Currently viewing the tag: "Januarian"

Time to take a minute to focus on those folks who will apply by October 15 for January 2018 enrollment.  I fear that this group ends up receiving a little less care from us than they deserve, as October 15 is squooshed in between the rush of the semester’s start and the busy build-up to the following September’s enrollment process.

So, my prospective Januarian friends. What does it mean to start your Fletcher degree in January, rather than September?  First, let’s note that only the MALD, MA, and MIB programs allow January enrollment.  And then I’ll say that there’s effectively no curricular difference whether you start in January or September.  Sure, the MIB pre-session would end up being “pre” your second semester, rather than your first, and there are a few other sequencing differences.  But on the whole, the programs play out the same way whether you start in the spring semester or the fall.  Plus, by joining an already-in-progress student community, you’ll soon be swept in with the crowd and you’ll look like a pro.

One significant difference between January and September enrollment is that Januarians have two summers to work with.  Some students will pursue internships in both summers, while others might use one for research or language study.  For career changers, this can be very useful indeed.

As for the application itself, what should you be thinking about now?  With a little less than a month to go before the deadline, ideally you already have a master plan — testing is done (or at least scheduled), recommendations have been requested, and essays have been outlined.  If you’re not quite at that point, then get going on the test dates and recommendations.  You can always push yourself, but you can’t hurry former supervisors or professors.  And you certainly can’t make a test date appear where none exists.

If you’re planning to participate in an evaluative interview, remember that you should schedule your appointment for before the application deadline.  Check the schedule and find a time that works for you.  The interview program kicks off next Monday (September 25) and next week is nearly booked up already.  There are still plenty of appointments available in the following week, but don’t dawdle — grab your preferred time!

There.  That should get our prospective Januarians going.  But for anyone on the fence about when to apply, I’ll mention that while the spring semester starts with a little less hoopla than the fall, there’s something special about jumping into Fletcher alongside a smaller group of fellow students.  Most Januarian classes stay close throughout their Fletcher experience, even as they melt into the student community.

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Following a blur of a September and an equally busy start to October, I’m now looking at the first deadline of the 2016-17 application process, coming up on Saturday!  Sure, the collection of applications we’ll receive for January enrollment is very manageable, but we’ll also be aiming for a quick turn-around, and October 15 is followed by deadlines on November 15, December 20, and January 10.  That is, we’re heading into the heart of the application process!

Applicants for January 2017 enrollment can trust that we’ll be sending out decisions before November’s over, giving you some planning time.  (Not much, mind you — classes will start with Shopping Day on Tuesday, January 17).  It’s only about three months before we welcome our next group of “Januarians.”

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Yesterday slipped by me without a chance to write a “today’s the deadline” post.  Applications for January enrollment in the MALD or MIB program were due yesterday, and today the staff is doing what needs to be done to make the applications ready to read, as well as to let applicants know if any materials are still needed.

Those who submitted an application know that there is still another week or so when recommendations and test scores can arrive and be reviewed.  In fact, since we correspond rather a lot with applicants, there isn’t much that I can add about the process.  But I will say something about the time frame.  We turn these applications around quickly!  The spring semester starts on January 19 and people need to make plans.  And get visas.  And relocate, etc.  So we’re already reading the applications that are complete (by “we,” I don’t yet mean “me,” but I’ll read some this weekend), and the whole process will wrap up within a month.  At that point, we’ll get ready to welcome our newest Januarians.

The small batch of applications for January is just what we need to get started on the annual application review cycle.  I’m looking forward to learning about our soon-to-be students.

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Lost in the whirlwind that characterizes the start of the semester is attention to our applicants for January enrollment.  It just seems impossible that our first application deadline of 2015-16 could be less than a month away.  (I wrote that in mellow lower case, but what’s going through my head is “LESS THAN A MONTH AWAY!!!)

Though most students start their studies in September, there are lots of good reasons to think about January as a good MALD or MIB enrollment option.  The Januarian group tends to be (and remain, throughout their two years) very close.  It’s an instant peer group — far more manageable than the wave that rolls in each September.  The option to take two summers for internships also works well for students who are exploring more than one career path.  If those reasons, as well as the general timing, make sense to you, then it’s time to start your application.

There’s no time like the present, then, to share some tips with the applicants who may be our next crop of Januarians.  Because the application timeframe may creep up on you, just as it has for me, I suggest that you start an application right away, if you haven’t already done so.  You don’t need to do much with it yet, but make sure you know what will be required.  The essays are straightforward, but they may take you some time to perfect.  Don’t wait too much longer to start drafting them.

At last week’s APSIA fair, I was reminded how often we’re asked for our advice on how to put together a good application.  My best, if most basic, advice: Follow the directions.  Yep, if everyone followed this simple advice, we would see a lot more high quality applications.  More advice can be found in a post from last December.  And you should also check out our Application Boot Camp from last fall for more ideas.

Finally, if you hope to include an evaluative interview as part of your application, you need to schedule that now.  The first week of our interview calendar (which starts September 28) is nearly full already.  Whether you’re able to visit campus or you prefer to take advantage of the new Skype option, you’ll want to schedule your interview for before the application deadline of October 15.

