April flowers…and networking

Today we’ll close out the Prep for App/Prep for April tips.  Before Kristen and Dan give you their thoughts on how to gather information, I want to share two items.  The first is that the application for 2018-19 enrollment is open now.  Whether you want to sit down and conquer it in one session (probably not advised) or start by poking around and seeing what questions you’ll be answering, take a look!

Second, I want to point you toward this very thoughtful New York Times column that Kristen sent my way.  The author has done a lot of research and writing on college admissions and the college experience.  You might wonder why I would highlight an article that is targeted toward undergraduates.  Well, I’ll bet that some blog readers are undergrads.  But also, much of the advice is equally relevant for graduate students.  Wherever you end up, get to know your professors, remember to sleep, take some risks.

Okay.  On to the advice.

Make sure your own network is in gear and lined up to support your decision-making process.  While we, at Fletcher, are always eager to connect you with current students, alumni, and faculty, and they are great resources for learning more about Fletcher, these aren’t the people who know you well or deeply.  The period of “radio silence” between hitting the submit button and getting your admit letter is the perfect time to (re-)cultivate your own network.  Use those two-plus months to grab coffee with a professional mentor, reconnect with a favorite professor, dig into your undergrad alumni database, and maybe even reach out to your mom’s friend’s cousin’s wife who is maybe-kind of-somewhat interested in similar-ish stuff as you.  (And bonus on the last point: your mom will stop bugging you if you actually reach out.)  Having these diverse perspectives under your belt before admissions decisions roll in will help give you a better platform for selecting a program, and you’ll also be building your post-grad-school network.  It’s never too early!

Good job getting your Fletcher application submitted on time!  “Ball’s in your court now, Fletcher Admissions Office,” you may rightly think.  With that out of the way, it may seem like the perfect time to finally get around to binging Mad Men, which you’ve heard is totally great and complex and people think you’d really like it but you’re just not sure it’s quite your thing, you know?

With this much going on, it can be easy to lose sight of all the resources available to you to continue to learn about Fletcher.  There’s a lot, and it’s to your benefit to take advantage early, rather than waiting until the relatively short period between your (presumably favorable) admissions decision and the enrollment response deadline.  Dig deeper into the things that made you apply to Fletcher in the first place!  You can read about individual courses, faculty research profiles, current and recent students’ paths through the curriculum, internship and career stats and stories, and the work of Fletcher research centers.  Or you can ask questions directly to current students by email and learn more about student clubs and organizations.

Now might also be a good time for a thorough read of our FAQs, which offer considerable detail about things that will probably be helpful to you at some point.  Why not plan a visit to Fletcher before your calendar gets too full?  Once you receive your decision (of acceptance, fingers crossed!), you’ll need to parse a lot of information and complete a substantial to-do checklist, and our office is able to support you much more effectively if you’ve already established a good knowledge base about Fletcher.  Having done the bulk of your research already, you could be near ready to confirm enrollment by the time you receive your decision letter (hopefully starting with “Congratulations!”), leaving that much more time available to stream Peak TV.

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