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I remember reading with my kids a book about kindergarten students who think their teacher lives at school (shuffling down the hall in her pink slippers and bathrobe). I’m confident that no Fletcher students imagine a similar scene of professors and staff members drinking hot cocoa in the Hall of Flags, but I can tell you what it is like here in the week between Christmas and New Year’s: Quiet. Very quiet. Students are gone — taking time with family or friends in the area or far away. Professors are gone — even if they’re still grading exams and papers, they’re generally not doing it at Fletcher. And many staff members are gone — with students and professors away, it’s a perfect time for us to take vacation.
But the School is still open, and in the Admissions Office, we continue moving the application process along. That said, the Office will be closed tomorrow and Friday for the New Year’s holiday. We’ll be back on Monday, and we hope that we will be greeted by some applications that are submitted over the holiday weekend.
All of us in the Office of Admissions send our wishes to you for a happy and peaceful 2016!
A note to let you know the Admissions Office holiday schedule. In general, we’ll be open our usual 9:00-5:00 hours throughout the next few weeks. We will be closed, though, on:
Thursday, December 24
Friday, December 25
Thursday, December 31
Friday, January 1
Feel free to zap us an email on any of those days and we’ll respond when we’re back at work.
Even as our focus is fixed on wrapping up the Early Notification process and preparing for the applications that will greet us on or before January 10, there’s another deadline coming up on Sunday, December 20. That’s when we’ll receive two very different sets of applications: for the PhD program, and for Map Your Future.
Many years ago, we moved the PhD program deadline from January to December so that we would have extra time to let the process run. There’s a committee of five professors and several staff members who review the applications, and need time to do so. In addition, dissertation proposals are shared with members of the faculty to ensure there’s a good match between the applicant’s interests and faculty expertise. All of that takes time, and kicking off the process ahead of the January rush has served us well.
When we were considering the application process for the relatively new Map Your Future pathway to admission to the MALD or MIB programs, we decided that the December 20 deadline would work for these applicants, too, though they could hardly be more different from those who apply for the PhD. Map Your Future is for students currently in their last year of undergraduate study (or six months post graduation) who, if admitted, will enroll at Fletcher in two years. So the applicants we’ll consider this month will finally start their Fletcher classes in September 2017 (if they are 2015 graduates) or September 2018 (if they are 2016 graduates). This path works well for applicants who want the security of a graduate school admission offer, but who also want to pursue professional experience before starting their graduate studies.
When we consider MYF applicants, we are really looking for indications of potential. We like to see a strong academic profile and some early professional and international experience. Of course, your typical 21-year-old will not have the experience of our average student admitted directly to the MALD or MIB program, but (in a sense) we make a bet that our admitted MYF students will accrue a lot of great experience in the two years before they enroll.
The MYF application is pretty much the same as for students who apply directly to the MALD or MIB. Any tips that I might give to a MALD/MIB applicant would be appropriate for an MYF applicant, too. It’s only the review process that differs. Now that the second group of MYF admitted applicants has enrolled, we are happy to see how well this option is working.
I’m ALWAYS excited for the December Admissions Committee meeting at which we consider Early Notification applications. It’s the first time our full new Committee gathers together for discussion, and the meeting helps us chart the course for all the reading/reviewing we’ll do in the future. I’ll be heading over in just a few minutes to grab a cup of coffee and do some pre-meeting chatting.
But just as we’re starting up the new Admissions Committee, we’ll be closing up another activity. Today is the last official day of the Fall Semester interview program. Aside from a few straggler appointments set up at the request of eager volunteers, we won’t be seeing much of our interviewers from here on. We really appreciate their work throughout the semester, particularly this year for our Skype experiment. We thanked them last week at a lunch where I grabbed a photo of the first students to arrive.
So now I’m off to the meeting, and the start of the heart of the 2015-2016 Admissions Committee process.
A quick advance notice that the fall evaluative interview program will end on Friday, December 11. At this moment, there are still a few on-campus interview appointments available and, later this afternoon, I will create some Skype interviews. If you have been keeping an eye on the schedule in hopes of a cancellation or creation of additional appointments, now is your time to grab one.
After December 11, the Admissions staff (rather than our student volunteers) may (if the schedule allows) be able to conduct a specially arranged on-campus interview for someone who has not been able to travel to the local area earlier in the semester. Please contact us directly to make an appointment. All interviewing will conclude before the January 10 deadline.
Note that virtual and on-campus information sessions will continue through the spring, for those who are just gathering information about Fletcher.
Two years ago on approximately this day, I published the Admissions Blog’s one thousandth post. Like the November morning when #1000 appeared, today is the day before the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. This post, however, is a rather uncelebratory number 1,394, a total that includes several odes to our national holiday.
Since last week, I have been using spare blocks of time to accomplish a little of the Thanksgiving prep. On Friday, I shopped for food. On Saturday, I made cranberry sauce. On Sunday, I mixed the topping for a pie. And so on, until I will bake as much as time allows today and then finish up tomorrow.
It seems that every year there are more and more Thanksgiving gatherings for students who are staying in town. Last year there was a Blakeley Hall meal, and other feasts that students hosted at their apartments. Thanksgiving is an especially nice time to reach out and include others who may not have a feast of their own. Our family meal will also include my daughter’s roommate and my cousin’s Nepali neighbors.
Working at Fletcher, there’s a lot to be thankful for. It’s an interesting place, loaded with inspiring people who are committed to a common goal of joining (or preparing) the next generation of international affairs professionals. Within the Admissions Office, I am fortunate to work with a collection of characters who regularly go beyond what is expected and support each others’ work. And they frequently make me laugh in the process. That counts for a lot! Not to mention all the amazing students who volunteer to help us in so many ways, from conducting interviews to writing blog posts to hosting admitted students. We couldn’t get it all done without them!
