Wrapping up my exciting Fletcher journey!
“You are educated. Your certification is in your degree. You may think of it as the ticket to the good life. Let me ask you to think of an alternative. Think of it as your ticket to change the world.” – Tom Brokaw
The title says it all. My two years at Fletcher have come to an end. Graduating from Fletcher marks the fulfillment of a dream I have had for a very long time. Personally and professionally, I accomplished more than what I could have ever imagined from the time I chose Fletcher. Professors, colleagues, friends, and family helped me along the way by cheering me on. It has only been a couple of months since graduation, but I already miss the intellectually engaging conversations with my Fletcher family.
Thank you, first, to my readers who found some inspiration in my earlier blogs and connected with me to learn more about my journey. While I relished the opportunity to answer your thoughtful questions and share my Fletcher experience, I also benefited a lot by pausing and reflecting on my journey.
For my last blog, Dan asked me to take you through my journey at Fletcher. I also cover two more topics. Remember, in my last blog, I put myself in an uncomfortable situation by promising (I don’t know why!) to answer, “was Fletcher worth it?”. Many prospective students have also asked me this question. Though it’s too early to provide a holistic response, I take a stab at it to share some preliminary thoughts. Second, I share parting messages to the class of 2021.
My condensed Fletcher story
I joined Fletcher to pivot my career from consulting to impact investing. Before Fletcher, I completed my MBA from the Institute of Rural Management Anand, India in 2013. Then I worked as an international development consultant for six years with MicroSave and managed clients across Asia and Africa.
So, when I began documenting my Fletcher story, I could not resist wearing the old consulting cap and using an infographic to condense my journey. I hope it provides an interesting peek into my two incredible years.
The multimillion-rupee question
Can I do justice to the question ‘was Fletcher worth it?’ It’s probably too early to tell. But I attempt to answer this existential question by reflecting from various perspectives – personally, intellectually, socially, financially, and professionally. Remember – everyone’s journey at Fletcher is unique, given their backgrounds, interests, goals, and financial standing, etc. In my case, coming from India, it was unusual for me to experience a diverse, multi-disciplinary curriculum, limited hours in classes (5-7 hours per week), and a more Socratic, case-based teaching style. All this is to say that my responses can vary compared to those of my peers – marginally or drastically. Further, certain aspects like financial worth or the cliché ROI (return on investment) is very personal and can ideally be realized in the medium to long term. For me, I can surely say that the overall Fletcher experience goes beyond the financial worth.
I elaborate on this experience using what I have decided to call an “ACING” framework (another consulting habit I can’t seem to shake off). I have categorized my Fletcher experience into five broad categories (see inner green circle). I then added various elements that I put into these categories (grey circle). I hope this makes as much sense to you as it does to me. (Trust me, I worked hard to make this MECE). If I failed to do my job here, then I hope this ‘2 years in 2 minutes’ video showcases my journey.
A note for the Class of 2021
I cannot wait to see my fellow Fletcherites making a positive impact on this world. I used to joke to my close friends that I would have loved to be a commencement speaker, to acknowledge what an inspiration you have all been to me. That did not happen. But I still have this opportunity to share my goodbye message with the class of 2021.
First, we should reflect, recognize, and acknowledge the privilege we have in our lives. When things go south, the realization that we are still better off than many people should give us the required confidence to tackle the situation. Second, Fletcher has prepared us to critically analyze various issues of interest from multiple lenses. The world now awaits our problem-solving skills to leave a lasting impact; there is a lot of work to be done!
Third, and the most important message to everyone working to make the world a slightly better place – Mahatma Gandhi’s Talisman. Wherever we go, whatever we do, this deep social thought expressed by him in 1948 will remain relevant. He said “I will give you a talisman. Whenever you are in doubt, or when the self becomes too much for you, try the following expedient: Recall the face of the poorest and the most helpless human whom you may have seen and ask yourself if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him or her. Will he or she be able to gain anything from it? Will it restore him or her to control over his or her own life and destiny? …. Then you will find your doubts… melting away.”
Until next time, though now as an alumnus, goodbye. It has been my absolute pleasure to write about my Fletcher journey. Huge thanks to Dan for having me as a student blogger and giving me this unique opportunity to reflect on and share my experiences.
I’m always excited to make new connections. Ping me on LinkedIn to connect.