It’s time to check in with 2nd-year MALD student Mohit. Longtime readers know Mohit to be a particularly busy student, between his work as a development entrepreneur and the demands of finishing his studies (and, of course, as a regular blog contributor!). He nonetheless recently found some time to reflect back on his final semester, and his larger experience at Fletcher.
Before I start, I hope you’re staying safe. If you’re as privileged as I consider myself to be, you may have already gotten your vaccine. While life may have started to improve for some of us, it has not for most people in the world. I urge you to keep those people, especially Indians, in your thoughts and prayers as they continue to fight the pandemic.
It’s 2 p.m. on April 28th – a beautiful, sunny day. After finishing my last class at Fletcher (and possibly in my life), I thought of treating myself to a cinnamon brioche and some coffee (plus whole milk and sugar, of course!) at my favorite café in Somerville, the Danish Pastry House. I walked out of my room listening to Plàsi’s Where I Belong on my headphones. This time carrying my journal and a pen. Why? To reflect on my journey at Fletcher, to know how I’ve evolved, what I’ve learned or unlearned, and what I’ve gained and missed. After all, I’ve spent two years of my life here.
“Here is your coffee. Enjoy.” said the barista with a smile. I came out of the café to find a spot with a great view of the crossroad. While enjoying the warmth of the cup in my hands, 10 minutes into my meditative mood, I asked myself the multimillion-rupee (literally) question – was Fletcher worth it? “Of course,” said my inner voice without any delay. Though, honest reflection generally takes some time I opened my journal and started writing why I felt so. And in no time, believe me, I filled eight pages with my red pen. I genuinely do not want to leave you in any suspense. If my friend Dan agrees, I’ll disclose most of those reasons in my next blog, I promise.
This time I want to focus on my last term at Fletcher. Let’s start from where I left off in my last blog. I spent two months of the spring term in India. This period was sufficient for my mom to spoil me with delicious food and satisfy my year-long craving for things I miss in the US. I got to catch up with my best friends while they continued to spoil me with their generosity to buy me drinks and food, the real reason why I met with them so many times. Just joking. I loved seeing them. But again, they never allowed me to pay! Given the times we are living in, unfortunately, I had to miss the delicious and cheap street food in Delhi.
With a bag full of Indian spices, tea, and some gifts for my friends in the U.S, I came back to Boston in early March. I never heard that horse riding can be a hobby until I met my new roomie from London/Belgium/etc. She is a great sport and has contributed to the diversity of the conversations we have in our apartment. I celebrated Easter Sunday by showing off my artwork coloring Easter eggs and having a delicious brunch prepared by my super talented (other) roomie. Even after encouraging her for two years, I cannot imagine she still has not opened her own bakery. I have honed my cooking skills so much that I teach my American friends how to make round and fluffy ‘poori.’
The zoom world, my dear friends, is not all that bad. After all, I got one minute of facetime with Rahul Gandhi, Member of India’s Parliament and former President of the opposition party during one of Harvard’s Future of Diplomacy events. Think of it as getting an opportunity to ask a question to Joe Biden in the U.S context before he became the President. Maybe I am exaggerating, but who knows. If Rahul will become the Prime Minister of India, someday I can say …
I shared my Fletcher experience with the incoming Januarians during their orientation. I conducted Zoom interviews with sector experts for my Capstone project and independent study. I also completed my Financial & Valuation Modeling Boot Camp by Wall Street Prep, which I highly recommend if you plan to work in the finance or investment sectors. I was invited to meet some bright entrepreneurs and help them with their social ventures and investor pitches. Among all this, I love meeting my friends and making new bonds with the incoming Fletcherites.
Building on my newfound passion for volunteering, I’ll work with Tufts’ Office of Sustainability and collect move-out donations from the Tufts community. I feel happy about it, as this is a great initiative to reduce unwanted waste through donation, recycling, and sustainable trashing. I have just started working with the Tufts University Investment Office as an Impact Investing Consultant. It was fun to meet some of my team members at the welcome lunch in Boston. At times, I wonder how the change will be to go back to a working lifestyle.
I’ve some good news to share. I won the My Tufts Story Video Contest at the Fletcher School. The contest is about showcasing your unique Tufts experience through a short video. As I say once more in this “2 years in 2 minutes” video, I am beyond grateful to the Fletcher community for playing an incredible role in my journey. Also, my self-designed field of study called impact investing and innovative finance has finally been approved. And I was able to publish another article. This time I wrote on the pandemic in India when my family members were fighting with COVID-19.
In my first blog, I said “I know, my time will fly soon!” And here I am – graduating in a few weeks. “Bittersweet” is how I feel right now. Like many of my Fletcher friends, I feel I’m so ready to graduate, but then I wonder how quickly I will readjust to get used to a 9 to 5 schedule. But I am keen to step out of my student life and ‘give it back’ to the world in a more meaningful way.
I’ll stop here.
Good luck if you are finishing your finals. I’ll now check on my hair to see if they are ready for a man bun. I don’t know if I can carry it, but that’s my graduation gift to myself. And yes, do not forget to file your taxes. That’s my next to-do.
Take care of yourself, and someone else, if you can – as two women have told me, including our Dean.
I’m always excited to share my experience and make new connections. If you would like to connect, message me on LinkedIn.