When we last featured five-year updates, it was members of Fletcher’s Class of 2007 who described their paths since graduation. But another class graduated last May, and now we turn to the Class of 2008. Kicking off the new year for this feature is Adria Chamberlain who has taken on a pivotal role in bringing together members of her own graduating class, as well as other alumni in the Boston area.
We all want to change the world for the better, right? Leave that lasting mark; help people, organizations, and cultures redefine the concept of neighbor; dramatically improve the opportunities of those who may have extremely limited ones, right? Right. The question is, how are you going to do it, and what do you need to get you there? The answer: Fletcher. Fletcher produces a feast by taking what you’ve done, challenging your notions of what should be done, and blending it together with others who are similarly driven and knowledgeable, and who come to the table with myriad experiences. It’s a feast from which you can draw unlimited nourishment both during and after your time in the Hall of Flags.
For the years between college and Fletcher, I worked in private practice immigration law — mostly on asylum cases from around the world. I found my job extremely valuable and rewarding, but was getting frustrated doing work that didn’t affect the system creating the nightmare situations these asylees had had to live through. I chose an international affairs graduate school because I wanted to play a role in improving systems, rather than administering band-aids to consequences. Thankfully, that is exactly what I get to do now. I chose Fletcher because it was the very best at the factors that were important to me about graduate school. I knew it was an incomparable feast.
My concentrations at Fletcher were Human Security Studies and Leadership Studies (self-designed). Through research and in-depth interviews of leaders at the highest levels, my thesis examined leadership differences and similarities across the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Their insights and my learnings continue to aid my leadership trajectory today. I also organized the annual ski trip, and now serve as the Class of 2008 Reunion Chair.
After grad school I became a Chief of Staff on a U.S. Senate campaign in Massachusetts, then went on to join New Profit Inc. where I work on a rotation of special initiatives on behalf of the founder and Executive team. New Profit is a nonprofit social innovation organization and venture philanthropy fund headquartered in Boston. We invest significant growth capital in a portfolio of social entrepreneurs, work to scale their impact and drive systemic change in areas such as education, workforce development, public health, community development, and poverty alleviation.
Tagged with: Five-Year Updates
It’s hard to believe that today we kick off the long admissions season that will run until May 2014. A few applications for January enrollment are already complete and waiting to be read, while others are hot off the printer this morning. We expect the final flurry will arrive during the day today and will pop out of the system tomorrow. With staff travel continuing until at least the end of October, and many of our current activities focused on newly arrived students, sitting down with a pile of application files will be a welcome reminder of what’s coming up ahead.
Still catching up with some news from the summer (however distant a memory summer might be), I’m happy to shine a light on all that GMAP has been up to. Thanks to Adeline Wong (GMAP admissions manager) for writing up all the details of their busy summer.
Welcome to our newest Fletcher students, and a big welcome back to returning students, faculty, and staff! For most of Fletcher, summer is a time of travel, research, and regrouping before the following academic year. For the Global Master of Arts Program at Fletcher, it is a time of peak excitement and activity.
GMAP is a hybrid, mid-career master’s degree program that combines three two-week residencies with 33 weeks of online instruction. New classes start each March and July and complete the program one year later. Because students come together only three times a year, each of these residencies are intense experiences, with classroom sessions from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, supplemented with invited speakers, social events, and of course, great meals and stimulating conversations.
Over the summer, there were three GMAP residencies. The first was the closing residency for the July Class of 2012-2013. This was GMAP’s 22nd Commencement exercise. Traditionally, the program invites a GMAP alumnus to return as Commencement speaker, and this July, GMAP was delighted to welcome back Mark Mullinix (GMAP ’11), First Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. The class elected as their Class Speaker Khaled Mansour (GMAP13), an Egyptian journalist and novelist who was, until recently, Director of Communications at UNICEF. Professor Peter Walker, a member of GMAP’s faculty, provided the farewell from the faculty.
As GMAP celebrated its newest alumni group, we were also delighted to welcome its newest students, the July Class of 2013-14, who began their first residency on July 29. This new class of 38 students, representing some 20 different countries, came from the fields of energy, diplomacy, military, non-government organizations, business, finance, and law. Amidst orientation, classes, meals and speakers, the class also indulged in a long Tufts tradition – cannon painting! They also met Dean Jim Stavridis during his first few weeks as dean, when he shared his thoughts on returning to Fletcher after his years in the Navy.
