Currently viewing the tag: "Hall of Flags"
Why would anyone put off doing something really enjoyable? Though that remains one of the great imponderables, the fact is that Kristen and I love hanging out in the Hall of Flags and chatting with the folks who pass by. And you can be sure that someone will be there, nearly any time of day. Nonetheless, the entire academic year passed before, on one of the pre-exams “study days,” we finally planted ourselves by the front “welcome desk” and snagged students and professors as they went from A to B. We asked each of our conversation partners to tell us something great about their year.
On the particular day we were there, we happened to catch a disproportionate number of MIB students. Also, it was the day when the recipient of the 2016-2017 Paddock Teaching Award had just been announced, and Professor Patrick Schena was on everyone’s mind.
Auyon and Coco, both second-year MIBs
Coco: The most amazing fact about Fletcher life is our access to faculty, for example Bhaskar Chakravorti and Professor Schena. All the professors are so friendly and so nice and accessible, and I don’t think that’s a kind of experience that I could get elsewhere.
Auyon: I would echo what Coco said. For me, it’s also Professor Schena — I took a class with him, he’s the one who helped me get an internship, and he’s my capstone advisor. I enjoyed Professor Jacque’s classes a lot, as well as Professor Schaffner’s Econometrics class. I was dreading it at first, but I really appreciate her approach to the material.
Callie, first-year MALD
I live in Blakeley Hall and I’ve made a group of really really amazing friends, and a great community. I even met my boyfriend, who also lives in Blakeley.
Anurag, mid-career MA student
(Anurag referred us to this page when we asked for a photograph.)
It’s different for us mid-career students because we come in with very substantial experience, in my case 14 to 15 years of experience. There was a panel that MA students organized last fall, where we spoke about our careers and our collective experience. The people who attended found it very useful. Students like us are available and we offer our best advice. With 15 years of experience in the field, you do learn about life.
I’ve been focused on general management and finance-related courses, both here and at HBS (Harvard Business School). That’s a wonderful thing about Fletcher, being able to take HBS courses. I already have an MBA degree, but still I learned a lot here. At Fletcher, I took Islamic Banking and Finance, and with a world-renowned professor — that’s not something you’ll find in many places.
I have two finals and two papers pending. One final is in economics. I’m not an economist, so I’ll do a lot of studying for that.
Faith, first-year MALD
I think the best experience has been to meet and be roommates with people from all over the world, and to be able to go home after school and keep the conversation going. Not even in terms of country perspective, but also what people study. We all met a little randomly. I have a roommate who studies gender and now I realize I don’t know gender, and I need to take a class to be able to understand it. It’s being able to learn as much when we’re out of class as when we’re in class.
Today I’m preparing a presentation for the government of Estonia, for the consulting class. I’m meeting with Ali to talk about the presentation for the Estonian government on Friday.
Ali, second-year MIB (here to meet with Faith)
What’s top of my list today is last night’s Fletcher Follies, which is an annual event where students show homemade videos about their experience at Fletcher. We gather, we watch them together, and then they’re immediately erased from the record. They were hilarious!
I’m excited about FSIG (Fletcher Social Investment Group) and we’re discussing incorporating it into my class Market Approaches to Development. So I’m looking forward to that, both using some of their methods and maybe we can integrate some of the clients in the class, too.
I’ll be working increasingly with refugee and migrant populations in terms of my research. What we’re trying to do is what Eileen Babbitt calls “building a wider bench.” We’re trying to be sort of a magnet, trying to create a positioning for Fletcher.
Before heading back to our desks, Kristen and I paused to chat with a group that had gathered and had an unusual number of markers on their table. You’ll recognize student blogger McKenzie, I’m sure.
Michael (second-year MIB), McKenzie (second-year MIB), Alexandra (first-year MALD), and Ashray (first-year MIB), AKA the Fletcher MIINT Team!
We’re signing a photo from our MIINT win for Professor Schena. We were talking about bringing him a souvenir from Philly, and our souvenir turned out to be the plaque for the win.
And with that, our annual blog foray to the Hall of Flags was over. We made our annual pledge to spend more time there next year, though it remains to be seen whether we’ll succeed in organizing ourselves to do so.
