Our next Five-Year Update comes from Vincent Fennell, whom I recall spent quite a bit of time around the Admissions Office during his two years in the MIB program. I recently caught up with him at an event, and I was reminded why it was so delightful to see him regularly.
I admit there’s a certain irony in writing an update about “life since Fletcher” when I’m currently only 30 minutes away from the Fletcher campus. However, it’s more a case of things coming full circle, rather than sitting still. Let me explain.
Before I joined the Fletcher MIB class of 2011, I worked at State Street Corporation in Boston. I decided to pursue an MIB as a way of developing my passion for international business. I had seen during my time at State Street that no business happens in a vacuum. There are so many “non-business” variables to an internationally successful business that I felt these were best addressed in an International Affairs School. I had already lived a pretty international life — albeit tame by Fletcher standards — but I wanted an education that could help me try to make sense of it all, help me become, in the words of the late Dean Bosworth, “culturally fluent.”
After I graduated from Fletcher in 2011, my wife, daughter, and I moved to England where I started a job at the Strategy Office for Hitachi Ltd. in their European Headquarters. This job came as a direct result of the internship I had in Tokyo with Hitachi the summer before. In what might be a Fletcher first, I was an Irishman who got a job in London while living in Boston after an internship in Tokyo.
Working for Hitachi was a dream post-Fletcher job for me. Each and every week felt like an applied session of the courses I had taken at Fletcher. Some weeks I was involved in Smart City discussions with the Japanese Ministry for Economy in Spain, while other times I was helping lay the foundations for a renewable hydrogen energy storage system at the Nissan test facility at their factory in Sunderland. At Fletcher I had taken a course on Petroleum in the Global Economy. This proved to be an invaluable foundation in energy discussions that I referred to constantly.
If I wasn’t focused on Smart Cities, I was helping negotiate the terms of a first of its kind Smart Energy Grid demonstration project in the UK or speaking with the Istanbul municipality about about municipal water network management systems. This is where I gained a whole new appreciation for my negotiation course and the importance of frameworks and BATNAs (Best Alternatives to a Negotiated Agreement).
Toward the end of my tenure at Hitachi, I was asked to undertake a market analysis on the nascent “Industry 4.0” or Fourth Industrial Revolution. Industry 4.0, simply put, is a catch-all for the automation of factories. Through this research and by meeting with a wide variety of software companies and manufacturing companies, I found the catalyst for the next step in my career: digitization.
Digitization and Industry 4.0 were not topics I had really explored in great detail while at Fletcher. I had taken courses in Innovation and even explored an internship with a few tech startups, but I always thought that I wasn’t “techie” enough. I’m not a software engineer and didn’t know anything about coding. What I experienced after Fletcher is the understanding of the critical need for both clear communication and lateral thinking in the technology arena.
Midway through 2015 I was offered a chance to move back to the U.S. and work with my former team at State Street, where I currently lead various internal digitization initiatives. My role is to help make State Street a market leader in the financial services industry. Digitization is rapidly changing the realm of possibilities within the financial services sector and the business is significantly different than when I left in 2011. It’s really exciting to be at the frontier of a changing global industry.
The last thing I want to say is about the Fletcher community. When I was at Fletcher everyone always talked about the Fletcher family as an invaluable resource. While I was at Tufts, this was always tangible in the form of people to reach out to with career-related questions. It wasn’t until I left Fletcher that I realized the true value of this global community. I feel inspired, fortunate, and proud to be a member of this unique and wonderful tribe.
Archives by Date
TagsApplication Boston Boston Marathon Business competitions Capstone Career CIERP Class of 2010 Coffee Hours Commencement Community Conferences Cool stuff! deadlines Dean Stavridis Dear Ariel decisions DME Early Notification Essays Faculty Spotlight First-Year Alumni Five-Year Updates Fletcher Forum Gender Ginn Library GRE Hall of Flags IBGC Internships Interview ISSP MIB OCS On the road Outside the classroom Paying for Grad School PhD Professors suggest Recommendations Roxanne Social List Somerville Student Stories waitlist