Currently viewing the tag: "On the road"

I’ve already described my exciting road trips to Boston’s western suburbs and the great state of Maine (which — fun fact! — used to be part of Massachusetts), but I thought you’d want to hear from one of the staffers who traveled a greater distance for Fletcher.  Here’s Liz’s report!

Hello Blog readers!  I recently got back from a great recruiting trip to Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai, and Beijing and wanted to share some pictures from my trip!

I arrived in Tokyo first, and had a few hours before I my work obligations.  I really like to see the sights when I visit cities, especially if it means I get a great view.  As such, before I went to work, I decided to try and visit some of Tokyo’s highest structures.  I had already visited the Tokyo Tower, so I wanted to see the new Tokyo Sky Tree!  The Sky Tree boasts heights of 350 and 450 meters, and so it was on my to-do list!  I took the elevator up to the first landing and was greeted with amazing views of all of Tokyo and could even see all the way to Mt. Fuji!  I was thrilled the weather cooperated and gave me a great clear day.

Here you can see me (actually my feet!) standing on the glass floor 350 meters up!

TOkyoAfter the Sky Tree, it was time to get to work!  I headed to our admissions event where I caught up with some of our fantastic Japanese alums.

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After my visit to Japan, it was time to head to Seoul, South Korea where I got to meet some great prospective students and see another terrific Fletcher alum, who helped me represent Fletcher at the admissions fair!

Liz and Han

My time in Seoul was brief, but I did have the opportunity to go out for some delicious Korean BBQ – one of my favorite foods:

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From Seoul I headed to China for visits to Shanghai and Beijing.  I was particularly excited to visit one of our partner schools, China Europe International Business School (CEIBS).  I had a great time touring the CEIBS campus and meeting my counterparts there.CEIBSIn Shanghai I also had the opportunity to have dinner with some colleagues at one of my favorite restaurants — Din Tai Fung.  Though they are a chain and have restaurants all around the world, I still love to go whenever I can!  If you ever have the chance, get the soup dumplings – you won’t regret it!
ShanghaiFrom Shanghai I headed to Beijing to finish up my trip — where we participated in another admissions fair and I also did some interviews.  The highlight however was a group dinner where we had Peking Duck. There were about 30 school representatives from all over the world, so it was really fun to make some new friends and enjoy a Chinese specialty!

picstitchAll in all it was a wonderful trip!  I had a chance to meet really interesting prospective Fletcher students and catch up with some enthusiastic Fletcher alums, and even had time for a little sight-seeing!  If you missed us in Asia this time around, not to worry, we will be back in Seoul and Tokyo in early December.  To see where else we’ll be, feel free to check out our travel calendar.

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Sunday’s weather was rainy/snowy/windy in our local area, but snowy/windy in Maine.  On Monday, I jumped in my car to drive to Colby College for a presentation alongside Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School.  The eight inches of snow that fell on Sunday had mostly packed down or melted on the roadways and paths, but there was still plenty on the grassy areas.

From Colby, we drove on to Bates College for an evening presentation.  Yesterday found us at Bowdoin College, where a lone snowman punctuated the otherwise autumnal scene.

I’m not usually the Fletcher rep who joins our peers out on the road, so this was a good opportunity for me to get to know John Templeton from Princeton, and to hear more about the program at WWS.  And the career office staffs at the three colleges facilitated our conversations with engaged and interested future international affairs professionals.  Today I’m back in town for a beautiful warm day, and I look forward to following up with students I met on my quick road trip.

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In an unusual scheduling fluke, the entire Admissions staff has been in the office for the past two days.  Not for long, though.  Flights will soon be carrying my colleagues to California and to the midwest (Chicago and Minnesota), and then next week to Asia.

While not as glamorous, but with the advantage that it requires no flights or jetlag, I’ll be taking off in less than an hour for my tour of Boston’s western suburbs.  At noon, I’ll be at Wellesley College, followed by a late afternoon information session at Boston College.  (So crafty of me to fit them both in one day!)  It’s the perfect time to take a drive in that direction — the fall foliage is in full color burst — and we always receive great applications from graduates of both colleges.  Plus, at Wellesley, I’m looking forward to meeting up with not one but two alums working in the careers office.

Two colleges, alumni visits, fall foliage, and home for dinner.  A quick trip with lots of benefits!

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Yesterday was fun.  After the fair at Bowdoin, I joined about ten students and a rep from the career office for dinner and conversation.  I’m hitting the road now, directly back to Fletcher, where Kristen and I are going to hold an information session for Tufts undergrads.  Back to more varied blog topics on Thursday.  Meanwhile, here are some pix from Bates and Bowdoin.