We’re looking forward to reading some great applications in October!  As ever, if you have questions, be sure to contact us.

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September is three-quarters vaporized already and the October 15 deadline for January enrollment is only three weeks away!  January enrollment has traditionally been limited to the MALD program, but this year — following a re-think — it’s an option for MIB students, too.

“Januarians” are always a special subset of the community.  Their Fletcher careers put them in contact with three different classes, giving them an extra broad network.  They also have the opportunity to pursue two different internships during their two summers, or they can use one summer for an internship and one for another activity, such as career-related language study.  There are some real pluses to starting midyear.

Of course, there are some negatives, which mostly relate to being newbies when everyone else already knows the ropes, but the negatives are quickly overcome.

From an Admissions perspective, reviewing the applications that arrive in October gives us a good chance to get back into the application-reading groove.  That it’s a smaller, more manageable batch of applications makes it all seem easy, and then it’s only two months before we can greet the new midyear students!

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Orientation started yesterday for a fresh crop of new students — a small group of Januarians.  A student years ago coined our term for midyear additions to Fletcher, and it has stuck ever since.  The Januarians will have three days of Orientation — a compressed version of the week of activities that precedes the start of classes for new students in September.  (No special name for those students, beyond “Almost Everybody.”)

Newbies or not, it’s still very quiet around here.  And while the Januarians may have arrived, most continuing students will be leaving town for several days of research and networking on the New York Career Trip organized by the Office of Career Services.

Normal Fletcher life will resume on Tuesday.  Of course, normal life for most of Fletcher coincides with our zaniness, as we receive and compile applications for September enrollment.

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Our newest students, the 2010 Januarians, have arrived.  They started their orientation yesterday, and will continue learning the ropes today and tomorrow.

As for returning students, we’re happy to welcome back a few more of those who work in the office.  Good timing, since the regular staff will be in a planning meeting for most of the day today.  Applications are flowing in, ahead of the jumbo batch that will pop out of the system tomorrow.  Peak zaniness to follow.

One schedule note:  Monday, January 18 is a public holiday (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day).  Though some work will continue in the office anyway, email and phone inquiries will probably not receive a response until Tuesday.

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Today’s the last day of classes for the fall semester.  There are fewer classes on Friday than Monday through Thursday, so many students have already called it a wrap.  But that doesn’t mean they have no reason to head to campus.  On the contrary:  this afternoon, Fletcher will say farewell to the graduating Januarians with a reception.

I think I remember who first coined the term “Januarian” to describe students who start their studies off-cycle in January.  At any rate, once someone started using it, the term stuck, and it seems a good description of the class.  It implies a certain differentiation, when in fact the students are the same as those who start in September, except they start in January.  That is, a distinction that’s not much of a difference.

There have been a few years with tiny Januarian groups, leaving them a little lost in the sea of students.  In general, though, we have from 15 to 30 incoming students each January.  Just enough to support each other as they jump into an academic year in full swing, but few enough that the term Januarian maintains its cachet.

The  incoming 2010 Januarian class will include a few under 20 students.  The ever-on-the-ball Jessica Smith has already invited them to join the annual Fletcher ski trip, and we in Admissions know our newest students will be well cared for by current first- and second-years.

The departing Januarian class includes one of our valued office staffers — Divyesh.  I haven’t seen Divyesh all that much this semester — our schedules may not match, but I think the main reason is that he has been tied up with finishing his thesis.  And finding a job.  And planning a wedding.  But I’ll miss our conversations about the television show Friday Night Lights (he’s from Texas, while I just like a good story), among other topics.

Good luck to Divyesh and all the departing Januarians!

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Most blog readers are probably considering applications for September 2009 enrollment, which makes it a little too easy for me to forget the smaller (but still significant) group who have already submitted applications for January 2009.  Although every aspect of our work, office, lives(!) in March is tied up with the September process, the January work is much more mellow.

As you prospective Januarians know, applications were submitted by October 15.  We’ve been grabbing small batches of files and reading them in brief bits of time around travel and all the other activities that occupy us in the fall.  At this point, every file that is complete has been read once, and nearly every file has been read twice.  From here, we start the final review process.  We check our own work and make sure we can count on the right number of students in chairs in January.  (Like Goldilocks — we don’t want too many students and we don’t want too few.)  And then we start the notification process.

On the one hand, we have a very manageable number of applications to review for January enrollment.  On the other hand, we also admit a very small class.  We bring the same standards to review of January applicants as we do to the September applicants, but the piles of files are much shorter.  And here’s our special challenge:  We need some time to get the work done right, but we also know that international students need time to obtain their U.S. student visas.  So we feel the pressure to wrap up the process in a very tight time frame!  Applicants can count on hearing from us by the week of November 17.  I may be able to refine and update that prediction as the week goes on.

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Those of you interested in January 2009 enrollment should have your eye on the calendar.  Applications for future “Januarians” are due October 15.  The Admissions Committee works with a very tight time-frame for January applicants, so you need to be sure that all materials arrive by the deadline.  Admissions decisions will be made and mailed in November.

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