Protips from John after (nearly) a semester

I’m frequently astonished by how quickly semesters seem to go by for our students. While I feel like we just welcomed our first-year Graduate Assistants to the Admissions team, here they are already in the midst of finals with a full Fletcher semester nearly behind them. I asked them to think about any advice they’d give to prospective students, or things they wish they’d known ahead of their arrival at Fletcher. John was kind enough to provide an insight for each week he’s been at Fletcher.

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A December farewell to our departing Januarians

A few months back I wrote about our January enrollment period, and some of the distinct features of starting your Fletcher experience in the spring semester instead of the more typical fall enrollment. The unspoken but fairly obvious addendum to all my chatter about the excitement of welcoming a new class of Januarians is that we’re also forced to say goodbye to a departing class each December, too. Last Friday saw the annual Januarian Farewell Ceremony, which has most of the trappings of a typical graduation without actually being one. Our departing Januarians still have finals to get through, after all, and their degrees will be officially conferred in February. At the risk of jinxing them, we like to hold this closing ceremony to acknowledge their contributions to the community, as most students (Januarians and otherwise) will scatter around the world after finals for a well-deserved break.

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Decoding the application form

In an ongoing effort to provide a bit of helpful insight to the various pieces of the Fletcher application, today I’ll turn to the application form itself. This portion of the application may feel like a formality, a bit of necessary throat-clearing before the “good stuff,” but there’s a lot of detail that we learn about an applicant here, and it’s important that you complete it fully and accurately. I like to think that the form is mostly straightforward and self-explanatory, but there are a few segments that can cause mild confusion or uncertainty for applicants. I’ll do my best to give a bit of context for a few of these.

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Catching up with The Fletcher Forum

My hope is that many blog readers already have some familiarity with The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs, our student-managed foreign policy journal. It’s been around since 1975, after all, and has really upped its digital presence in recent years, in addition to its biannual print editions. The Forum is a go-to resource for analytical essays, interviews, and podcasts from leading scholars and practitioners, covering a wide variety of international affairs topics around the world.

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Recommendations: Help them help you!

For those of you planning to apply by the January 10 application deadline, you should by now have lined up recommenders. If you haven’t yet done so, don’t panic, but also don’t delay any longer! January 10, while still well over a month away, is effectively closer than it seems. Keep in mind that many people – particularly potential academic recommenders – are likely entering one of the busiest times of the year, both professionally and personally. Final exams, holiday preparations, and related travel will be occupying a lot of bandwidth for many; it’s reasonable for them to need as much notice as possible, and probably a few reminders to submit their letters, too.

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Back at it!

We’re back! We might collectively weigh in a bit heavier after celebrating Thanksgiving, but it takes more than a few pounds of turkey and pie to slow our operation down. With our Early Notification deadline last week, we’re largely occupied with processing, reading, and reviewing submitted applications. If one of them is yours, you can expect to receive an admissions decision by mid-late December.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is perhaps the most literally-named of the major American holidays. I’ve always appreciated a holiday predicated upon the idea of slowing down for a few moments to reflect upon all the good things in life. Of course, if you’re cooking, traveling, or hosting family and friends, it may not seem slow and relaxing at all, but here we’ll dwell on the positives. Non-political, non-religious, and basically universal in the US, Thanksgiving is a great standard bearer for the sadly dwindling category of Things We Can All Agree On.

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