Do I need to say anything that the title of this post doesn’t already say? A little context, maybe?
Every year, the majority of our applicants wait until the last (or nearly last) minute to submit their applications. Meanwhile, as the clock ticks down, they anguish, stress, and contact the office to ask for a clearer definition of “January 10 deadline.”
Seriously. I’m asking.
Why would you risk the anxiety and hassle (and potential missed deadline) involved in waiting until the very last minute? And why take the time to ask whether a January 10 deadline means by close of business or before midnight?
Today is December 23. Eighteen days remain before January 10. Use 17 of them industriously, and you will not need to contact us for clarification of the deadline.
So, yes, dear blog readers, I am imploring you to do something good for yourself. Please submit your application before the deadline. Not so early that it’s incomplete, mind you, but early enough that you can relax while imagining other people’s frenzy on January 10.
And for the record: applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. EST (GMT-5) on January 10.
Tagged with: deadlines
With applications due in January, questions don’t stop for the holidays. Christine gives you the scoop on the Admissions schedule.
Classes are over, finals are winding down, and students are heading off for their winter break adventures. But do not fear! The Admissions Office will be here during this busy time! Our schedule will be as follows:
Monday, December 23 — Open
Tuesday, December 24 — Closed
Wednesday, December 25 — Closed
Thursday, December 26 — Open
Friday, December 27 — Open
Monday, December 30 — Open
Tuesday, December 31 — Closed
Wednesday, January 1 — Closed
Thursday, January 2 — Normal schedule resumes
We will be reachable by phone (+1.617.627.3040) or email. No question is too big or too small!
And from all of us in the Admissions Office, happy holidays!
Just before classes ended, Liam and I discussed possible topics for his next blog post. He mentioned how much he has enjoyed the talks he has attended throughout the semester. Since I never manage to join these special events during the busy fall, this seemed like the perfect subject for him. Here are Liam’s observations.
As my first semester came to a close and I feverishly studied for finals and finish term papers, I took some time to think about my Fletcher experience to date and about the aspects that stood out for me. What has really impressed me is the access I’ve been privileged to have to senior-level leaders from throughout the world and the remarkably candid remarks they’ve made in guest lectures at Fletcher.
Early in the year, I was privileged to sit in ASEAN auditorium and listen to President Toomas Hendrik Ilves of Estonia give a remarkable talk about cyber security and his country’s experience when faced with a massive cyber attack in 2007. President Ilves was incredibly engaging and straightforward, discussing what he sees as future security challenges for Europe, and I couldn’t help but be amazed that I was listening to a standing head of state give his incredibly honest opinions. You can get a sense of his perspective from his interview with Dean Stavridis.
As someone focusing on security at Fletcher, another incredible opportunity has been the International Security Studies Program’s luncheon series. I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to listen to General Raymond T. Odierno, Chief of Staff of the United States Army, discuss the challenges facing the Army over the next several decades and how he sees the Army adapting to that uncertain future. I heard Dr. David Chu, President of the Institute for Defense Analyses and former Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, discuss his ideas for a responsible drawdown within the Department of Defense, based on history. I’ve listened to General John Kelly, Commander of Southern Command, discuss the sphere and scope of his organization’s responsibility in Central and South America. And I’ve been able to hear Major General Bennet Sacolick, Director of Force Management and Development for the Special Operations Command, discuss the Global Special Operations Forces Network and the role Special Operations units can play in the ambiguous security environment we face. I might add that all of these events include an excellent free lunch (a must for busy graduate students) and truly invigorating discussions.
In addition to Fletcher events, I’ve attended some outstanding guest lectures within the greater Tufts community. From former Congressman Robert Wexler discussing his vision for a two-state solution in the Middle East, to Colonel Steve Banach explaining the use of design methodology to manage complexity and change, to Colonel Bill Ostlund calling in on videoteleconference from Afghanistan to discuss his brigade’s actions in Zabul Province, I’ve been exposed to an amazing breadth and depth of speakers.
Last, due to the reputation and variety of the amazing faculty here at Fletcher, my classes have included some incredible guest lectures. In one of the last weeks of the semester, we had a marvelous impromptu Skype session in my International Organizations class with Ambassador Simona-Mirela Miculescu, permanent representative of Romania to the UN. And I would be remiss if I left out the multiple opportunities that Dean Stavridis provides Fletcher students to hear him speak on a wide range of subjects, ranging from security threats to the strategic plan for the future of Fletcher and Tufts.
Simply put, it’s been an incredible experience to date, both in and out of the classroom, and I consider myself truly fortunate to have had this exposure to policy makers in all walks of life.
Decisions were posted yesterday for our Early Notification applicants so, today, I’ll try to anticipate incoming questions and answer them before you have a chance to ask.