The Hall of Flags is Fletcher’s town square, its crossroads, its living room — everyone walks through at some point during the day. A highlight of my year comes when I grab my computer and my ace co-pilot, Kristen, and head out to the HoF to talk with whomever we see. Students, staff, faculty — we don’t hesitate to keep them any of them from getting their work done, or even from crossing the Hall of Flags on the way to the door. We started our HoF time by scanning the scene to choose our first conversational target. Our topic for the day: Tell us something noteworthy about your year at Fletcher.
There’s often a student staffing a table at which tickets to an event are sold. A perfect place to start.
Carmyn, second year student pursuing dual degree with the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna (selling tickets for Americana Night):
One of the most noteworthy things for me this year were the guest and visiting speakers that came to Fletcher. For example, I kicked off my year by attending a luncheon lecture as a part of the International Security Studies lecture series, and heard from General Petr Pavel, the Chairman of the Military Committee for NATO. In addition, the Fletcher Security Review has also hosted some really amazing and highly experienced professionals as guest speakers. I feel very invested and involved in the fields that I am studying. There are so many engaging things here at Fletcher, so it’s really great to have those opportunities on the academic side, as well as many possibilities to attend social events led and organized by students. Aside from that, just getting to know people at Fletcher has been great. The student body here is phenomenal.
Helen, Associate Director of the Office of Career Services:
We have ten new Blakeley Fellows! Jerry Blakeley very generously has given $50,000 for the summer of 2016 to support ten first-year students doing internships in developing countries, focused on microfinance, private sector development, public/private partnerships, NGO business development, and project financing.
Although there are other sources of funding for summer internships, this amount can significantly defray expenses for these unpaid internships. Countries that students will be working in include Uganda, Tanzania, Nicaragua, Malawi, Indonesia, and India. This is the ninth summer that the Blakeleys will be supporting students doing these types of internships.
Halley, Staff Assistant for the Office of the Registrar (just completing her first year at Fletcher):
It’s been really amazing meeting and interacting with so many students from all over the world and so many cultures and backgrounds, getting to know them throughout the year, and seeing them succeed academically and thrive at Fletcher.
Peter, second-year MIB:
I’m involved in the Fletcher Social Investment Group — one of the leadership members — and we had the opportunity to present at the CEME Fellows meeting and to get their feedback, and to share with the external Fletcher community what we’re up to.
Preetish, second-year MALD:
My entrepreneurship class in Energy, Entrepreneurship and Finance, which is what we’re currently working on. The way energy and finance comes together in class is interesting. I’m looking for a career in this field.
Peter: The professor (Barbara Kates-Garnick) is also the former Commissioner of Energy in Massachusetts, so it’s really interesting.
Harper, first-year MALD:
I like the flexibility that the MALD program provides so that you can take a class like Energy, Entrepreneurship and a class like Role of Force in the same semester.
Why interrupt only one study group? We moved on to what we thought was another. Turned out it was three people simply chatting together. Nate and Cristina were both volunteer interviewers for Admissions in the fall!
Nate, second-year MALD:
It was definitely the media communications panel from the DC Career Trip, because it was very encouraging to interact with so many alums who work in a space that I’m actively pursuing a career in. I appreciated that they did such a great job relating their Fletcher experience to their career paths and also how enthusiastic they were about making time in their day to encourage aspiring students to follow their career path. At the panel, there were representatives from The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Inter-American Development Bank, FCW, and the Glover Park Group.
Marc, mid-career MA student:
One of the more noteworthy events?…I hate to follow and say the DC Career Trip, but in particular, I attended a small session on conflict and violent extremism at the State Department with a number of officials, and it was a good opportunity to talk about the profession, and it dovetailed with classes here. It reminded me why I came here. I previously worked for Chemonics, but I want to get into CVE, and it’s great to know that there are a lot of people from Fletcher doing cutting edge work in that field.
Also, I’ve taken classes in urban planning and GIS – it was a great opportunity to tie in those topics that I may not have been able to study elsewhere.
Cristina, first-year MALD:
International Negotiations with Professor Babbitt. She’s a very dynamic professor and her command of the subject matter is impressive. She really knows how to teach, too!
I successfully defended my thesis in December 2015. Since then, I’ve continued my work with folks in the U.S. government — specifically advising on the policy stance toward the current crisis in Burundi.
Liz’s dissertation title: “Securing the Space for Political Transition: The Evolution of Civil-Military Relations in Burundi.”