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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:

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The team for the panel discussion:

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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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At this morning’s Admissions team meeting, travel was the topic of the day.  Two of us will be hitting the road this weekend, and all of us are booking flights, picking up visas, shipping materials, and lining up alumni who will join us at the larger grad school fairs.

We may be traveling to a location near you!  Check our calendar of events on the road to find out.  For the moment, please note that dates/sites are still being added as the details are finalized.  If you don’t see a location near you today, check back again in a week or so.

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Last week, Liz and three other APSIA colleagues (nicknamed the G4) climbed into a van and toured the south.  I’m a happy blogger because she wrote about it AND took a bunch of photos, which she arranged far more artfully than I ever do!  Here’s Liz’s well-documented report.

My first travel experience with Fletcher!

Though I’ve traveled a lot in my roles prior to Fletcher, I had never experienced group travel before, and had never embarked on a minivan trip with colleagues from other schools.  I’ll admit, I was a little nervous leading up to the trip, as I had only been at Fletcher a little over a month and I wasn’t sure what to expect.  That said, I was also really excited to try something new, meet new people, and see some parts of the U.S. that I had only ever flown over!   I packed up my favorite suitcase and headed to Logan Airport to start this next work adventure with an open mind and my camera at the ready.  My trip began on a Friday in Washington, D.C., where I worked an Idealist Fair, and then I headed further south on Sunday to Nashville (otherwise known as music city) to meet up with the rest of the G4.

A little background info:  “G4″ is a group of four schools consisting of SAIS (Johns Hopkins), SIPA (Columbia) and Georgetown MSFS, in addition to Fletcher.  We plan travel each year to college campuses across the country and join forces in meeting students.  We’ve been traveling like this for over 30 years and everyone looks forward to these particular recruiting trips!  The idea is that there are a lot of similarities between our schools, but we also have unique characteristics that make us each who we are.  We give school presentations and answer questions at every visit, while highlighting what makes each of the four schools similar and different.

Before starting the G4 trip, I got to spend some time in D.C. after the Idealist event.  Here are some pictures from my day off on Saturday, which was spent sightseeing and enjoying the magnificent weather!

From D.C., I flew down to Nashville on Sunday to meet up with the other schools and begin our G4 Southern Swing, which started on Monday morning.  I had never been to Nashville before so I spent Sunday afternoon exploring the downtown area and checking out the Country Music Hall of Fame.  It was neat to see all the live music venues and even cooler to hear all the different music as you walked around town.  I loved that no matter where I turned I could hear live music from every direction.

We met up Sunday night for an amazing dinner at Merchants (I highly recommend the soup/sammie combo) and then headed out first thing Monday morning for visits at Fisk University and Belmont University.  We then drove from Nashville over to Sewanee, TN to visit the University of the South.  Everyone said the drive would be stunning and it didn’t disappoint.  We drove over the Cumberland Plateau, which had incredible views of the mountains and valleys for as far as the eye could see!  If you have the opportunity, definitely take a drive from Nashville to Monteagle, TN.

The next morning we left Tennessee and made our way down to Atlanta for a few days with visits to Morehouse/Spellman, Emory, Agnes Scott, and the University of Georgia out in Athens.  It was neat for me to see all the different campuses and I was especially captivated by the size of the football stadiums (I’m from New Hampshire – we don’t have anything like that back home!).  From Atlanta we went to Gainesville, Florida to visit Florida A&M and University of Florida, and we ended our tour in Tallahassee at Florida State University.  All-in-all it was a wonderful experience; I learned lots of new things and made some great new friends!  I’m looking forward to my next G4 trip to Southern California in a few weeks!  Enjoy the pictures from the trip below.  Take note:  Fletcher is everywhere, even on the UF campus (see first pic)!

You can catch up with us at more recruiting events next week in NY, DC, Atlanta, and Chicago (sign up here) or at our next G4 trip which heads to Mexico and Texas in early November.

Until next time!

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I did not do a good job of lining up tales from the road this year.  I usually ask my Admissions peeps to write a little about what they’ve been up to, but the opportunity slipped by me.  Until, that is, Kristen’s final trip, which started well after everyone else’s had ended.  Lucky for me, she agreed to write this blog post:

Last week I returned from what was officially the last recruiting trip of our admissions “travel season.”  Talk to any admissions professional, and you’ll quickly find out that we have a love/hate relationship with the fall.  Most of us love being out on the road and meeting new applicants, but the pace can be frenetic and hard to manage with everyday work.  My own travel schedule was very manageable this year, but the last trip — to India — represented a significant undertaking.

