radio journalists, members of the Ministry of Good Governance and Zanzibari civil society. During my time away from school I like to cook and explore the historical sites of Boston.
Emma: Hello! I am a first-year MALD student, born in Cleveland, Ohio, but I’ve called Portland, Oregon my home for the past several years. I majored in Political Science at Reed College, where I focused on conflict studies and non-violent action. Prior to Fletcher I worked for the regional government of Portland and its surrounding suburbs, building community support and consensus among various cities for large-scale transportation and economic development projects. My concentrations here at Fletcher will be International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution and International Security Studies.
There is a lot to do at Fletcher outside of the classroom, too! I’m a staff editor for our foreign policy journal, The Fletcher Forum, as well as a volunteer for Tufts University Refugee Assistance Program (TU-RAP). Living close to Davis Square, and just a few T stops from Cambridge and Boston, also means that I get to explore my new city, eat a ton of delicious and diverse food, and enjoy my nerdy love of U.S. history. I look forward to hearing from you all soon, and hopefully welcoming you to the Fletcher community!
Rebekah: Hi everyone! I am a first-year MALD student, originally from San Luis Obispo, California, a small city located on California’s Central Coast. I attended Occidental College in Los Angeles for my undergraduate studies, where I majored in Diplomacy and World Affairs. While at Occidental, I had the opportunity to study for a semester at two universities in Santiago, Chile and also spent the fall semester of my senior year in New York City interning with the United Kingdom Mission to the United Nations in the UN General Assembly. After graduating, I moved to Washington, DC and spent two years working as an administrative and research assistant for an international trade consulting company, where I focused primarily on trade and investment issues in Latin America.
Here at Fletcher, my concentrations are Gender and Human Security (a self-designed field of study) and International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution. In addition to working as a Student Intern in the Admissions Office, I am a member of the Fletcher Gender Initiative and Fletcher Runners. I am so excited to be here at Fletcher, and I look forward to answering your questions as a Student Intern!
Allow me to introduce Diane, the next of our new student bloggers, who joins Liam, Scott, Roxanne, and Mirza on the team. Today Diane will tell us how she made the decision to pursue graduate studies at Fletcher, where her Fields of Study are Development Economics and Humanitarian Affairs.
I thought I would introduce myself by telling you about my experiences prior to Fletcher, as well as how I ended up here, at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.
After graduating with my undergraduate degree, I worked for a time in the East Asia unit of the Oxfam Australia Head Office in Melbourne. In 2012 I left Oxfam and moved to New York to intern in the policy section of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), working on food security research and resilience policy. I had previously interned with the United Nations World Food Programme in Nepal, during the 2008 food crisis, and was keen to gain more varied experience.
It was at my first job that I realized the importance of technical, management, and leadership skills in the workplace. While I had spent my undergraduate degree learning about the theory of the development field, once in the workplace I recognized the difference between great managers and leaders and mediocre ones, and realized that if I wanted a long career where I would be able to make an impact and add value to the organization I work for, I needed to go back to school and learn these skills. I started researching the type of programs that would satisfy both my interests and my aims for further study, and began to look out of Australia for this.
In truth, my journey to Fletcher began just over a year ago. While I was based in New York with the UN, I took the opportunity to explore different schools and programs in the U.S. A colleague at OCHA noticed the GRE books on my desk and offered to discuss various professional international relations programs with me. Being a Fletcher graduate, the colleague encouraged me to look at the Fletcher School. I remember looking online and the excitement inspired by the course offerings, which would allow me to develop management and leadership skills while I pursued my interest in humanitarian affairs and food security. I was soon on my way from New York to visit Fletcher for an evaluative interview. It’s fair to say that my visit and interview went very well, as I find myself now a member of the 2015 class.
In the year following that interview, I returned to Melbourne to work with a small not-for-profit, running a women’s group and homework club for Sudanese refugees. I also spent time completing the necessary requirements for graduate school applications, and preparing for my arrival (once I was accepted into The Fletcher School). In late August, which is towards the end of the Australian winter, I spent 28 hours flying through four cities to finally arrive in Boston and begin my new and exciting journey as a MALD student at The Fletcher School.
After Fletcher (a topic that I feel we spend a lot of time discussing here — mainly due to the programs offered by the Office of Career Services), I plan on utilizing all the skills and networks I will have gained at Fletcher to find a research or policy role in the Food Security field. My ultimate goal is to work for the United Nations in the field of Humanitarian Affairs. Fletcher’s amazing staff and professors, and the accomplishments of the alumni, have put me at ease at my ability to achieve my goals.