With that, we decided it was time to head back to our day-to-day work. We’ll be back, Hall of Flags! Until then…
Though you wouldn’t guess it from the number of times we scheduled and rescheduled, one of my favorite things to do around here is to grab my trusty co-pilot, Kristen, and head out to the Hall of Flags to chat with students for the blog. For those who haven’t visited, the Hall of Flags is the main gathering spot at Fletcher, and the best place to catch up with folks. And that’s what we did last Tuesday. Because we’re so close to the end of the semester, we asked everyone about a highlight of their year.
As soon as we walked into the HoF, we saw Terry and Stephanie, both of whom were included in the post about last year’s HoF visit. This time, Stephanie was selling tickets to “Americana Night” and Terry was keeping her company.
Terry (MALD ’15): The highlight of my year is Fletcher Follies, which hasn’t actually happened yet. Last year’s Follies was my favorite event of my whole Fletcher experience so far. It’s fun making videos and also seeing how creative people are in terms of their execution of the videos. And it’s a highlight from a social perspective. It brings together students, staff, and faculty in a collegial way leading up to finals. Everyone is very stressed out by that time in the semester, but it’s a fun way for all the students to come together in one room.
Stephanie (MALD ’15): I’m looking forward to Follies as well, but I’m more excited about the Follies videos I’m making. I’m doing four — a Harry Potter themed one, and a “30 Rock” parody called “160 Pack,” and we also did a “Shining” themed one.
Stephanie probably listed all four, but I appear to have missed one.
Marie (MALD ’15): The highlight of my year is my class with Prof. Khan, Historian’s Art. It’s a phenomenal class. It goes through great moments in history like World War I and the Cuban Missile Crisis. It assumes we know about the events and Prof. Khan focuses on the time leading up to them and who the key players are.
Ravi (MIB graduate and IBGC Research Fellow): My highlight was a perfect week when, on Monday, Bloomberg wrote about Mark Zuckerberg’s speech in Barcelona and, in the same paragraph, referenced our Digital Evolution Index, saying that the global investment community agrees with our research findings. Then, the week ended on Friday with Bill Gates tweeting out the article that Bhaskar (Chakravorti), Rusty (Tunnard), and I wrote in the Harvard Business Review to his 20 million followers, and it got retweeted nearly 5000 times. It was the most perfect week with the best bookends that one could hope for.
Stephen (MA ’15) (camera shy): Last week we did a class trip down to the Naval War College. We got to see a lot of speakers and visit downtown Newport. We had a talk on North Korea, Taiwan defense, and Chinese anti-access.
Next we chatted with Morgan, who like Stephanie, was selling tickets — in this case to the Diplomat’s Ball. Check, cash, or Venmo.
Morgan (MALD ’15):
We had a sending off party for one of our friends who recently got a wonderful job opportunity in Washington, DC. The energy in the room was incredibly supportive, nurturing and all those good things. It was a wonderful experience, full of love and light and appreciation for each other.
Mary (MALD graduate and current Assistant Director of Student Affairs, who as part of her job responsibilities, attends the social events on campus): Africana Night was a highlight. It has struggled over the years, including once when it was snowed out. This year’s was the best Africana Night I had ever seen. It was very high energy and the acts were high quality.
Sid (MIB ’15): For spring break, I went with Fletcher friends, seven of us, to the Bahamas. We went diving and the instructor asked us where we were from, and we were all from different countries, including Korea, Thailand, India, Japan, U.S., and Nepal. He was really surprised and asked how we came together.
When we finished talking to Sid, all system broke down. We spotted Meg, a PhD student, and went to chat with her. Then Ben, another PhD student, came along and we pulled him over. And then we interrupted both of them when Prof. Burgess came along.
Prof. Burgess (Director of the LLM Program): One of my high points was being able to have coffee, along with all the other LLM students, with Judge Joyce Aluoch, (F08) the Vice President of the International Criminal Court. She joined our group to provide both an overview of the activities of the ICC and to chat informally about current issues facing the court and questions of international law generally. It’s a special aspect of Fletcher that opportunities like this exist, so that students like our LLM students have an opportunity to meet and interact with very experienced and senior international lawyers.
Them: We’re mentor and mentee.
Us: Which way does it go? Who’s mentor and who’s mentee?
Meg: Our PhD cohort is the best ever. Last September, eight of us started. We have a diverse group. We just jelled very quickly during Orientation and then we accepted the four internals (who had completed the MALD) into our coven. We all get along really well, and we fight like brothers and sisters. We adopted Ben into our cohort.
