While it may seem paradoxical at first glance, it’s quite common to find Fletcher students with deep interests in local and domestic public policy. Perhaps it’s all those “Think Globally, Act Locally” bumper stickers yielding dividends. I tend to think it’s more the result of the interdisciplinary mindset of our students, with which they can see the international dimensions of local policy, and vice versa (contextual intelligence, as Fletcher’s Institute for Business in the Global Context would characterize it).
Enter second-year Fletcher students Amanda and Caroline, who have parlayed a busy summer focused on the interplay between the local and international into an equally busy fall semester. Each was awarded a Public Policy Summer Fellowship by Harvard’s Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston, which provides graduate internship opportunities in Boston-area state and local agencies. Caroline spent the summer at the Office of Planning and Research at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and Amanda worked in energy efficiency policy with the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources. Get a couple of Fletcher students with a set of common interests together, and things generally start to happen. It wasn’t long before the two were collaborating on a fundraising project for the Cambridge Legal Defense Fund for Immigrants, an outgrowth of a chance meeting Amanda had with staff of the Cambridge Community Foundation at the Central Flea.
Now that the academic year is in full swing, both Amanda and Caroline have plenty on their plates: a new set of courses, Capstone projects and, of course, job searches. But their collaborations continue! They’re spearheading a non-partisan voter outreach effort here at Fletcher this fall, yet another piece of local action with potentially global implications.