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!
The reality is that I don’t travel as much as most of my admissions pals. This year, I’ll be representing Fletcher at one large grad school fair and three small ones. The big one is tonight — Washington, DC Idealist. I’m off to the airport soon. Back tomorrow. In between, I’ll answer a zillion questions and be very grateful for flat-heeled shoes.
Are you going to be at the Idealist fair tonight? Please come by and say hello. I’ll be accompanied by one current PhD student, one recent alum, and one alum who has been working for a few years. I’m looking forward to catching up with them and, of course, to meeting lots of prospective applicants.
Here’s a new initiative worth noting. This year, in partnership with D-Prize, Fletcher launches The Fletcher D-Prize: Poverty Solutions Venture Competition. Starting off the yearlong activity, the Fletcher D-Prize will offer an “ideation session” this week for budding social entrepreneurs throughout the university. As planning continues for the competition, I’ll be reporting back on the blog. For now, the competition’s Fletcher sponsor, the Institute for Business in a Global Context, is spreading the word via twitter. (
#FletcherDPrize and #FletcherEntrepreneur.)
While Christine is busy getting the on-campus interview program up and running (leaving little time to being consulted), I’ll step in to offer a tip for your communication with the office. No matter what the linguistic origin of your name, you may refer to yourself in a way that is different from your legal name. Robert might call himself Bob, or Xiaoyu might call herself Shelley. Totally normal in everyday life!
But grad school applications are not exactly like everyday life, and I want to encourage you to refer to yourself in a consistent way, or at least help us to connect your application materials by informing us of the name(s) you’ve used. Shelley might, for example, put Xiaoyu in parentheses, so that it’s clear both how she prefers to be called and also that she has a legal name that is different. Just be sure that we’ll know who you are, and please don’t rely on our memories, which may or may not work on a given day.
On a related note, be sure that email correspondence actually notes both your first and last name. Sometimes we try to file correspondence and discover that the writer hasn’t provided a last name. This is even more true if your email address doesn’t include your full name. (A special email address that includes your name could be a good addition to your application. It helps us keep track of things if your email address is email@example.com, instead of, say, firstname.lastname@example.org.)
All of this is to say that you’re best served in the admissions process by professional-level correspondence. And anything you can do to help us keep your materials organized will help you in the long run!
It’s natural that applicants want to ask questions of real-live students, so this year we’ve launched a “Connect with a Student” feature. If you are interested in connecting with a current Fletcher student, email email@example.com with the following information:
- intended degree program
- areas of interest, such as potential Fields of Study or career goals
- any specific questions you would like answered
The students who review the inbox will reach out to our Admissions Ambassadors to find someone whose interests match yours, if needed. (General questions will, of course, get the quickest response.)
Suddenly my inbox is filled with notes about Norway. OK, not filled, exactly, but this sudden rush of Norway-related news is a little surprising. It started with a chat with Melanie, one of our PhD students, who spent the summer at Norway’s International Law and Policy Institute as a research fellow. But then, a second-year MALD student, Caroline, sent me this note:
I have a story I thought admissions might like for the Admissions Blog.
Last week on Monday, Eirik (one of our awesome resident Norwegians), arranged an election-watching party in Blakeley to follow the outcome of the Norwegian parliamentary elections. We watched the announcement that “Iron Erna” Solberg would become the next Norwegian prime minister. Popular Norwegian sweets were served, and some people had prepared short backgrounders on the various parties.
A reporter from Norwegian state radio NRK was present, and on September 10, her recordings became a short story on NRK radio.
You can hear the story here (in Norwegian and English): Norway elections recording(1)
And here (thanks to Eirik) is a photo of the Blakeley Hall lounge scene for Norwegian election night:
Then, Caroline reminded me that another student, Jamie (actually, a 2013 grad) had emailed me in August about a trip to Norway. Jamie wrote:
I’m currently in Oslo, Norway, with a group of seven Fletcher students and alumni for a “research trip” exploring Arctic issues from the Norwegian perspective. We are with Professor Perry (through his Institute for Global Maritime Studies) and the whole trip is funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Defense. It’s an awesome program, and we hope to establish a relationship that will enable future Fletcher students to participate each summer for years to come. We have met with government officials from the Norwegian Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of the Environment, Ministry of Energy, and Ministry of Fisheries, in addition to a few think tanks and the World Wildlife Fund (and that was all in two days — it’s been jam packed). We also had the unique opportunity to meet the U.S. Ambassador to Norway, Ambassador Barry White, and receive a briefing from the Embassy’s Arctic expert on U.S. strategic interests in the region. And we had a lot of fun being tourists in Oslo today at the Viking Museum and the Maritime Museum. Tomorrow we fly up to Svalbard (Norway’s island in the Arctic Circle) to participate in a seminar where we will both present our research and listen to conference speakers. We even managed to organize a Fletcher alumni happy hour in Oslo yesterday, and met a new student who will be starting in the fall (now he’s really excited to start!).