Ben: I’m jealous. Having the large number of external admits last year has broadened the community in an exciting way.
Brionne (MALD ’15): I’m leaving for Washington, DC tomorrow, but today I’m presenting at the Diversity and Inclusiveness Committee about equity inclusion for Fletcher students. I completed classes in January, and starting next week I’ll be working at USAID as a presidential appointee. I’ll be serving as a Congressional Liaison Officer, supporting Agency priorities on Africa and democracy, conflict and humanitarian assistance, meaning I’ll be pushing for incentives that President Obama spearheaded, such as the Mandela Washington Fellowship.
Throughout this semester, while waiting for a security clearance, I’ve been embraced by the community and supported as I navigate my transition into the professional world. The administration has been especially supportive as I completed my capstone. I’ve continued to build on my relationships with students and also continued to work on ongoing student efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in line with the Fletcher Strategic Plan.
By then, an hour had passed and it was time for Kristen and me to return to our day-to-day work. We only managed one blog trip to the Hall of Flags in 2014-15, but we’ll be back, hopefully more than once, next year.
With two references to the Diplomat’s Ball fundraiser in yesterday’s post, maybe you’re wondering what choice items are up for bid. I took a minute to note a few of the options:
Delicious Indian meal
Personal hair style session
Piano lesson from a professional pianist
Lesson on bagel making
Cantonese comfort food
Consultation on the process leading to U.S. permanent residency
Boston film tour, drinks, and endless Matt Damon facts
Introductory shooting session
Online dating profile consultation
“Nail Night” (fancy fingernails)
Two homemade apple pies (yum)
Learn Persian slang
Homemade Pakistani foodBut then, with the silent auction phase ending, and the live auction scheduled for last night, the Social List was buzzing yesterday with special promotions by those trying to draw bids on their offers. For example:
Maybe you’re inspired by the Pakistan cricket team’s recent stellar play and want to tap into another sport that Pakistanis dominate….
…Or maybe you want to learn the basics of what has been called the healthiest sport to play
…or maybe you want to get some face time with the Dean
If any of the above are true, you should bid on my squash lessons tonight at the live auction. While I can’t promise the level of dominance that other Pakistanis have been able to enjoy, I can teach you the basics. I will provide the venue, racquet, and ball.
Or then there’s:
Coffee Tour & Serenade: I will personally take you on a tour of the area’s premier coffee establishments. I’ll buy you coffee, tell you made-up facts about each place, and generally show you a good time. I will also sing to you…maybe in the car, maybe on the sidewalk…it’s a surprise.
If you come to the live auction tonight, you will have the privilege of bidding on a tour of the area’s premier coffee establishments. As I have recently returned from a tour of a working coffee plantation in Costa Rica, I am clearly the perfect guide for you.
The emailed descriptions only got crazier from that. But they all displayed the many talents (and some “talents”) of the student community.
No Faculty Spotlight feature today. I’m going to take a couple of weeks to collect more entries and load them into the blog format. Meanwhile, Kristen and I spent a little while in the Hall of Flags on Monday, meeting new friends and catching up with old ones. For those who haven’t yet been for a visit, the Hall of Flags is the “town square” of Fletcher — everyone goes through there at some point each day. We reserved ourselves a table (by which I mean I stuck a note on it, saying that Admissions needed the table at 12:15), and we set up. Kristen was my Wrangler/Photographer. I asked the questions and took notes. Keeping things simple and casual, we just asked everyone what they’ve been up to. It’s a small sample, but it’s clear that students and professors both have a lot going on.
Kelsey (MALD): We’re both working on the Diplomat’s Ball fundraiser this week. It’s an activity auction, where students volunteer their skills, and other students bid on them, and it will help reduce Dip Ball costs. Some of the skills are cooking meals for other people, going rock climbing, and learning about how to drink whiskey. And then there are midterms. And my thesis.
Stephanie (MALD): I need to remember to get a haircut some time in the future. And I’m going to try to work with a professor for a conference this semester on state failure in Africa.
Jake (dual MALD and JD): I went skiing last weekend at Killington. This week I’m doing my problem sets for various classes and working on a Harvard Law and International Development Society project. This weekend, I’m probably going to the zoo with my 13-month-old daughter.
(Jake explained that the Harvard Law and International Development Society draws students from around the Boston area, including from Fletcher. Kristen and I noted that it’s not uncommon for the out-of-class activities that students pursue to involve homework. A happy nerdiness.)