GMAP then had its third residency, this time with our March Class of 2013-14 at their midyear international residency in Berlin, Germany. Each GMAP class travels to an international location for one of the three residencies, where they immerse themselves in the political, economic and social concerns of the country, especially as it relates to their studies. In Berlin, GMAPers found themselves in the front row viewing conversations on Germany’s economic and political reality in the European Union. Staying at a hotel just minutes from the Brandenburg Gate, the Berlin Wall, the Bundestag, and Checkpoint Charlie, the GMAP students, faculty, and staff also gained a deep appreciation for Germany and Europe’s history.
One of the highlights of the Berlin residency was the interaction that the GMAP Class had with Ambassador Klaus Scharioth — a distinguished Fletcher alumnus who was the former State Secretary of the German Foreign Office and the former German Ambassador to the United States (2006-2011) — and with Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, also an alum and former German Ambassador to the United States (2001-2006). Ambassador Ischinger invited the GMAP students and Fletcher alumni to an incredible evening at the Allianz Forum, located in the shadows of the Brandenburg Gate. He also hosted a dinner followed by a discussion with distinguished thinkers: Ambassador Scharioth, Dr. Helmut Anheier, Dean of the Hertie School of Governance, and Dr. Jörg Rocholl, President of the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT). The conversation delved into Germany’s identity, the European crisis, and transatlantic relations. You may have seen Dean Deborah Nutter’s interview with the two ambassadors in front of the Brandenburg gate on Dean Stavridis’ blog.
In addition, some 20 GMAP alumni met in Berlin for an Alumni Weekend consisting of continuing education classes, as well as social events which built new networks among the alumni and the students.
It was a wonderful summer for GMAP, filled with warm welcomes to new students, jubilant congratulations to new alumni, and a renewal of friendships among continuing students. We could not ask for a better way to start the new academic year!
Tagged with: GMAP
As I wrote yesterday, this year the Admissions Blog will be sharing the stories of three second-year students (Mirza, Roxanne, and Scott) and two (possibly more, still TBD) first-year students (Liam and Diane). Today, Liam describes his transition to student life.
I think one of the greatest challenges in coming to a professional school like Fletcher is that many of the students were just that — professionals — and being removed from the academic life for the “real world” for several years can make the return challenging.
For me, I was used to working 14 to 16 hours a day in a setting where I literally did not have a minute to myself. As I prepared to go to Fletcher, many people told me how much of a “break” it would be, compared to my last job. That’s partly true, insomuch as I make the decisions about what I do in the day, but the demands of the Fletcher curriculum are extremely rigorous, and when you couple that with our many extracurricular options both at Fletcher and throughout the greater Boson area, it can easily become overwhelming. Grad school is demanding; it’s also fun. My intent in this post is to highlight some of the adjustments that I found critical to making that transition a successful one.
1. First, I decided to treat grad school like a job. A second-year student gave me this tip early on, and it’s the soundest advice I’ve gotten here. I make myself set up a realistic daily schedule and hold myself to it. Regardless of when I have class, I start the day at a reasonable hour (like 9:00 a.m.) and get after my reading, research, papers, etc. To maximize time, I pack a lunch and keep going until 5:00 p.m. or so. The benefit of this approach is that, if I stick to the plan, I get a TON done, and I find myself with actual free time at night to have something of a social life or to do the other things that matter to me.
2. I found a place where I could focus. For many, this is the library, and there are so many great nooks and crannies in Ginn where you can hide away and get things done. For others, it may be their apartment or a coffee shop. I live in a quiet apartment close to school, so my living room is a good space for basic reading on topics I have an understanding of, but for tougher stuff I go to the library to really focus. The key goes back to my first point — I plan out my day and hold myself to it.
3. I make time to do the things I enjoy. For me, running is important, so I make a point of going to bed at a decent hour so I can get up early to run and still start schoolwork around 9:00. The course load will take all of your time if you let it, so I make a point of setting aside time for myself. It helps me blow off stress, and I find myself more relaxed and able to focus on my work. If I were to approach it as trying to “find” time for myself, rather than “making” time, I would simply never find that time.
