I’m a member of a city commission and we recently worked on our annual report for 2015. Click! — a light bulb lit up over my head. Why not have Fletcher’s student organizations write brief annual reports for the blog? I reached out to several groups and am happy to share the summaries of their activities for the 2015-16 academic year.
Fletcher Cares is a public service organization that provides opportunities for volunteerism to build a stronger, more efficient, and more sustainable community network within Fletcher. Our goal is to build collaboration wherever possible with other Fletcher and Tufts organizations and to promote public service careers. This year Fletcher Cares participated in a winter coat drive and ran a community event “Fit for Finals” to promote health and well-being during finals. This spring, Fletcher Cares will once again be volunteering for the Boston Marathon, hosting our annual charity dinner and auction, working with a U.S. prison reform organization, and will close out the year with a spring “Fit for Finals” event.
Fletcher Finance Club
The Fletcher Finance Club’s mission is to be a platform of learning in the areas of finance and related public policy by offering extracurricular skills- and knowledge-building initiatives; and to provide a complementary channel through which members may successfully pursue a professional career in the broad financial services and banking industry.
A few events we have hosted were seminars to help students with the process of interviewing with financial firms. This past fall we hosted an alumnus guest speaker who worked at Citibank’s infrastructure and project finance team, and members had an intimate off-the-record session on how to secure jobs on Wall Street or in energy finance. Also related to energy finance, we hosted guest speakers from Global Focus Capital LLC and Spinnaker Oil and they laid out fundamental analysis of the current state of energy prices and what companies are doing to hedge.
In addition to guest speakers, Fletcher Finance hosts sessions about internship and job opportunities with firms in global finance. In one such job panel with Chatham Financial, an alumna explained the need for advanced hedging instruments to operate globally.
We also work closely with the greater Tufts community. This spring, along with the Tisch College, we co-hosted a ceremony to honor Robert Manning, current CEO of MFS Investment Management, with the Tisch College Corporate Citizen Fellow Award. Following this event, the Fletcher Finance team toured MFS global headquarters in downtown Boston and had sit-downs with the head of Global Equity, Fixed Income, and Research for the leading investment manager.
Fletcher Finance also provides additional skills building opportunities for our club members through our technical seminars. We’ve partnered with Tufts Finance Network to bring more finance-related events to Fletcher with a coveted financial modeling program, Wall Street Prep.
Our group members come from diverse backgrounds and we welcome those who may not have any financial background but want to learn more. Current club co-president Michael Duh spent eight years as an auditor at a Big Four public accounting firm and will be heading to work for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York after graduation in their financial institution supervision group. Co-president Athul Ravunniarath has made a name for himself in the impact investing space, having now consulted and worked for MasterCard, I-DEV, and Acumen Fund — leading investors in fin-tech and renewable energy — to which Athul brought to the table modeling, due diligence, and deal scoping skills, which he has honed with the help of the Fletcher education and Finance Club. What Fletcher Finance allows members to do is elevate their understanding of finance not only for analysis, research, and number crunching, but also to gain the global contextual understanding that is needed to asses any financial deal.
If you are interested in learning more, please contact our elist. The Fletcher Finance Club is honored to share more about our work and encourages future Fletcher students to carry the torch in the years to come.
Fletcher LGBTQA aims to raise awareness of LGBTQ issues in the fields of foreign policy and international relations, as well as to create a safe and inclusive community for lesbian, gay, transgender, and/or queer students and their allies.
This academic year, Fletcher LGBTQA has sponsored two lecture events on LGBTQ issues relevant to foreign policy and international relations. In October, Professor Timothy McCarthy of Harvard University spoke about the Lavender Scare, the U.S. government’s campaign during the 1950s to persecute LGBTQ federal employees. He described how 5,000 LGBTQ federal employees were fired, under the guise of maintaining national security, and how the events of the Lavender Scare remain relevant today because of the widespread absence of state and federal laws that ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. In November, Maria Beatriz Bonna Nogueira, fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University, spoke about the drive to include LGBTQ issues in international conversations on human rights. As former Head of International Affairs at Brazil’s Ministry for Human Rights, she outlined Brazil’s successful efforts to advocate for LGBTQ rights in the context of international organizations.
Just this week, Fletcher LGBTQA, in partnership with Fletcher Christian Fellowship and the Religion, Law, and Diplomacy Group, offered a panel event on Global Faiths and Transnational LGBTQ Activism. At the event, presenters from diverse traditions shared their experiences on how faith can be used as a catalyst for social justice to build transnational community and advocacy. Speakers included Reverend Irene Monroe, a public theologian, and Kaamila Mohamed, the founder of Queer Muslims of Boston. Tufts University Chaplain Reverend Greg McGonigle moderated.
As issues related to gender and sexuality are gaining more and more attention in foreign policy and international relations, Fletcher LGTQA, at the oldest graduate school of international affairs in the U.S., hopes to be a leader in the conversation.
Asia Club provides a space for students interested in all aspects of the continent to share experiences and knowledge with one another, and to develop a diverse network of students and professionals with similar interests. The club also works to highlight Asian culture in day-to-day student life through exhibitions and events, often in collaboration with other student clubs that also focus on the region. Over the past year, Asia Club has organized Asia Night, one of Fletcher’s five “culture nights,” which showcased 12 cultural performances from across Asia, including martial arts, Chinese rock opera, Thai dancing, and music from various countries. Before the end of the semester, Asia Club plans to host talks by government officials. Along with the South Asia Club, Asia Club plans to bring Ambassador Dnyaneshwar Mulay, Consul General of India, New York, to speak. Asia Club has also been working to host Mr. Scott Lai, Director-General of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Boston, for an intimate discussion.
Fletcher’s Energy and Environment Club or “FLEEC” serves several functions for the Fletcher community. First and foremost, it is Fletcher’s internal network for all things related to the environment and energy. It is your most accessible resource for finding students with experience or interest in those fields. The club facilitates lectures, field trips, networking events, and panels for students interested in the International Environment and Resource Policy Field of Study.
Highlights from FLEEC this year include “The Great Debate” with Professors Bill Moomaw and Bruce Everett. Two of Fletcher’s most well-respected professors debated the possible outcomes of the climate talks in Paris and the economics of climate change moving forward.
FLEEC leadership also worked with Harvard Kennedy School in November to organize a mixer for students interested in energy. Students from both schools gathered at a bar in Harvard Square for a fantastic networking opportunity.
FLEEC successfully in organized a field trip to a local recycling plant. FLEEC aims for a few technical field trips like this per year. We believe a solid understanding of the technology helps inform the business plans and policy ideas we create here at Fletcher.
The close of the year will bring still more events, including an annual alumni networking event the weekend of graduation. FLEEC leadership encourages input from current and incoming students on how best to tailor events to their interests. We are always grateful for the suggestions.