Becca (MA): I just found out that we’re moving to Japan for three years. I’m a little bit overwhelmed right now, finishing up all my academic requirements. And I have two children. I’ll receive my orders, pack it all up, and move over there.
(Here, Kristen, who is organizing a move of her own, but only across town, commiserated, and shared some of her own move-induced anxiety.)
Becca: You can’t control everything. (Becca is in the Marine Corps.)
Peter (MALD): I just got off a call from our client for the consulting class, and we have a contact we’re supposed to reach out to this week. And we have a deliverable due on Friday.
Terrell (MALD): On Thursday, I organized an LGBT event with BU, BC, Harvard, MIT, and Tufts. We expected 40, and 130 turned up — it was a happy hour. Everyone was very excited – it hasn’t been done in a few years, and it’s going to be a great way to build community and make connections.
Prof. Chakravorti: Last week was an interesting week because in one day, I got a sense of the full span of Fletcher. In the afternoon I was talking to Dr. Mowaffak al Rubaie, the Fletcher Statesman-in-Residence and a former Iraqi National Security Advisor, about establishing a chain of KFCs in Baghdad. The broader topic was examining business as a stabilizing force in post conflict zones. Then I spoke with Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen from Google on how the new digital age is spreading power to the periphery of society, where everyone has power in their hands in the form of their smartphones, and what this digital rebalancing of power is going to mean.
(Eric Schmidt is the chairman of Google, and Jared Cohen is the director of Google Ideas.)
Laura (MALD): Here’s what my day looks like. Wake up at 7 a.m. for a call to Nairobi; help organize a silent auction for the Diplomat’s Ball; study for my class on education and armed conflict; bake a birthday cake for a military fellow; turn in an econometrics problem set; attend a fund raiser for the Fletcher Marathon Team; and read my Strategy and Innovation business cases.Prof. Drezner: I’m finishing the second edition of my zombie book. (Prof. Gallagher, who indulged us in a previous Hall of Flags visit, then hurried him along to some event that had them both looking pretty spiffy.)
Michael (dual MA-MD): The Social List has been boring this year, so I instigated some arguments about the situation in Ukraine, and I think we had some positive outcomes. I asked, why is it really in our interest to care about this? People got upset, they wrote back. As an aspiring doctor, I feel you have to be realistic about the options you have, and if you don’t understand your options, you’re not qualified to handle the job.
Anna (MIB): It’s very nice to be in a place where you can have many different points of view, especially very extreme views, because it’s through discussion that you better understand complex topics.
And with that, Kristen and I headed back to our respective corners. I always enjoy my HoF sessions. Maybe there’s still time for one more later this spring.
Last week, Kristen and I went out to the Hall of Flags for an hour to chat with students and capture some of their thoughts for the blog. I was the typist, and Kristen was the wingwoman/interviewer/photographer. We asked as many people as we could to tell us something that they learned at Fletcher, either inside or outside the classroom. Our first visitor was Matt, a PhD candidate, who kicked off our conversations with a way-outside-the-classroom response.
Matt: I’ve learned that it actually is possible to learn a whole Bollywood dance in only a week. In order to get a date.
The remaining responses trended somewhat more academic.
Felix: One of the biggest things I’ve learned here is how to squeeze the world into two pages. Presenting international terrorism to your foreign minister — 90 seconds. NATO-Russia relations — two pages. Dealing with complex information in a pragmatic way, a solution-oriented way.
We chatted together with an MIB duo of David and Qasim.
David: So much of what I’m learning is from my fellow students, especially in settings where we do teamwork, which is very conducive to new learning. It’s intense and the learning curve is very steep, but I’ve learned a tremendous amount.
Qasim: I’ve learned about the experiences of many different people I’ve met – how to make their food, and the different ways they live. And the second thing I’ve learned is how to manage my time and prioritize.
Next we chatted with a sales team for the Africana Club, promoting the “Sounds of the Continent” Africana Night event.
Jenn: Prof. Glennon posed this great question in his class, asking if international law is really law, and it helped me to use his model when thinking about it. The example is that you’re driving through the woods and you want to throw your trash out the window. But do you throw your trash out the window? If not, why? You won’t get caught. What is it that makes you feel it’s wrong? What is it that makes you feel a responsibility to not do these things? Is there a rule about it? Or is it that you want there to be a rule about it? Is it a bad thing that there’s not a rule? Is it something that we still obey if it’s not written down?