I was supposed to follow-up with Jamie, but I had neglected to do so, and I asked Caroline, who herself was one of the travelers, to fill in the blanks for me (and send photos!). Caroline wrote:
In August, as temperatures soared across the world, a group of Fletcher students, alumni, and Professor Perry traveled to Norway to learn more about the Arctic. Only hours after landing in the country, we began meetings with government officials, think tanks, and civil society, to learn more about Norway’s Arctic — the “High North.” With help from the Norwegian Atlantic Committee arranging the Oslo portion of the trip, our meetings highlighted the unique qualities of the High North, and the geopolitical concerns in the region. As a backdrop, election campaigning for the Parliamentary Elections was taking place, with party information booths in all the major centers in Oslo.
After several days of meetings, and exploration of Oslo, we boarded a plane to Svalbard, located at 78° North in the Arctic Circle. Landing in Longyearbyen, the largest settlement on Svalbard with 1,400 people, we participated in a week-long summer school conference through the University Centre in Svalbard: joining 25 young researchers from across the globe, who specialize in subjects ranging from political science to climatology, and all with research on the Arctic. The summer school featured talks by Arctic experts, and debates about the future of shipping in the Arctic. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, the conference was designed to capitalize on dialogues formed between representatives of different disciplines during their time together. Together, we produced a report based on our findings. In the report writing process, our Fletcher skill set came to be very useful, as we managed the process and helped with the synthesis of different fields.
Abandoned mines and mining infrastructure dotted the treeless, sparse landscape of Svalbard. The permafrost landscape was experiencing its long, but cold, summer, illuminated in the middle of the night by the midnight sun. During the week in Svalbard, we took the opportunity to explore by going on long hikes and excursions, always with a person who carried a loaded rifle in case we might encounter a dangerous, hungry polar bear. One excursion took everyone to the abandoned Russian mining town of Pyramiden, and a nearby glacier.
We also met with some previous Fletcher graduates. The incoming class of Norwegian diplomats, which includes three recent Fletcher alumni, was in Svalbard as part of a tour of Norway. One evening, gathered at one of the four bars in Longyearbyen, five generations of Fletcher shared a drink. Even in the Arctic, you are never far from Fletcher!
The trip was incredibly valuable for several reasons. First, it provided context to what we had read and heard about the Arctic, especially in understanding the low risk for conflict in the region. Second, we were able to talk to the current and future generations of key thinkers about the Arctic. And finally, we will be sharing what we learned with the Fletcher community in a presentation later this year. Through this first-hand learning experience, we now better understand the opportunities emerging in this corner of the world and how the Fletcher education can help us tackle the Arctic’s most complex challenges.
It all sounds fantastic, and until I heard from Jamie and Caroline, I had no idea this trip was taking place, and I always appreciate it when students keep me informed. Who knows what country or topic will be taking over my inbox next!
September is three-quarters vaporized already and the October 15 deadline for January enrollment is only three weeks away! January enrollment has traditionally been limited to the MALD program, but this year — following a re-think — it’s an option for MIB students, too.
“Januarians” are always a special subset of the community. Their Fletcher careers put them in contact with three different classes, giving them an extra broad network. They also have the opportunity to pursue two different internships during their two summers, or they can use one summer for an internship and one for another activity, such as career-related language study. There are some real pluses to starting midyear.
Of course, there are some negatives, which mostly relate to being newbies when everyone else already knows the ropes, but the negatives are quickly overcome.
From an Admissions perspective, reviewing the applications that arrive in October gives us a good chance to get back into the application-reading groove. That it’s a smaller, more manageable batch of applications makes it all seem easy, and then it’s only two months before we can greet the new midyear students!
Tagged with: Januarian
Fletcher’s Ginn Library reference librarian, Ellen McDonald, and I share something in common: we both have had two Fletcher careers. In Ellen’s case, both careers (separated by a long gap) were in the library. I asked her to reflect on the amazing change to the library’s role in the sharing of information from her first career to her second.
Libraries are undergoing rapid change and Fletcher’s Ginn Library is no exception. Thirty years ago, the central feature of the library’s Reference Room was eight sections of 72-drawer catalog cabinets. Computers were tucked into a small room which contained four boxy terminals. Students worked at the Reading Room tables or settled into individually assigned study carrels in the stacks. The on-duty Reference Librarian could be found seated at a centrally located desk with a phone and small ready-reference book collection at hand. The general rule of library etiquette was QUIET.