First, allow me to congratulate those applicants who have already been admitted! We’re excited to welcome new students to the community, and I read some super applications in this round! I’m sure it’s good news that you can just relax through the next three months. Scholarship decisions will go out with the next round of admission decisions at the end of March, but you don’t need to make a final enrollment decision until April 20. Meanwhile, I encourage you to use this time to gather information about Fletcher so that you’re ready to make an informed decision. Of course, if you already know you’ll attend Fletcher, all the better!
Next, let me say that I’m sorry to bid farewell to a group of applicants who were denied admission. We always regret making these difficult decisions, but we hope it will help the applicants make their choices on where else they should apply.
Finally (and most complicated) are the applicants who were told we will discuss them again after we receive applications for our regular deadline in January. That is, we wish to look at the applications in the context of the larger application pool. Important to note if you fall in this group: you are welcome/invited/encouraged to update us on changes to your credentials. Here’s a list of updates that we particularly value:
- An updated transcript that reflects grades received since you submitted your application;
- New standardized exam (GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, IELTS) score reports;
- A revised résumé that includes information on a new job position;
- An additional recommendation that sheds light on an aspect of your background you weren’t able to illuminate in other parts of the application.
Are you thinking of something not included on the above list? It may be a fine addition. Just use this simple rule of thumb: if the information is already in your file in another form, there’s not much value in sending it again. That is, an additional academic recommendation will add little to an application that already includes three. On the other hand, a professional recommendation will add a lot to an application that only includes academic recommendations. Think it through before you flood us with info, but don’t hesitate to send us something that will give your application a happy bump.
Whether you were offered admission this week, or you were told we’ll reconsider your application in the spring, we look forward to hearing from you and to working with you during the coming months. Please be sure to be in touch if you have questions.
Tagged with: Early Notification
A quick update today on what’s happening in Admissions and at Fletcher.
In Admissions, we are:
- Wrapping up the Early Notification process;
- Awaiting the PhD and Map Your Future applications, which are due this Friday, December 20;
- Preparing for the January 10 deadline for September 2014 admission, when we’ll receive the majority of our applications to the master’s level programs;
- Getting ready to welcome the class entering in January 2014.
It’s one of those moments when the admissions process looks distinctly different, depending on which group you belong to. Those aiming for the January 10 deadline still have plenty of time to relax and procrastinate, while the PhD applicants are scribing away.
Meanwhile, at Fletcher, it’s quieter and quieter, as students peel away. Although exams continue through Wednesday, many students have already completed their commitments and are on their way to distant locales. If the sudden quiet weren’t notification enough that the winter break is nearing, the weekend’s snow was a clear reminder. The Admissions Office will remain open throughout the break, but we look forward to a chance to recharge and prepare for the super busy stretch that runs from January to May.
Fletcher wrapped up fall semester classes on Monday, and today finds students tucked in quiet spaces studying for exams. As the semester ended, student blogger Diane said she was thinking about how her classes fit together. Here are her reflections.
In choosing my classes for my first semester at The Fletcher School, I decided to go with a mixture of fulfilling as many of my depth and breadth requirements as possible; choosing classes that I was most excited about; and taking the class I was most afraid of. The end result was a diverse range of classes, which fit nicely together like a jigsaw puzzle.
For my first semester, I enrolled in Econometrics, Agricultural and Rural Development, Law and Development, Humanitarian Action in Complex Emergencies and Quantitative Methods (which was a module). As I explained in my previous post, I am interested in food security issues, particularly in Africa. Each of these classes has allowed me to view food security issues through a different lens, and has exposed me to new analytical frameworks I could never have imagined before starting at Fletcher.
In my Agricultural and Rural Development class, we learned about agriculture and food policy in developing countries from an economic perspective. In Law and Development, we examined the role of law and legal systems in the economic and social development of developing countries. This course has opened my eyes to a new perspective on food security issues; particularly highlighting how complicated legal systems that often exist around land can affect food security and resilience. Humanitarian Action in Complex Emergencies specifically focused on conflict situations, providing a contextual understanding of the political dimensions involved in responding to humanitarian needs in such situations.
Econometrics, on the other hand, has shown me the importance of statistical analysis in development and humanitarian programming. The professor combines her own research from Niger with the theory to provide context for the practical applications of econometrics. I now grasp the importance of research-based programming, as a means of not only being cost effective, but also better targeting communities’ needs. Quantitative methods was a six-week module that took place in the first half of the semester and that covered the basic quantitative foundation required for classes such as econometrics, microeconomics, and finance. It was a great class to take in my first semester, boosting both my quantitative skills and my confidence.
The biggest problem that I have discovered at Fletcher is that there are so many different courses on offer, and I am constantly hearing about courses that others have taken that I would like to enroll in next semester or next year. With only four semesters at Fletcher, I have learned that I need to be strategic in choosing classes, focusing on my goals and the skill sets I hope to gain during my graduate degree. I am excited to see what my final selection of Fletcher courses will end up looking like!
Tagged with: Student Stories
I’ve received some good suggestions to fuel my blogging through the next weeks from the survey I posted a few weeks back. Today, I’ll answer a few of the easily answered questions, in hopes that it will encourage more of you to tell me what’s on your mind.