Blaen: I came to Fletcher to get exposed to a different field, to law, so I’ve learned how lawyers think, and also about policy making. It’s all about the consequences — it’s not about the profits or values, it’s all about the consequences.
We went back to our table to catch some more people as they crossed the Hall of Flags.
Trisha: I’ve learned the importance of interdisciplinary connections and how you can see different sides of the same coin when you take different classes at Fletcher. And…free pizza is your best friend. Hang around the Hall of Flags for free food.
Patrick: I’ve learned not only from the professors but also from my fellow students and from visiting guests who come to give talks. I find that these talks help you to think about things in a broader context.
I agreed to be in the photo with Patrick, because I’ve known him longer than any other Fletcher student! (Also because Kristen insisted.)
Maddie: I’ve learned that I am now interested in things that I never imagined I would be interested in, even within the broader field that I was pursuing. Before coming to Fletcher, I was intending to study strategic management and international consultancy, but after taking Prof. Jacque’s international finance course, I developed a new interest in finance and decided to switch my focus. Overall, Fletcher opened my eyes to things I never knew I was interested in.
Hannah: I do feel that Fletcher has given me the opportunity to make a lot of different connections that I wouldn’t have if I had stayed in the career track that I was in before. Like doing the MasterCard project and seeing the inside of a big corporation and the role it can plan in international development. A company like that sees financial inclusion as a business opportunity.
This also opened up a lot of career ideas for me. I’m thinking about my job search in a more organic way, thinking about what I want to do, rather than sending off a whole bunch of job applications with less thought.
Kristen interviewed Hannah for admission “way back when,” in DC. And Hannah said Kristen was a big part of the reason why she ended up here.
Margot: I came from the development world, so I had that focus when I started at Fletcher. I’m trying to reorient on the link between security and development in Africa, and something that I’ve learned from my classes such as Role of Force, or interacting with the Fletcher military fellows (and learning how thoughtful they are), and Fletcher events is the theoretical and practical security paradigms. I already transitioned from a human rights focus in college to a development focus through my work. But now I’m adding security to that mix. I feel I had been a little closed off where I was, but now I have the ability to open up to different domains.
And we’ll give the final word to Prof. Gallagher, a MALD graduate herself. She was rushing past us, on her way to meet a candidate for an open faculty position, but Kristen made good use of the minute while Prof. Gallagher waited for the elevator. What has she learned at Fletcher?
It might be a little glib, but what haven’t I learned!
On Tuesday, Jeff and I decided that the time had come again for us to hang out in the Hall of Flags and chat with students. With the Open House right behind us and admitted student decisions in front of us, the question of the day was obvious: Why did you choose to come to Fletcher?
We started our conversation with two students from Germany who first met each other here.
Frieder, second-year MALD, told us that just over two years ago, he was “Ready to apply to ten programs. Fletcher was number one — my favorite — on the list. Then I received early admission.” Story over. But he also said, “Fletcher was my favorite because of having access to law classes, along with the opportunity to focus on business and economic development” (which is his career direction). “It’s a unique combination.”
Joachim, second-year MALD, said he likes several things: “The broad range of courses at your disposal. The small size of the community. And the closely-knit alumni network. I really like the Boston location, too. Personally, I also like the way the nice Tufts campus is quiet, but you can still get to New York or D.C. easily.”
But then Joachim made a distinction between why he chose Fletcher and why he likes it now. Coming to the end of his Fletcher experience, he says it’s “The people in the community and the diversity are what I like the most, and you can meet a Fletcher student or Fletcher alumni anywhere in the world.”
Next we called over Kartik, second-year MALD from India, who was chatting with Hanneke. Kartik used to work in our office, but now he’s a big time teaching assistant and doesn’t visit us enough anymore. 🙁 Anyway, Kartik, who pre-Fletcher had been working in the local area, told us how he ended up at Fletcher. “I took the T to Davis Square, and took a left turn, and here I was. It felt like home.” (Hanneke made fun of him just a little for this sweet sentiment.)
Then along came Jeff, a second-year MALD from Canada. He said, “I joined Fletcher because of its reputation for academic rigor, great student body, and connection to the broader Boston academic community.”
