Introducing new student bloggers is one of the high points of the annual blog calendar. All new students have a unique story about their path to Fletcher and the early days of their student experience, and that’s particularly true of this year’s new students who begin their time in the Fletcher community in a virtual environment. Today we’ll get to know first-year MALD student Princess, off to a fast start at Fletcher!
Hello! My name is Princess Anene-Maidoh. I’m a first-year MALD student with a concentration in International Organizations and Humanitarian Studies (we’ll see if that changes) and I am so excited to be chronicling my time at Fletcher with you! My journey to Fletcher has not been a straightforward one. I am originally from Nigeria. I moved to the United States in 2015 to study at the University of Tampa. I graduated with a Communications degree and a strong desire to join the workforce. I like to plan things out and for as long as I can remember, I planned to work in PR or Advertising after leaving college. However, life doesn’t always work out according to your plans. This is such a cliché statement I know but it is also very true.
I struggled to find work after graduating because as an international student, it is very difficult to get a job with employers that are willing to sponsor your work visa unless you’re in STEM. This was heartbreaking. I had four internships under my belt, graduated magna cum laude, and was quite involved on campus but none of this appeared to make a difference. In the middle of my job application frenzy, I found a social media internship opportunity at the UN headquarters in New York. I applied to it not thinking it would lead anywhere because of how competitive the UN system is. About a month later when I had started considering moving back home to Nigeria, I got an offer!
I packed my bags and moved to New York excited for this new chapter in my life. My internship was one of the most fulfilling and insightful experiences ever. I learned so much about content creation for a wide audience and the inner workings of international organizations. I was also lucky enough to intern during the UN General Assembly. As a result, I got the opportunity to interact with and create content for high-level attendees from all over the world. The subject matter ranged from climate action, women’s rights and quality education. It was this experience that inspired my desire to work at the intersect of the Communications field and International Relations. Going to graduate school for IR was therefore my next logical step.
By the time I had made the decision to attend graduate school, most schools’ application deadlines had passed and I scrambled to apply to the few that were still open. I got accepted to a school with a decent IR program and figured that would be my new plan. I could stay in the US for another year and navigate my career pivot. During a conversation with my uncle about this plan, he said something that I still think of to this day: “Don’t let life happen to you. Make your life happen.” I did more research and found Fletcher – a reputable school renowned for its robust interdisciplinary programs with a strong career services team. I recognized that it would push me to grow academically and expand my world view while exposing me to more career opportunities. It was the school for me. With two nights left until the deadline (and my most stylish anti-glare glasses), I applied to Fletcher hoping for the best but not knowing what to expect.
After a few weeks of nervous waiting, I found out I got in! It was amazing news and I’m so happy to be a part of this community. Even though classes are online this semester I have learned a lot and met so many interesting people (mainly through sliding into Zoom DMs) from different walks of life. ‘Zoom University’ is better I thought it would be and my professors have gone the extra mile to keep things interesting. From doing simulations in my Negotiations class to drawing decision trees in Analytical Frameworks, I’m enjoying this new experience. I have also gotten involved with school organizations. My position as a Communications Associate for The Forum, a Fletcher student-run foreign policy journal, is exposing me to communications in a global context. As exciting as this is, I know that it is only the beginning. I am so excited about where this new journey will take me!