Like Jason Taylor, Katy Bondy is an Admissions Office favorite. I can still picture her working at one of the computers. Katy’s story will most likely be the last for the 2007 class (unless one of her classmates surprises me with a post) and I’ll be moving along to the Class of 2008 soon after their five-year reunion next weekend. But first, let’s hear Katy’s story:
Before arriving at Fletcher, I worked in Washington, DC for a few years at a think tank where I focused on the Balkans and Eastern Europe. It was an interesting job where I learned a lot about the former Yugoslavia, but it was primarily administrative and I was looking for something more. Fortunately, a good friend at work, who happened to be a 2000 Fletcher grad,was patient about answering all of my questions about international relations graduate schools. It didn’t take me long to decide that Fletcher was the best fit for me, particularly after I visited the school and was interviewed by a Fletcher-student, Nirmalan, who received his MALD in 2006 and is now completing his Fletcher PhD.
While at Fletcher, I dove into my studies and the Fletcher community. I naturally gravitated towards courses on International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, and I still use the skills from those classes today: Focus on interests, not positions! I also created my own Field of Study by performing analyses on post-conflict countries, such as Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Somalia. My favorite classes were with Professors Drezner, Martel, Babbitt, Shultz, and Chayes.
I received a great education at Fletcher and I believe it’s where I learned how to think more independently and more broadly. But what stays with me as much as what I learned in my classes are the bonds and friendships that I formed with members of the Fletcher community. I fondly remember the late night partying, greasy spoon breakfasts near the Tufts campus, and spending my days studying or writing papers in Ginn Library.
After Fletcher, like Jason, I was also selected to be a Presidential Management Fellow and I joined the Department of State where I worked on reconstruction and stabilization issues. After spending a few months in Dhaka, Bangladesh for work, I decided to join the U.S. Foreign Service. My first assignment was in Colombo, Sri Lanka, which I loved, and my present assignment is in Manila, Philippines.
But no matter where I am in the world, the Fletcher network serves me well. I maintain strong ties with many of the friends I made at Fletcher, but I’m also constantly forging new friendships with other alums I’ve met since graduating. For me, the connections and bonds you make while at Fletcher are the most important (and the most fun!) aspect of your Fletcher education.