Second-year MIB Jonathan came by and told us, “Fletcher offers really unique and interesting opportunities. I had a great internship experience in Hong Kong, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything more conventional.” He and Jeff had met up while Jeff was in Hong Kong for recruitment travel last fall.
Manjula, second-year MALD from Sri Lanka, said, “I was making a career change from finance to international development and social entrepreneurship, and Fletcher offered the diversity and flexibility, along with the skills and resources I needed, so I could explore new fields and make that switch.” (I should also mention that Manjula is a rock-star in the community for what he has already achieved.)
Interrupting a study group, we found out that Alicia, second-year MALD from Jamaica, chose Fletcher, “because it’s such a nice warm and friendly place.” And James, first-year MIB, chose Fletcher because it provides, “a more interesting international exposure than the other schools I applied to.”
Barry, mid-career MA, told us, “I came to the Open House last year and met with current students and faculty, and I was extremely impressed. Yesterday was a little reminiscent for me.”
We wandered over to a table where students were selling Africana Night tickets. Tallash, first-year MALD from Kenya, chose Fletcher because of the flexibility of the degree programs. She said she is focusing on international environmental policy and development economics, and “doing so much in a two-year program that it’s like doing three different master’s degrees.”
Martin, second-year MIB, liked that “The MIB program offered a unique opportunity to integrate international business and international relations in one program, compared to a dual degree in parallel.”
Along came Dean Bosworth, who good-naturedly told us he chose Fletcher because, “I was offered a job, and I needed a job. I was stepping down as ambassador to Korea.” (I hope he also appreciated the warm community!)
Ethan, PhD candidate, joined us. He and I did a quick reminisce about how I interviewed him a bunch of years ago when he applied to do his MALD. He chose Fletcher because of “the ability to build a program with interdisciplinary balance.” And also because the faculty includes “a healthy mix of practitioners and academics.”
Katie, first-year MALD from Egypt and Admissions intern said, “I like to know that I can leave campus and then come back to this warm Fletcher-orange environment.”
Sebastian, first-year MIB from Ecuador, took the broad view. “World economics are going through a transition and the existing model of business study needs a new perspective, so the MIB program was perfect for my interests.”
And the last word is going to go to Liz, for about four years the first person you’d see when you entered the Admissions Office. Liz told us, “I came to Fletcher because I was making a career shift and Fletcher was the right place to marry my workplace skills and my desire to work with students again.”
And that’s Liz’s last word in the Admissions Blog. She has successfully pushed her career transition forward, and yesterday started her new post in the Tufts Residence Life office. We wish her all the best!
The Hall of Flags is Fletcher’s town square. Everyone passes through here at some point in the day. Yesterday, to capture a little of the atmosphere, Jeff (my partner in on-location blogging) and I parked ourselves at a table (which we reserved, as if this were a restaurant), equipped with my laptop and a basic camera, and waited to see who came by. We made a slight miscalculation, having chosen a time when traffic was light, but the upside was that we had a chance to chat with everyone who visited the table.
When we set up camp, two students, Vanessa and Jon, were already in place at their own (better decorated) table. They’re raising funds for their participation in the Tufts Marathon Challenge. Jon is from New Orleans, so (in keeping with the season), they put out some plastic babies and called it King Cake. The cake, fortunately, looked better than the handwritten sign.
After chatting with Vanessa and Jon, we looked to see who else was around. Jamie, one of our volunteer interviewers from last fall, greets blog readers from the balcony.
Mollie (also an Admissions volunteer), Adam, and Khanh from Fletcher Students in Security were planning a reception that will take place during the DC Career Trip in a few weeks.
Bilal stopped by on his way to this week’s event in the “Denial and Deception” lunch/lecture series (organized by the Security Studies program), on practices and best practices throughout the intelligence community. He insisted that I should be in the photo.
Nick walked through while doing his work. We always enjoy chatting with him when he helps us out by keeping the office in order. He has also brought new life to one of the Admissions Office plants.
Shinhee (yet another Admissions volunteer) stopped by on her way from Prof. Babbitt’s office to an accounting class. Jeff told Shinhee (a musician) she should have brought her violin so that she could play for us. Next time!
My Fletcher Futbol friend Sebastian picked up a piece of cake. He was on his way to meet up with a student who had worked at an NGO he’s interested in.
Summer is also on her way to the “Denial and Deception” lunch/lecture. She’s looking spiffy for the special event.
