Andrea Chincuanco

Dea Chincuanco

Kamusta! My name is Dea Chincuanco and my professional background is in negotiations and business development in international maritime trade and supply chain – this involves mobilizing large heavy industry equipment and plant modules around the world for major infrastructure projects. Almost four years ago, I started my consultancy and broadened my scope to counsel as an expert witness for a maritime law firm, assessing commercial damages involving international disputes. I have a B.A. in Entrepreneurship and Marketing from the University of Houston, with a Minor in Asian studies and international business from Minzu University in Beijing.

What drew you to the Global Business Administration program?

Having worked in an international capacity for the past 17 years, I wanted to remain engaged in a global landscape. I was searching for higher education that would serve my overall personal, professional, and academic growth. After reading about the inaugural GBA program, I immediately knew that the program’s forward thinking, borderless, and multifaceted curriculum provided the global and innovative approach to higher education that I was searching for.

What is one course that you have taken thus far in the GBA program that was instrumental in helping you to achieve your current professional goals?

I have pivoted my career every decade or so and I often thought it to be strange. The leadership development course provided insight that normalized this career progress and even encouraged this type of growth mindset. For mid-career professionals with varied personal interests and a wide array of skillsets, this understanding is essential for a position in higher-level leadership and a focus on work that truly aligns with ones’ values.

What course was your favorite course thus far and why?

The Economic Policy Challenges in Emerging Markets course is an essential course for both undergraduate and graduate internationally focused degree programs. This course, along with The Politics of the Global Economy, offered the essential fundamentals to understand with greater depth the causality of inequalities due to trade-offs that affect people’s lives both locally and across the globe.

I am a 1.5 generation US immigrant and US Citizen since I grew-up partially in Manila until I immigrated to the U.S. This enables me to have viewpoints that distinctly straddle both an emerging country and a progressive one. There has been great focus on DEI initiatives recently, both in the public and private sectors. To truly address the challenges and affect change, it is crucial to have the contextual understanding of the economic and political levers that can effectively and strategically provide sustainable solutions.

What are your biggest passions?

Music, anti-human trafficking efforts, and breaking the glass and bamboo ceilings.

Music because it is a beautiful universal language that binds all people.

Anti-human trafficking efforts because modern day slavery should not be tolerated, especially when it impacts young children who are sexually exploited.

Breaking the glass and bamboo ceilings because until we rid the world of these limitations, we limit our progress and our ability to provide better solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems.

You must start each day (for the rest of your life!) listening to the same song. Which song do you choose and why?

“Lovely Day” by Bill Withers. Musically, the composition is endorphin boosting and it has a record 18 second sustained note in pop music – I love record-breaking feats. Lyrically, it is ever relatable to every human being. Symbolically and metaphorically, it speaks about minor and major challenges faced by oneself and the world, and how our resilience as spirit within body, is equipped to fight obstacles daily…to make our days always quite lovely, if we chose to do so.

Sum up your overall GBA experience in 2-3 sentences.

The GBA program, the administration, the faculty, the staff, the students – they all personify and reflect the intellect, the capability, the hope – to make the world a better place. I am glad to have found a community that continues to focus on these qualities because higher education is only worthwhile when it ultimately challenges us to become more dignified human beings.

Elyse Clonan

Elyse Clonan

Hello! My name is Elyse and I am an International Trade Consultant at a large professional services firm in New York City. I received my BA in International Relations with minors in Economics and Political Science from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. During my time in undergrad, I spent a semester abroad in Madrid, Spain and another semester interning in Washington, DC. I also completed a semester- long “Mini-MBA” program at Rutgers University Business School.

What drew you to the Global Business Administration program?

Pursing a master’s degree has been a long-term goal of mine, however I found it fairly challenging to find a program that not only interested me, but also that I could commit to realistically. I considered traditional MBA programs, but eventually came to the realization that I would find other business programs that had a strong international focus more interesting and relevant to my professional goals. The GBA program was the first degree program I found in which I could see myself enrolling. I appreciate that the curriculum is interdisciplinary, and it affords me the flexibility I need to continue to work full-time. Equally important to me is the academic caliber of the education – attending an institution at the forefront of international affairs such as Fletcher is something I always envisioned for myself, which is another reason why I was excited to come across the GBA program.

What is one course that you have taken thus far in the GBA program that has been instrumental in helping you to achieve your current professional goals?

One of the reasons I wanted to pursue a post-graduate business degree was because I felt I needed to improve my understanding of core business concepts, some of which I was familiar with in the abstract, but had not formally been exposed to in a classroom setting. I took Corporate Finance during my very first term in the GBA program, and while I found the class difficult, I also felt that the course content helped me to develop a better understanding of how the corporate world operates. Within a month of finishing my first term, I found myself applying some of the logic and mathematical formulas we learned in the class at work and it was rewarding being able to utilize some of the skills I learned so quickly.