4. I found it very important to join study groups, especially in the classes I have less background in. For me, my International Organizations class is tough — I have no law background, so it’s a whole new way of looking at things. At first, I would bang my head against the book trying to complete the readings, but early on I got together with a few other students in the class, and now we meet every week to go over the last week’s lectures and reading. It’s a great check to ensure I’m taking away the right lessons and tie them into the bigger picture of the syllabus.
5. Last, and the most important aspect of adjusting, has been getting to know my classmates and going out to do things. This means I don’t spend all my time studying. I’m going to be at Fletcher for a short time, so being social — hence not spending ALL my time studying — is important. Yes, this contradicts most of my previous points about being organized and focusing, but I want to spend time engaging with this amazing community. For me, I find it amazing to talk to other students about what they did before Fletcher and the impact they’ve already had on so many regions of the world. Conversely, things I’ve done that I really don’t think are all that special or important amaze a lot of other students I talk to. The number of guest lectures and extracurricular activities, groups, and opportunities here is staggering, and not taking the time away from studying to really get the full “Fletcher experience” would be missing most of the fun.
Tagged with: Student Stories
After a month of settling into the new academic year, it’s time to turn back to the stories of our student bloggers. Second-year students Scott, Mirza, and Roxanne have promised me updates in the next few weeks, and we’ll also be introducing two first-year students, Liam and Diane. Diane’s first post is still in the works, so we’ll let Liam kick off the series this year.
Liam is a MALD student focusing on International Security Studies and International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution. In a self-intro, he notes, “I am a Captain in the U.S. Army attending Fletcher to broaden my professional and educational experiences as an infantry officer. Since 2006, I deployed once to Iraq and twice to Afghanistan, leading organizations ranging from 18 to 230 soldiers. I am originally from central Massachusetts, so Fletcher provides me with an opportunity to reconnect with family and friends after having moved nine times in the last eight years. Outside of school, I am an avid runner and enjoy backpacking and the Pacific Northwest.”
I asked Liam to join the student blogger team after I enjoyed working with him last spring as he put together all the pieces to make attending Fletcher a reality. In tomorrow’s post, Liam will talk about how he has managed his transition to life at Fletcher.
Tagged with: Student Stories
I love Fletcher couples! So I was thrilled to hear about a wedding of two 2012 graduates with a special twist. Megan and Sebastián didn’t meet at Fletcher — they knew each other before, and applied to grad school hoping they would end up in the same place. I conducted Megan’s evaluative interview and, as I told her just before her graduation, it’s one that stands out in my mind, if only for the wonderful thank-you note she sent, complete with a map of the Dominican Republic (where she was working) and Haiti.
It wasn’t until I featured Fletcher Fútbol in the blog that I connected with Sebastián, but I very much enjoyed my interactions with him about a fun activity that had captured the attention of the entire community.
Naturally, when I heard about the wedding, I reached out to Sebastián, and asked for photos. He graciously sent several along. Don’t they look happy?
Sebastián called the wedding their “Hippy Celebration of Love,” and it took place in August at a lighthouse, in Oak Bluffs, MA.
But here’s the best part. The wedding was officiated over by Prof. John Hammock, who Sebastián said had “been a mentor for Megan before Fletcher, and I had the pleasure to take his class and receive his advice while in grad school.”
I don’t know if this is the first time a member of the faculty has conducted a wedding for two alumni, but I know it’s the first time I’ve ever heard about it. One of the best ever Fletcher weddings!
During the summer, I received a blog question that I never answered. A reader asked about the length of the admissions cycle. Although it’s possible that the reader was looking for different information than I’m about to provide, I’ll use this post to outline a broad timeline.
I’m going to work backwards from the very end of the cycle for September 2014 enrollment:
Applicants who are admitted to Fletcher for September enrollment need to reply to our offer of admission by April 20.
Applicants who apply by our December 20 (PhD), January 10, February 10, or March 1 deadlines, will receive admission decisions as well as scholarship decisions before the end of March. (Precise date always a little fuzzy until it actually happens.)
Applicants who apply by our Early Notification deadline of November 15 will hear their decisions by the end of December (without scholarship decisions). Some EN applicants will learn that the Admissions Committee has decided to reconsider their application in the spring.
As you can see, the length of the cycle will depend on where you start it. Some applicants have already started working on their application form, arranged an on-campus interview or uploaded an online one, submitted their standardized test scores. Others are only now researching graduate school options. The full process ends (essentially, except for waitlist activity) on April 20, but where it starts is up to each applicant.