Dan, Fletcher’s IT guru, was talking IT with Kevin, the face of the Hall. (Kevin would have been able to tell us when the HoF is at its busiest. Mental note to check in with him before we plan another on-location blog.)
Matt, also on the way to the lunch/lecture, stopped by. (Gonna be a busy luncheon!) Matt’s a PhD candidate who’s working in Oslo for the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs as a visiting research fellow. He’s on campus now to put the finishing touches on his formal dissertation proposal about organized crime and state security in West Africa (while working remotely for the Institute). Matt moved on to the PhD program from the MALD (like most of our PhD students). He has clocked many hours in the HoF, generally toting a coffee mug.
Morgan is on his way to accounting class, carrying the lunch that was lovingly prepared by his wife (complete with special notes). The word is that Morgan has the BEST lunches (and sometimes dinners) in that little cooler. Jeff and I are totally jealous!
Vanessa and Jon packed up their table. Why? The “Denial and Deception” lunch/lecture, of course. Vanessa says she can’t be late. The lecture runs on military time.
Tomo came out of his microfinance class where there were two guests from Spain. He’s off to have lunch with them.
Geoffrey was here to kick off the marketing of the Tufts Energy Conference — mailing cards to speakers from past years. The conference is coming up in April.
Vickie, Carolyn, Rachael, Naomi, Winnie, and Shuvam met up at the elevator. (They’re all in the photo, but not necessarily easy to find.)
Lily just came out of her class, and is chatting with Emily while waiting for others. She’s going to join Tomo for lunch with the microfinanciers from Spain.
Food for the “Denial and Deception” lunch! (Delivered with a smile by Dan from Dave’s Fresh Pasta, a Davis Square eatery that is a favorite source of food around here.)
Brand new Januarian Alessandra and soon-to-graduate second-year Charlie, were also coming from the microfinance class. This time I think to ask which class it is. The answer: Microfinance and Inclusive Commerce with Prof. Kim Wilson. Then, along comes Prof. Wilson. Jeff convinces her to join the photo. (Love Prof. Wilson’s red shoes!)
Kristen avoids the paparazzi on her way to the Tufts Educational Day Care Center for an appointment. (Fingers crossed that there will be space for little Lucia in the day care in September!) More relevant to Fletcher, Kristen was coming out of a discussion of the launch of a new initiative to offer conference calls with recent alums, during which current students can ask about job search tactics in particular industries or locations. The first conference call will be with a 2011 MIB alum and former Admissions intern, who will describe the process that landed him with a job in Brazil.
Once we let Kristen go, we noticed a crowd of people waiting for the elevator. More people from the microfinance class, including the Spanish visitors. They were very gracious in allowing Jeff to snap a couple of photos, and we learned they’re from ACAF in Barcelona.
Hanging out in the Hall of Flags was a fun way to connect with people we don’t see as often as we’d like, not to mention a real treat during this busy time of year for Admissions. After our allotted 45 minutes, Jeff and I packed up and went back to the office. We’re going to do this again, though. Next time, we’ll try for live blogging. Stay tuned!
An amusing notice crossed my inbox recently, inviting the community to a Social Hour at 5:30 today in the Ginn Library. The weekly Social Hours are a time when students, along with faculty and staff, come together for a little eating and drinking, and a lot of conversation. (Prospective students can join in following the Admissions Information Sessions each Thursday, starting next week.) Most of the Social Hours take place in the Hall of Flags, which already makes the Ginn Library venue a little unusual. But the invitation goes further, inviting us to break (almost) all the library’s usual rules. According to the notice, Ginn — staffed by librarians and tech experts who usually endeavor to maintain library decorum — will, for one hour, be the site of:
Brazilian BBQ from Oasis Brazilian
Beatles Rock Band
iPod Shuffle and other prizes raffled amongst rockers (see above)!
With food, drink, swag, exhibitionism, and gambling in Ginn Library, the message is clear: for one hour this week, community trumps research and assignments.
I can feel the fall semester coming, and with it the buzz of students in the Hall of Flags. Even this week, there has been a little HoF activity, with MIB students in the building for their pre-session, along with Tavitian Scholars from Armenia, and a group of judges from Mexico here for a special program. But the sound this limited group creates outside the window from my office to the HoF is more of a bzt than a buzz. I hear a few voices, but then they’re gone, off to class or another activity. It won’t be long, though! And the Orientation week buzz is the year’s loudest. I’m looking forward to it!
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