Tagged with: Student Stories
How I convinced myself that last Friday/Saturday were the 25th and 26th is unclear to me (particularly given that I was writing on Thursday the 17th), but that’s what happened. Simulex will actually take place this week. All the details, for those more firmly rooted in time than I, can be found on the website. (Thanks to kind blog readers (and colleagues) who didn’t point out my befuddlement.)
But while I’m on the subject of all the many things going on around here that keep our heads spinning, I encourage you to take a look at the Fletcher calendar. If you’re planning a visit, you may be able to build one of the weekly events into your time here. Even if you’re not planning to visit, you may want to get a taste of what’s happening. There’s a lot on the calendar, even as students are taking midterms this week and next.
I’ve worked as the Admissions Office link to the PhD program for several years now, which makes it a little strange that I write so rarely about the program or admission to it. The reason, I suppose, is that the program is small and we review only about 70 applications each year — a tiny portion of our applicant pool, and yet a lot of applicants relative to the handful that we ultimately admit.
Today, about 10 prospective PhD students are signed on to visit Fletcher. We’re offering a focused information session, and the visitors can choose to interview, attend classes, and also do all the other things that visitors like to do when they’re here. It’s a loose schedule that enables them to seek the information they need in order to decide if Fletcher is a good place to pursue their advanced studies.
Meanwhile, I needed to line up students to conduct the evaluative interviews. I hesitate to steal time from PhD students. They tend to have a lot going on, and we have as much of an interest in pushing them through the program as they have in motoring along. Nonetheless, they’re very supportive of Fletcher in general and the PhD program in particular. It’s a real pleasure to connect with them whenever the opportunity arises.
Maybe I’ll try to write a bit more about the PhD program in the future. But you can always send questions, either as a comment on this blog post or by emailing us.
Today, Christine tackles one of the topics about which we’re asked the most: test scores.
The Who, What, When, Where of Standardized Tests. I purposely did not put “why” in the title. Why? Because we all know we have to take standardized tests. They are not fun, nor are they meant to be, but they give the schools you’re applying to a quantitative base for reviewing your application. Here at Fletcher, we look at the entire application as a whole, but tests are required nonetheless. More importantly, we will not consider your application complete until you submit your test scores. So now that we have gotten the “why” out of the way, let’s move on to look at the other aspects of testing.
Who needs to send test scores? Ready, all together now: everyone! The GRE or GMAT is required of all applicants (except for LLM applicants). For non-native English speakers or those who have been educated less than two years in English, a TOEFL or IELTS will need to be submitted with your application as well.
What will Fletcher accept for test score reports? We will only accept official test score reports sent directly from the testing center — no exceptions.
For the GRE or GMAT, the scores must be no more than five years old. Some good news: if you have taken the exam multiple times, we will look at the best scores from each section. In addition, we do not have a cutoff for scores. In recent years the middle 50% for the GRE verbal score has been in the 77th to 96th percentile range, the middle 50% for the GRE quantitative score has been in the 61st to 84th percentile range, and the middle 50% for GRE analytical writing in the 49th to 92nd percentile range. For the GMAT, the middle 50% has been in the 73rd to 92nd percentile range.
For the IELTS or TOEFL, the scores must be no more than two years old. The scores listed below are generally considered evidence of sufficient English language ability for graduate study at Fletcher. Occasionally we will admit a student with a score just below the listed minimum but require that the student complete additional language training before enrolling. Minimum acceptable scores are as follows:
- TOEFL: 100 (with sub-scores of 25 on each section)
- IELTS: 7.0 (with sub-scores of 7 on each section)
When do I need to send my scores? We strongly prefer that your scores arrive on or before the date you submit your application. However, we will allow a grace period of a few days after the application deadline. Keeping this in mind, you should take your exams at least a few weeks before you plan to submit your application. For the GRE and GMAT, it usually takes about two weeks for us to receive your scores if you take the test electronically. If you take the exam on paper, it could take upwards of six weeks before we receive the scores. The TOEFL and IELTS exam reports usually arrive in about two weeks.
Where do I send my scores? Scores should be sent directly to the Fletcher School, Office of Admissions and Financial Aid. For the GRE and TOEFL please use the code 3399. For the GMAT, please use 7JB-L3-70.
Taking the exams may be unpleasant, but at least the rules for reporting scores are straightforward.
Tagged with: Consult Christine
Tomorrow and Saturday, many students will be participating in the International Security Studies Program’s Simulex event. Not only students, in fact, but also experts from U.S. War Colleges, National Defense University, Military Service Academies, and several other local universities. The flyer announcing Simulex invites students to, “Develop and put your negotiation and crisis management skills to practice and save the (simulated) world! Test your wits against your fellow students, senior political-military officials, and U.S. Government war gaming experts.”
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