Question: Other than the Admissions Committee, who reviews the applications? How much does the comments by these “others” matter in admitting or rejecting an applicant?
I love this question! I can’t remember ever being asked it by an applicant before. I’m guessing that the applicant is wondering about high-level administrators (the dean, etc.), alumni, or professors who might, somehow, weigh in and influence the admissions process. To answer, I’ll start with a reminder that the Admissions Committees for the MALD/MA and MIB programs already includes professors, along with the students and staff, while the PhD and LLM Committees are composed of professors and staff, but no students. At the master’s level (MALD, MA, MIB, LLM), there is no consultation with the many individuals or constituencies not included on the Committee. For the PhD program, professors are consulted as part of the process of finding the right advisor for each student. In no case are alumni or higher-level administrators part of the process. I’ve heard of other schools where the dean can unilaterally decide to admit an applicant. That’s not how we do things at Fletcher. On the other hand, it is certainly the case that professors are available to help us interpret an application if their expertise would be valuable.
Question: What does the Admissions Committee look for in the second essay?
I’m aware that each individual applicant is on his/her own schedule for researching and applying to graduate schools, so I’m happy to point you back to an Admissions Blog post from just a few weeks back. Most of what I could possibly say is included there, but I’ll reinforce my key point, which is that you should use the second essay strategically by focusing on a topic not otherwise covered in the application but that relates (however tangentially) to your qualifications for Fletcher. On the other hand, you shouldn’t overthink the strategizing — there’s no right answer.
Question: Are there application considerations for military personnel or veterans of military service?
Fletcher has a long history of educating military personnel who will continue their careers or who are transitioning to a new career. (This is one of the reasons I asked Liam to contribute to the blog.) I would say that the Admissions Committee views favorably the opportunity to bring military personnel and veterans into the Fletcher community. We are very familiar with the military academies (and the very heavy courseload that students pursue there), as well as the education paths of the many who joined the military before attending university. With an international student body, we naturally also see military veterans of many other countries, including applicants who have participated in mandatory public service. Beyond that, we review each application with an eye toward fairness, just as we would with applicants who have no military experience. Once students are here, Fletcher (and Tufts University as a whole) participates fully in Yellow Ribbon and other veterans’ scholarship programs, and we have a designated point-person to guide students through the very complicated process. In a bureaucratic duel between Fletcher and one of the military branches, we always endeavor to make Fletcher the less cumbersome bureaucracy. Plus, Dean Stavridis comes from a military background — you can count on a welcoming atmosphere.
Those are the answers for today! Please send me more of your questions!
The on-campus interview program officially ended on Friday, but your opportunities to interview are far from over. There are limited on-campus slots still available through January 9, and an infinite number of times when you can record your own video interview. Christine gives you the details.
For the second application season, Fletcher Admissions is giving you the chance to star in your own video interview!
Can’t make it to campus? Well, brush up on your interviewing skills, dress professionally, and conduct an interview right from the comfort of your own home (or coffee shop, or hotel lobby, or friend’s house — you get the idea). Video interviews are a great way to add valuable supplemental information to your application, such as detail about your background and how The Fletcher School will help you meet your personal and professional goals.
The video interview allows you to respond to a pre-recorded set of questions asked by current Fletcher students. Your recorded response to each question may take up to two minutes. The entire process can be completed in 15 to 20 minutes, so long as you follow the basic instructions.
So how do you go about requesting a video interview? Simple! You email us your name, preferred email address (in the body of the email message), and résumé. You will then receive a response containing the instructions and, more important, a link to the interview site. All video interviews must to be submitted before you submit your application. More information, including instructions and helpful tips, can be found on the Fletcher Admissions website.
We look forward to seeing you on the big screen!
If you have any questions regarding the video interview, please email us or call us at +1.617.627.3040.
Tagged with: Interviews
Attentive blog readers may have noted that I’ve barely written a word of my own this week. And today? I’m afraid I won’t be adding more than a few sentences. Today is the happy December day when the full Admissions Committee meets for the first time. It’s the Admissions staff’s chance to start working as a group with students and professors with whom we’ve been working in pairs or smaller groups up until now. So I’ll be grabbing a cup of tea and heading to the meeting room in just a few minutes. I hope that next week will offer more time to write. Have a good weekend, everyone!
Though between the hours of 8:00 and 5:30, today is a day like any other, the evening will find students scurrying from event to event. The end-of-semester avalanche of special activities lines up like this:
6:00: The annual debate between Professors Moomaw and Everett. (A previous year’s debate will give you a taste of the likely energy-related content.)
7:15: The Fletcher Winter Recital, featuring musical students, professors, and alumni.
10:30: The Los Fletcheros fall gig at Johnny D’s, a club in Davis Square. The place will be hopping! (Doors open at 9:00.)
Midnight: Reality sets in. Classes are all but over, and exams loom on the near horizon.
Tagged with: Los Fletcheros
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