Whether you’re in the U.S., celebrating in a remote location, or looking forward to learning more about this American holiday as a Fletcher student next year, I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving.
(Note that the Admissions Office will be closed from this afternoon through Sunday. We’ll be back on Monday.)
I have been truly remiss these past few months in that I haven’t introduced the newest member of the Admissions team. You may already have heard from Lucas, our new Admissions Coordinator, when you contacted the office with a question — he is overseeing the processing of applications, getting them ready for Admissions Committee members to read. He joined the staff just as the semester began and he has been quickly learning everything he needs to know.
Yesterday I ran the following information by Lucas (who has a much better understanding of the back of the Slate system than I do) to be sure it is still completely accurate, and he confirms that it is. With a note to myself to ask him for a more complete introductory blog post soon, here is the information that Early Notification applicants will need if they want to follow the progress of their application.
AFTER YOU SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION, your Application Status page will display the information you need to track your application.
To access your Application Status Page you can either click the “Start an Application” link on the Admissions website or save the application link. You will login with the email and password you used when you created your application.
How Do I Know If My Application is Incomplete or Complete?
Even after you have submitted all the required materials, your application is not complete until a staff member has reviewed each document to check that it is correct and legible. Your Application Status page displays the most up-to-date information on your application. Please allow us up to 10 days after we receive your materials to update your status.
Your application will be marked as incomplete if we find that items are missing, your transcripts are difficult to read or not translated into English, or your application fee has not been received (with the exception of fee waivers). If we are missing materials or cannot read application documents, we will contact you.
Fletcher Admissions will send you a confirmation email when all of your application materials have been compiled and your application is ready to be reviewed by the Admissions Committee. Once your application is complete, there’s nothing more you need to do.
Please Note: the order in which your application is processed has no bearing on your admissions decision.
When Will I Receive My Decision?
Early Notification admissions decisions will be released before December 30. We will send a message, with information regarding your decision, to the email address you used on your application. Note that EN applicants who applied for a scholarship will receive information about their award in March, at the same time that we release decisions for those who applied in January.
If you have further questions, please email us or call us at +1.617.627.3040.
Please use the email address that you included in your application on all email messages to the office. We try to respond to every message on the same day we receive it, but due to the large number of emails we receive, it can take several days for us to reply to you. We appreciate your patience!
It has been a long time (two years, to be precise) since I asked applicants what admissions-related information they would like to see in the blog in November, December, and beyond. I have been feeling that I could use some inspiration and guidance, so I’m reintroducing the blog survey, and calling upon readers to help me out. Is there a topic that you would like to learn more about — more than the information you find on the website, or receive in an email, or learn during an information session? Please tell me about it in this one question survey. The blog is truly the best place to share details about and explanations of the fine points of the process, as well as the School, so please don’t hold back! I look forward to reading (and answering) your questions.
At this point, we can see the end of the travel season, which I kicked off back in September. Today, Liz reports on her trips with our peer schools in the Group of Five (G5).
I’ve just returned from a couple of weeks on the road, traveling with representatives from four of our peer institutions: Johns Hopkins, SAIS; Columbia, SIPA; Princeton, WWS; and Georgetown, SFS. Over 40 years ago, these five schools that together we call the “Group of Five” (G5) decided that if we traveled together, we would reach more prospective students for our programs and could cover more regions of the world. The schools tested out the idea, and we’ve been traveling together ever since. We collaboratively decide where we would like to target our outreach for the year, and then work together to plan the trips. During these trips we try to offer general graduate school advice, while also highlighting what makes our schools both similar and unique. I like this recruiting method, as we also get to know our colleagues quite well (you learn a lot while traveling by minivan!) and we have a chance to see many different regions of the U.S. and beyond.
My first G5 trip this year was here in New England. I was in charge of planning, which was neat since the visits were in our “backyard.” Despite occasional rain, it was a beautiful trip, as the leaves were turning into stunning fall foliage. We met some great candidates and I’ve heard from several students who decided to visit the Fletcher campus as a follow up! Here is the New England group prior to our session at Amherst College.
Other times, if we’re not able to find a session time that works for our travel schedule and the class schedule of the college we’re visiting, we will set up a table in a common area. Here we are tabling at University of Massachusetts.
After New England, I was off to California to do similar visits in the Bay Area. We covered a lot of ground, and had a chance to see some of America’s most famous (and beautiful!) bridges. We had fantastic weather, and most importantly, we had really great school visits, where we met interesting prospective students.
We also try to find ways to have a little fun during our group travel weeks. Here we are checking out the large Redwood trees, seeing the famous “Bucky the Bronco” at Santa Clara University, and posing with members of the academic council at University of California, Davis.
Overall my two weeks with the G5 were really successful. It’s always fun to see other parts of the U.S., reconnect with colleagues, and meet new people. I’ve completed my travel obligations for the year, but Fletcher is still on the road! Laurie is off to Asia soon (also doing G5 travel), and Dan is currently on his own G5 Pennsylvania trek, having visited South America earlier this year. Keep your eye on our travel schedule, to see where else you can meet us on the road!
Tagged with: Travel
Applications for January enrollment were due only one week ago, but we’re already looking toward the end of the process. We’ll continue reading/discussing the applications and then, when they all have had their moment, we’ll pivot immediately to finalizing decisions. It’s our most compact application review period, but we don’t have much time to play with — admitted students need to make plans!
While we complete that process, we’re also turning toward the Early Notification deadline of November 15 (three and a half weeks away!). More and more questions fill the inbox as prospective students get serious about their applications. If you’re one of those people, I might suggest you peruse our Application Boot Camp posts from about one year ago.
I have been the office slacker when it comes to reading the applications for January enrollment. Creating a block of time to read is on my list for this afternoon.
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