I was really excited to travel to India.  I had been once before, in 2000 for the wedding of a friend.  Each time I mentioned this to anyone familiar with India, the refrain was always the same: “Wait until you see how it has changed!” I didn’t quite know what to expect, and I can’t say that I saw many changes, but I certainly experienced them.  Most notably, improvements to traveler infrastructure were apparent, and the whole trip was incredibly smooth and quite easy.  This growth in infrastructure represents why we choose to go to a country like India:  as the market develops, so does the number of qualified professionals seeking graduate degrees.  In recent years, we’ve seen an increase in the number of applications and enrolling students from India, so we felt it was time for a visit.  (A small footnote to say that that’s not the only basis for our travel — we also go to places from which we would like to see more applicants.)

A highlight of any Fletcher trip is the ability to interact with our alumni.  I was able to meet with some really inspiring Fletcherites, including one recent grad who is working at an innovative organization that uses rigorous and scientific impact evaluations to combat poverty; a current PhD student who is studying with a Boren Fellowship, and another who does very interesting work at the nexus of business and economic development.

Of course, these trips have their personal highlights as well.  For me, that’s always about the food.  I have to eat, right?  I had some really spectacular meals, and I was both heartened and disappointed to find out that one of my favorites was at a small chain that has an outpost in New York!  Disappointed to know that I chose so unadventurously, but heartened to know that when the Fall 2012 recruiting season rolls around, I’ll be able to hit an old favorite in New York.  It’s the glorious cycle of admissions.…

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Last week, I asked Jeff (our newest staffer) to reflect on his Fletcher travels.  Here’s what he wrote:

Where has the fall gone?  Every year I feel the same way when October draws to a close.  Since graduating from college, I’ve held jobs that send me out on the road during the fall months.  What that means for me is:  no alumni/homecoming weekends, limited time for apple picking, and a jam-packed social calendar on the days when I am in town.  That being said, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

The last couple months, I’ve had the opportunity to travel to New York City, followed by Toronto, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.   Each trip was fantastic, but there really aren’t any exciting stories to share – nothing compared to Kristen’s tour of Asia last year or Peter dodging wild fires in 2007.  But I’m happy to say that the locations I visited this fall were a nice change from the travel of my previous job.

My life in corporate recruiting brought me to the same university campus once or twice a week for the majority of the fall months.  While that got old quickly, I do miss the amazing restaurants that Philadelphia has to offer, and also the budget I had to “play with.”  Despite the gastric pleasures and the larger wallet of corporate life, I don’t regret my switch to Fletcher.  Meeting so many great prospective students and alumni during my travels has been amazing.  I have enjoyed hearing stories from alums regarding their Fletcher past, as well as descriptions of what they are doing now.  Alumni go out of their way to help the School, and from what I can tell, it’s because they really value their Fletcher experience.

So, fall is flying by, but it’s been great so far!  I was able to visit friends who I hadn’t seen in quite some time, and also to try some new restaurants (Eggspectations in Toronto, Rockit in Chicago, and Sushi Roku in LA) and visit some old favorites (JG Melon in NY and In-N-Out Burger in SF).  Now I’m preparing for my next trip — North Carolina and Virginia — to host information sessions at various universities with colleagues from some other great schools.  If you happen to be in the area, check out our travel calendar for the week of November 8th and I hope you’ll drop by.

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Our last word on travel this fall comes from Kristen.

Though my experiences traveling for Fletcher have been much less dramatic than Peter’s recent brush with the Southern California wildfires, they are no less exciting. One of my favorite things about being on the road is getting to interact with Fletcher alumni on their home turf. We often ask them to help out at recruiting events, so that prospective students can get the low-down on the Fletcher experience. It’s never hard to find alumni volunteers – they are excited to help, and sometimes we even have to turn people away. Our alumni are really in their element at these events where they can talk about their careers and their time at Fletcher – both subjects of deep passion for most.

I’ve very much enjoyed getting to know the alumni at these events. In Toronto, Waidehi Gokhale talked about how her work takes her all over the world for War Child Canada. She was getting ready for a research trip to Afghanistan when I saw her in September. In Washington, DC, Kevin Book regaled us with stories of his work doing political analysis for the energy sector at FBR. He really brings the subject to life and speaks of the many areas (security, environment, geopolitics, policy) that influence his work – a true Fletcher interdisciplinary perspective! In London, I spent time with Pedro Sanudo, the European advertising director for Yahoo! Pedro is well-integrated into the European business scene, and is on the cutting edge of new media.

The exciting part about speaking with these alumni, and many others like them, is that we see the Fletcher degree in action. We read your applications before you come, and get to hear about your plans and expectations. Then we see an infinite number of variations on the Fletcher experience, from self-designed curricula to varied thesis topics, to unique involvement in student groups. But seeing what happens afterward is what makes this job truly gratifying.

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