Today, Ginn Library looks and feels very different. While quiet study space continues to be one of the library’s main attractions, Fletcher students today also require collaborative work space. One of the major features of a Fletcher education is networking: sharing knowledge and the creation of lifetime bonds. Changes in technology, research, teaching, and learning have created a very different context for the missions of academic libraries. As scholarship has grown more interdisciplinary, so has the library’s space evolved to facilitate this transition. Today, Ginn is filled with furniture and spaces that are easily adapted to changing research and study styles. The lower stacks area is now a group study lounge, equipped with large screens and whiteboards. The group project areas are abuzz with students interacting, teaching one another in peer-to-peer workshops and collaborating on group assignments.
Information abundance due to mass digitization means that librarians have more work guiding users to the right sources — scholarly content can get lost in the internet flood. Increasingly, librarians serve as curators of information, determining what to collect, store and deliver…and what not to collect. With information-on-demand and instant information gratification the rule of the day, googlized students are less likely to need the fact-checking skills of a Reference Librarian. Increasingly, students and professors turn primarily to Ginn’s librarians for in-depths consultations about research papers, Capstone Projects, internships, dissertations and field work. Many of these reference transactions have moved from a reference office and phone to an online chat or e-mail. Some of our GMAP students prefer the technological synthesis of old and new interactions that Skype offers…a digital “face-to-face” meeting.
The impact of digital technology pervades most every library function. The library’s oak catalog disappeared twenty years ago and large portions of the collection have followed it into the virtual world. The ability to digitally obtain material via interlibrary loans has exploded the physical limitations of the library’s collection. Ginn has less need to store large runs of journals, as digital libraries and resource-sharing consortia proliferate. But walk into the Reading Room, and you’ll be transported back in time to Fletcher’s beginnings when the photograph to the right was taken. Some things will never change. The walls here still contain the same treaty collections, state papers and legal treatises. Portraits of former deans still line the walls. The library as a physical place continues to be a hub of learning and a connection to our past and shared history. Despite all that has changed over the decades in Ginn Library, visiting alumni will discover a library space that continues on as the heart of the Fletcher School — a place for connection, collaboration and contemplation.
Tagged with: Ginn Library
Today, Christine describes several options for visits to Fletcher. (During your visit, you can even Consult Christine in person!)
You may have noticed that we have some exciting new programming taking place this year in the Admissions Office. In addition to our weekly Information Sessions and Evaluative Interviews, the team has added “Visit Events,” a new way for you to interact with staff and students and to learn about Fletcher. Now let’s dig a bit deeper into these visit options!
Visit Days: One of our Visit Events, Visit Days will be offered on several Fridays this fall. The events will all include lunch, an information session, a current student panel, and a tour of Fletcher. There is also the option to interview before or after the event, though space is limited. (Interview appointments will be made on a first come, first served basis.)
Evening Information Sessions: These are similar to our Visit Days, except, well, you guessed it, at night! We will have two evening sessions this semester to provide prospective applicants even more flexibility to learn about Fletcher at their convenience.
MIB Visit Days: MIB Visit Days provide the opportunity for prospective applicants to learn more about this program. These sessions, which will held on Mondays October 7 and November 4 this fall, allow you the opportunity to interact with current students, sit in on Fletcher classes, and attend an information session that will cover the specifics of the MIB program. Lunch is provided. (How could you say no to that?!) There is also the option to interview while you are here.
PhD Visit Day: This year’s PhD Visit Day will be held on Monday, October 21. This day is specifically tailored to the needs of prospective PhD applicants, including an informative session focusing on this program. It is also strongly suggested that you schedule an interview, should you attend this event.
All of our visit options are free and open to all interested applicants! If you have questions about any of the programming this year, please send us an email or give us a call at +1.617.627.3040. We are happy to answer any questions you have and even happier to meet you when you visit!
Tagged with: Consult Christine
This week we really kicked off our fall travel. Kristen has already been to New York and back for MBA and Idealist fairs. And Liz is wrapping up a trip to the Midwest. Here are a few photos that she sent along from a visit to Macalaster College in St. Paul, MN.
A welcome sign on a sunny day after a long drive:
The team for the panel discussion:
Most of our travel falls into one of two categories, either participating in various types of graduate school fairs, or visiting colleges and universities in the U.S. and beyond. The college visits are often done together with a group of representatives of some APSIA peers. It’s helpful to the students we meet to hear a diversity of information, and it gives us a great window into what our friendly competitors are doing.
The travel schedule is nearly complete, but some last visits are still being added. Check it out, now and then, to see if we’ve added a visit to a location near you.
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