Today we’ll meet first-year MALD and new student blogger Almarie. She’s begun her Fletcher experience in her native Puerto Rico, but is preparing to head to Medford soon!
Hey guys, my name is Almarie, and I am a MALD student who’s super excited to be at Fletcher and get to meet all of you!
As an Afro-Caribbean, I always get the question of “where are you from?” I was born and raised in Puerto Rico, so you could say that summers are my favorite but I honestly enjoy all seasons. I started college at the age of 16 at the Universidad de Puerto Rico Recinto de Rio Piedras. Before Hurracine Maria hit the Island in 2017, I transferred to Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
It was kind of insane that a Puerto Rican like me, who used to hate the winter in the states, moved for three years to the Midwest, but I managed. I met amazing people and it taught me a lot about my strengths and how independent I was. Moving by myself and being a first gen student was transforming. At Marquette, I received a BA in Political Science and I double minored in Asian Studies and International Affairs. I still remember the day that I learned about Fletcher. You see, when I started college in Puerto Rico, I knew that I wanted to be a federal judge, but through internships and job opportunities I realize that I wanted something more. So, I started looking, for another career, that allowed me to still use my future BA.
I remember in my early childhood, when my dad used to travel all over the world, and he would tell me stories about the people he met and the cultures that he felt in love with. Through his stories, I learned so much about Latin America, Asia, and Africa. I decided that I wanted the same. I wanted to appreciate each individual by who they are and not by stereotypes.
I still remember the day that my International Affairs advisor Dr. McCormick called me to his office and told me that he believed that I had the potential to work in IA. He told me about Fletcher and how he thought that it would be an amazing fit for me. When I left the meeting, I was excited, nervous, and a little sacred. I promised myself that for the next 3 years, I was going to work twice as hard to achieve that new goal. The more I learned about Fletcher, the more I wanted to be in the program. I did everything that I could to learn more. I visited the website regularly, I emailed many advisors, and I also went to info sessions.
One thing that you guys probably realize by now is that I’m also in the class of 2020. Which has been a roller coaster, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I graduated Marquette with 5 internships and with the knowledge that I finally knew what I wanted to do. I also accepted a position with Peace Corps in Ukraine. I was supposed to leave on August 28, but COVID totally changed everyone’s plan. When I learned that I was not going to be able to do PC anymore, I was devastated. Moving to Ukraine was going to be a challenge, especially as a black Latina, but I wanted to do it.
I ended up applying to Fletcher in the last possible movement available. I was nervous because I did have plenty of internship experience through my college life but no full-time job experience after graduation. To my surprise, but apparently not to my family, I was accepted, and I started my journey as MALD student.
Even though I am currently in Puerto Rico, I’m planning on moving to Boston by January 1st. I’m excited to continue my journey. I have to say that all my fears are long gone by now. I met truly amazing people and I enjoy all of my classes. I had one half-semester course, so I still have three more classes to go. This semester has truly flown by. Now that I’m at Fletcher, I realize that I made the right decision for me.
Also, if you have a chance to take Processes of International Negotiation, do it. You will thank me later. Stay safe guys, hope to meet all of you soon (while being COVID-19 responsible)!