Mitch dishes on dual degrees

We’ve been happy to welcome Mitch, a current MALD student and friend of Admissions, back to Fletcher this fall. Mitch has worked a lot with our office during his time at Fletcher, serving as a student representative on the Admissions Committee and volunteering for all manner of Admissions outreach activities. Mitch is also a bit unique in that he’s completing a dual MALD/MBA degree path with Fletcher and The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Fletcher has a variety of partnerships with other institutions through which students may pursue joint and dual degree programs. For those students planning on careers that will require multiple credentials, the dual degree option can be a great fit. While dual degrees have their own individual characteristics, in general they allow students to shave off a full academic year from the time it would take to complete each degree separately, by virtue of each university accepting some credits from the other. In spite of having all the demands on his time of a typical student, in additional to re-acclimating to Fletcher and Medford, Mitch was kind enough to share a bit about his experience thus far pursuing a dual degree:

Hi all! My name is Mitch, and I am an F’18 MALD student. What makes me a little bit different is that I am also a T’19, an MBA with the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Right now, I am one of two dual-degree students at Fletcher who is also getting an MBA. When admissions asked me to do a blog about dual degrees, I was psyched; I really believe that this is an under-utilized program that more students need to look into. Accordingly, today I am going to give you the real talk about the positives and challenges about the dual degree program with Tuck.

Positives:

  1. Vastly different curriculum: receiving a dual degree allows you access to a totally different educational curricula than the MALD program. The ability to pair off an international relations perspective with business acumen has the potential to pay off  well into your future, and gives you a cognizance of world issues that your classmates may not otherwise have. For example, during my first year at Tuck (after having previously completed a year at Fletcher) we discussed a case in which a company was looking to expand its business from London into Europe.  However, no one mentioned that the whole exercise may be moot because of Brexit! Ouch.
  2. A wider network: the only thing better than having access to one near-legendary network is having access to two! For many, the ability to find a job after graduate school is an unconditional prerequisite to the decision to attend an institution. Having permanent access to the Fletcher and Tuck networks for the rest of my life is a great security blanket for providing for future career options.
  3. Different perspectives: needless to say, the top items of concern and work histories – whether they be in the political or business worlds – for Fletcher students and Tuck students are markedly different. One of the most important parts of grad school is gaining insights from your classmates, and being able to hear different sides of many issues from such a vast body of backgrounds brings a much wider perspective to how you will view the world in the future.

Challenges:

  1. You have to move multiple times. One of the main sticking points of almost any MBA program is that the first year of the program has to be completed in its entirety due to the requirements of the core curriculum. So, you can’t split your first year at b-school. What this meant for me is a bit of a different moving schedule (it’s not required to do it this way, but there aren’t very many options for how to do it):
    1. Year 1 – Full year at Fletcher
    2. Year 2 – Full year at Tuck
    3. Year 3 – Fall semester at Fletcher, Spring semester at Tuck

This can be really annoying depending on what your housing requirements are and your family situation. Be sure that you fully examine how you’d work your living situation prior to matriculation.

2. You have to meet an entirely new friend group. Again. While this may be easier for some than others, one of the challenges is that after making a great group of friends at Fletcher, I had to start the whole social scene over again at Tuck the next year. While I have emerged with great friends from each place, there is an element of FOMO that comes along with attending multiple institutions in three years while almost all of your other classmates will only attend one.

The particulars of dual degrees will differ somewhat depending on the type of degree and institution you’re combining with Fletcher. Mitch’s advice and observations, though, will largely hold for most dual degree candidates. Readers considering the possibility of a dual degree should feel free to contact our office with questions!

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