What course was your favorite course thus far and why?

I have liked all my courses thus far, but I really enjoyed Politics of the Global Economy because it covered the history of global economic relations and trade, which ties directly into my job. It put some of the subject matter I encounter at work into a different perspective.

What was one of your favorite international experiences?

I am very fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel a significant amount over the course of my life so far. However, I think the most meaningful experience I had overseas was an immersion trip I took to Morocco during my semester abroad. My host university had an affiliation with a non-profit student travel organization, which was dedicated to introducing Westerners to the Muslim world by fostering an open dialogue between Moroccans and Americans / Europeans. I took a ferry across the Strait of Gibraltar, visited three different cities (Tangier, Rabat and Chefchaouen), spent a few nights with a host family, tried different kinds of food, and had a number of meaningful conversations with Moroccan students about the similarities and differences between our lifestyles. Morocco is a beautiful country and the people I met were some of the kindest people I had ever encountered. I have been trying to find my way back there ever since.

Maria Cardona Gonzalez

María Cardona González

My name is María Cardona González. I received my medical degree from the Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes, (Mexico) as I have always been fascinated by how the human body works. No matter how advanced medicine has evolved, we still do not know enough. After coming to the U.S., I conducted research on women’s health issues, as well as dermatology, gastroenterology, and liver diseases. Currently, I work for a startup biomedical medical device company.

What drew you to the Global Business Administration program?

During my time in research, I had an “aha moment” when I realized that the patients I saw were coming back with the same problems, year after year. I realized that single efforts to help patients were not going to solve the causes of their problems, so I decided to embark on another challenge. I obtained a Master of Public Health (MPH), which opened my eyes to seeing the deep-rooted problems of some of the most common diseases, and to become aware of the multitude of disparities in health care. I also questioned why so many public health programs are launched and yet, few changes occur. I then recognized the impact economics have on the world of medicine and public health. Being aware of systemic healthcare problems from the economic perspective, and seeing how research and hospitals operate as businesses, I knew that I needed to pursue an international business program. The Fletcher School at Tufts University was the answer to what I was looking for in a business program because medical and public health problems have no borders.

What experience has stood out as one of the most challenging in your professional career?

I have experienced many challenges in my career, but one extraordinary one was taking and passing the U.S. Medical Boards exams to become certified to enter a medical residency in the U.S., and then deciding to redirect my career to pursue an MPH and then the GBA. To make a significant impact on the world, I know that I need to harness the knowledge acquired from the GBA program and apply it to my future professional career.

What skills are you looking to develop during your time at Fletcher?

I just started my second semester and have completed two classes thus far. I am looking forward to learning how to more critically analyze new problems in the field, using data and decision analysis to identify solutions more strategically. I also look forward to learning more from my classmates. We come from so many different backgrounds and it is refreshing to hear others’ perspectives and points of view in the classroom.

Tell us about a classroom experience that was particularly enriching for you personally.

I never would have imagined that the International Strategy and Innovation class would be so essential. It was an eye-opening experience for me as I now recognize that strategy is paramount to any business, be it a large hospital or a vendor on a street corner, and it is important to look at all enterprises through a strategic lens.

Do you have a quote, saying, or personal mantra that has been helpful along your professional journey?

I have many quotes that from which I regularly draw inspiration, an important one being, “Never give up.” The reason this little quote about “stick-to-itiveness” inspires me is because I recognize that all the successes in my life and career are because I have never given up, no matter what challenges presented themselves. Through perseverance, I found solutions that I would have never initially imagined.

Sinead Gangler

Sinead Gangler

Briefly introduce yourself and describe your educational and professional background prior to enrolling the GBA program.

My name is Sinead Gangler and I received my Business & French undergraduate degree from Trinity College Dublin in Ireland. While at Trinity, I also spent a year at the Ecole Supériure de Commerce et Management (ESCEM) in Tours, France. After graduating from Trinity, I worked around the world in various industries as I searched for my professional passion. I eventually found that passion in international development! I currently work for a large consulting firm’s international development group where I support business development for international donor organizations.

What drew you to the Global Business Administration program?

I had always respected Fletcher as a top institution. After a formative business trip to Bangkok in early 2020, I was inspired to take my career to the next level. I checked out the Fletcher website where I noticed the GBA program. I immediately felt like it was made for me as it covered a variety of fascinating, real-world subjects, was designed for professionals who preferred to remain in the workforce, and was globally-focused.

What is one course that you have taken thus far in the GBA program that has been instrumental in helping you to achieve your current professional goals?

This is a tough question because I have channeled what I have learned from all my classes into my current profession. I would say most recently, I have been taking key concepts from International Strategy and Innovation to help formulate strategy for my company’s international development segment. Simply asking “where to play?” and “what’s our competitive advantage?” helps to break down a complex web of how to move forward amidst limited resources. I would also add that this course not only taught me many tools and frameworks, but it also instilled in me a great sense of confidence with its “in the boardroom” style. Thanks to Strategy, I am a ‘bigger part of the conversation’ at work, something I’m really excited about, especially as a female professional.

