A Foreign Service Officer walks into a bar…stop me if you’ve heard this one

Any line of work has its points of repetition. McDonald’s cashiers take a lot of orders for Big Macs, flight attendants can do the safety procedures shtick in their sleep, and Death Star platform workers quickly learn when to duck if they want to make it in a tough industry. Admissions officers read a lot of application essays. Like, a whole lot. Unsurprisingly, many of them cover similar themes. As fall application deadlines begin to approach, I hope a brief discussion of some of the more common tropes we see will be helpful as you begin to craft your own essays.

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Mitch dishes on dual degrees

We’ve been happy to welcome Mitch, a current MALD student and friend of Admissions, back to Fletcher this fall. Mitch has worked a lot with our office during his time at Fletcher, serving as a student representative on the Admissions Committee and volunteering for all manner of Admissions outreach activities. Mitch is also a bit unique in that he’s completing a dual MALD/MBA degree path with Fletcher and The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Fletcher has a variety of partnerships with other institutions through which students may pursue joint and dual degree programs. For those students planning on careers that will require multiple credentials, the dual degree option can be a great fit. While dual degrees have their own individual characteristics, in general they allow students to shave off a full academic year from the time it would take to complete each degree separately, by virtue of each university accepting some credits from the other. In spite of having all the demands on his time of a typical student, in additional to re-acclimating to Fletcher and Medford, Mitch was kind enough to share a bit about his experience thus far pursuing a dual degree.

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Early Notification FAQs

Blog readers by this point are surely aware of the upcoming application deadline for Early Notification (EN) consideration. The fact that November 15 – a mere ten days from now – is the date to remember for those planning to get their applications together for early evaluation is, I assume, common knowledge that needs no further belaboring. Even Murray, this blog’s official Minister of Deadline and Other Action Item Reminders, is pretty tapped out by the prospect of another deadline reminder. It’s good to know that we’re all on the same page here, and on our end we’ll be looking forward to receiving all your applications! As applicants get ready to submit their materials, it seems a good time to discuss several common questions we receive regarding the EN deadline.

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Kevin heads to Hong Kong and back – in a weekend

Regular readers recently learned a bit about the Fletcher Educational Enrichment Fund (FEEF), a small grant program that helps students pursue experiential learning opportunities such as professional and scholarly conferences and independent research projects. Second-year MALD student Kevin recently used FEEF support to make a flash weekend visit to Hong Kong – that’s right, Hong Kong, in a weekend – for the annual conference of the Society of Interdisciplinary Business Research.

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The benefits of a clean resumé

Throughout this blog’s history, Jessica has provided a lot of insight and helpful advice for preparing various pieces of your Fletcher application, all of which remains relevant. At the risk of further flattening well-trodden territory, I’ll offer some thoughts during the coming weeks on things for applicants to keep in mind as they prepare individual portions of the application (and I’ll here remind readers that the deadline for Early Notification applications is November 15). Today, a few words about resumés.

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Meet the 2018-2019 Admissions Graduate Assistants

One of the many pleasures of the start of the academic year is the crew of Graduate Assistants (GAs) who join our office. They provide crucial support to the many projects we work on throughout the year, and we’d have a tough time staying afloat without their efforts. It’s also gratifying for us to get to know these Fletcher students well, and to stay that much more abreast of what’s happening in the student community by virtue of having them as members of our team. Some blog readers may also feel like they come to know our GAs; if you contact our office, it’s likely one of them who will answer your initial call or respond to your email.

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Winter is coming…but not before autumn

The northeastern United States sometimes takes a lot of guff for its less than enviable weather. DC is a sweaty mess for 4-5 months in the warmer months, and NYC and Boston (perhaps the latter in particular) are known for their intense winters. We’ll occasionally encounter a prospective student who’s never been to this part of the country (or the world) before clearly laboring under the presumption that spending a year or two in these parts is akin to taking the black with the Night’s Watch. It’s true that the cold months can feel like a slog, but too much winter-related agita can obscure the pleasures of experiencing four distinct seasons, and for my money none rivals autumn.

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SIMULEX 2018

One of the highlights of the academic year is taking place this weekend at Fletcher. SIMULEX, the annual crisis management exercise hosted by the International Security Studies Program (ISSP), will take over the building on Friday and Saturday. While my mental image of SIMULEX sometimes resembles a game of Nukem!, or involves tense standoffs and commands of “turn your key, sir,” in reality it’s a major learning and professional networking opportunity for the Fletcher community, and not limited only to students formally focusing on security studies.

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