For those applying for January 2014 enrollment, the cycle is much shorter. Applications are due October 15, decisions are mailed by November 15, and enrollment decisions are due December 1. Orientation begins January 8. A whirlwind!
Today, Christine gives you all the details on Fletcher’s evaluative interview program. Remember to check this page when you plan your interview!
The Evaluative Interview program has kicked into high gear! Appointments are starting to fill throughout the fall, leading to many happy interviewers, who are eager to get to know you!
By now you may be thinking, how can I interview and meet one of Fletcher’s highly trained student interviewers? Well, I am here to answer your interview-related questions.
What is an evaluative interview? Great question! A personal evaluative interview is a valuable way for you to share information about yourself and learn how The Fletcher School will meet your academic and professional goals.
Should I interview? The interview is recommended, but not required, for all applicants; however, PhD applicants are encouraged to interview.
When should I have my interview? Interviews should generally be completed at least one week prior to the application deadline. The interview program kicked off on September 23 and will run through Friday, December 6. Interviews are offered Monday through Friday during business hours (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Additional interviews will be conducted on a very limited basis until January 9.
When should I schedule my interview? You should schedule your interview as soon as possible, once you have an idea when you would like to visit. We have a good number of appointments available, so it is helpful if you can name a few dates that would be convenient for you. (Note, though, that dates in late November and December fill early!) If you are visiting from out of town (or even down the street!), you may want to schedule your interview in conjunction with an Information Session. More details regarding Information Session dates and times can be found here.
How should I schedule my interview? Please call the office directly at +1.617.627.3040. You should have dates and times in mind when you call, to allow us to best schedule you! If you are unable to call, you can also schedule your interview by email, though this can involve a long back-and-forth process until we find a convenient date. Scheduling by phone is more efficient.
I’m all scheduled! Now what? Once you have scheduled an appointment, you will receive an email confirmation with the date and time of your interview. Make sure you save and read this email thoroughly as it includes directions to the school, as well as what to bring with you (your resume!), practical suggestions (how to dress), and even hints as to the interview content!
If you have questions about the interview program or anything else Admissions related, please call us at +1.617.627.3040 or send us an email.
2013 is a birthday year for Fletcher — 80 years since the school’s founding in 1933. To mark the occasion, students, staff, faculty, and many alumni will be attending a gala on Saturday evening. And timed to coincide with the gala, The Fletcher Forum sent this announcement yesterday:
The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs is pleased to announce the online launch of our brand new issue, Vol. 37:3, “Fletcher at 80.” The Special Issue celebrates Fletcher’s 80th year with articles written by Fletcher alumni, faculty, and students.
The Special Edition of The Fletcher Forum features articles by Stephen W. Bosworth, Dean Emeritus of The Fletcher School, who shares his reflections on his tenure as Dean. It also includes a message from current Dean James Stavridis, who suggests key areas of focus for the school in the years ahead, while also reflecting on its cherished history. Prominent alumni and faculty lend their insights, and we read thoughts from Ambassador William A. Rugh, Richard H. Shultz, Jr., Ambassador Derek J. Mitchell, Hans Binnendijk, Michael Parmly, and many more. The edition also includes a conversation with Mimi Alemayehou, Executive Vice President of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). Topics covered range from U.S.-Burma relations, to gender analyses in international development, to the challenges facing NATO, to a change in the status quo at Guantánamo Bay. To view the complete list of articles and abstracts, along with PDF versions of the articles, please visit our website. Individual PDFs of the articles are also available.
The Forum is run by a staff of forty graduate students here at The Fletcher School, and your support helps us to put out the best product possible each semester. For further information, please contact The Forum staff. On behalf of the staff of The Fletcher Forum we thank you for reading and look forward to your comments, feedback, and submissions!
Tagged with: Fletcher Forum
Students have used many different media in the past to share their favorite music. This year, a student started Fletcher Infinite Playlist, a Facebook page where they can provide links to their favorite songs.
What I like best about Fletcher music lists is that people come at their preferences from so many different directions. Did a student choose a song from Brazil because he’s Brazilian? Because he lived there for a little while? Or because it’s so easy these days to hear music from other parts of the world?
If you need a little music interlude today, you could do worse than to start clicking through the list. Enjoy!
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