Let’s continue hearing from our newly-minted Fletcher alumni. Today, Adi will give us his reflections on his two years in the Master of International Business program. From his first post to his last, Adi’s entries on the blog have described a thoughtful process of evolution.
With the passing of Commencement, I can now officially call myself a Master of International Business. It has been two years full of learning, exploration, and struggles. It has also been two years full of friendships, group dynamics, and interactions with experts, which have helped me tremendously to grow as a professional and individual. Now that my Fletcher journey is over, and as I embark on the next step in my career, the one question I ask myself is “Did I achieve everything I wanted to achieve when I decided to enroll at Fletcher?” I thought it would be an interesting exercise to reflect on this question.
I came to Fletcher having worked in fundraising and corporate engagement at a healthcare-focused non-profit. I wanted to explore new ways the private sector can be involved in development and social impact, beyond the traditional CSR funding allocation that corporations typically put towards social activities. At Fletcher, I was introduced to the idea of impact investing as a method to allocate much needed capital in social development and grassroots innovation. Even beyond impact investing as seed or growth capital, in these two years I also learned about ESG (environmental, social and governance) investing, both as an exclusive strategy and as a portfolio diversification option. At this point, I am very interested in pursuing impact investing as a career, if not immediately after Fletcher, then in the near future. In this sense, I did achieve what I wanted coming into Fletcher.
At the same time, I realize that for me to truly understand the value of impact investing, I have to have strong knowledge and experience in investment itself. Impact investing is still very much a niche market, with many questioning the financial return such investment will be able to generate. If I do not understand how to generate financial returns through investment activities, I will not be able to grow the field of impact investing. Following two years at Fletcher, I have a lingering sense that I could have done more to improve my knowledge on investment management, either through my choice of summer internship, the classes I took at Fletcher, or even cross-registration opportunities at other schools. All of these thoughts crossed my mind at different point as graduation loomed near.
But now that graduation is in the past and I actually have time to reflect, I realize there’s no use overthinking things I cannot change. What I can do now is move forward and build upon my past decisions. I have skills, background, and knowledge to leverage into a career in investment management, or even in impact investing right away. I need to give credit to the things that I have done, and not worry about what I haven’t. With greater perspective on my two-year journey at Fletcher, I’m better able to value the activities and experiences that will contribute to a career in investment management and/or impact investing.
So I would say that I did achieve what I sought from my graduate education, even if it didn’t turn out exactly as planned. In fact, I’m glad my two years at Fletcher did not go according to expectation — that’s the beauty of graduate school, and places like Fletcher. It can be a place to equip yourself with the skills and knowledge that you know you need and want, in order to be a better professional and individual. But it can also be so much more. It’s a place to explore and try out new fields and activities, some that you never thought you would engage in. Many of the things that may not seem connected to your planned studies and career may still end up enriching your experience and shaping your perspective. So thanks for the two years, Fletcher! It’s been a great ride.