What course was your favorite course thus far and why?

Now this is a tough question. I would lean towards Corporate Finance simply because it was transformational for me. Before the course, I had branded myself “not a numbers person” and did not even attempt to understand the finance world. After some hard work and brilliant teaching by Professors Schena and Jacque, I feel proficient in finance and accounting. As a subject that is also relevant to almost any other technical area, Corporate Finance has added so much value to my other courses. I also credit the course with my newfound enjoyment of reading The Financial Times, and of finally being “a numbers person”!

Can you recall a class discussion that really changed your mind on a topic?

Prior to taking Global Marketing with Prof. Simonin, I was somewhat skeptical of the concept of marketing. That changed with this course. One day Prof. Simonin challenged us to consider “Marketing as an investment, rather than a cost”. Combined with our case study analyses which took us around the world and into different organizations such as L’Oreal in India and Jazz at Lincoln Center, this course was eye-opening and frankly, inspirational.

Tell us about a classroom experience that was particularly enriching for you personally and caused you to reflect on your currently held views, beliefs, or values.

In Global Marketing, we had a role-play project where my group and I represented a specific social media platform that promoted advertising towards children. We “debated” with another group who represented a children’s advocacy organization. This project was eye-opening for me in that I learned how ad-focused social media networks target children from a young age, and this is because ad revenue is often their only revenue stream. Truth be told, it has made me question my participation in many social media platforms which I have been using for over a decade now.

You must start each day (for the rest of your life!) listening to the same song. Which song do you choose and why?

The Hills of Donegal by The Goats Don’t Shave. It reminds me of Ireland!

If you’re stranded on a desert island with only one book to read, what book would it be and why?

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. I love WWII fiction!

Sum up your overall GBA experience in 2-3 sentences.

My GBA experience has be transformational. Learning so many new subjects and cultures while being able to dive deep into each one, to ultimately speak confidently about different topics, and to overall be a bigger part of many conversations, I am so happy I chose to embark on my GBA journey and am excited for what the future holds.

Catherine Ternes

Catherine Ternes

My name is Catherine Ternes, and I’m a Senior Project Manager in Boston, MA. I got my undergraduate degree in International Affairs and Political Science with a minor in Spanish from Northeastern University. I have also completed additional professional certifications and courses in humanitarian response, marketing, innovative design, and strategic leadership.

What drew you to the Global Business Administration program?

I was looking for a program that would offer me the chance to broaden my skillset as I move from middle management to leadership positions within my professional career. I knew I wanted an MBA degree and was searching for a place where my experience in the international nonprofit sector would be valued.

What is one course that you have taken thus far in the GBA program that has been instrumental in helping you to achieve your current professional goals?

I just completed my second term, during which I took International Strategy and Innovation with Professor Ravi Shankar Chaturvedi. My organization had already been through several revisions to our strategic plan. I was immediately able to refer to the case studies we had discussed and use some of the frameworks learned to help organize our thinking and communicate my team’s needs effectively to the rest of the organization. It was incredible to see the immediate applicability of the course teachings and have such a diverse set of perspectives upon which to reflect with my colleagues.

Is there a topic that you have learned about at Fletcher that has particularly resonated with you?

During Corporate Finance, I had an interesting discussion with Professor Pat Schena about currency valuations and fluctuations. My mother’s family is Lebanese, and unfortunately my attendance in the course coincided with a rapid devaluation of the Lebanese lira. Professor Schena recommended some outstanding case studies and books which were not only interesting, but incredibly informative and helpful as I saw the real-time effects of currencies across international and domestic markets.

Tell us about your fellow GBA students. What are one or two things that you have been able to learn from them during your time together?

It is incredible to see how quickly you can build camaraderie and friendships across a virtual platform when you are not in the same location (and in many instances, not in the same time zone!). I continue to be amazed by how much we have in common, despite coming from a wide range of personal and professional backgrounds. One of the most important patterns I have noticed is that my classmates are always the superstars in their organizations. There is so much for me to learn from them!

Do you have a quote that has been helpful along your professional journey?

“Life’s most urgent and persistent question is, what are you doing for others?” is a quote from the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It resonates with me as I strive to always be conscientious of the power and privilege I hold in any situation. This quote is a reminder that people and organizations in positions of power have a responsibility to lift others and to amplify the voices and perspectives of those to whom we do not listen. It is the reason that I have always worked with non-profits, have found so much joy in health care, and why I feel so passionately about improving the lives of immigrants and refugees. It has served and will continue to serve as my internal moral compass to ensure I am spending my time, skills, and energy in a valuable way.

GBA Student Timothy Chang

Timothy Chang

My name is Tim Chang and I received my undergraduate degree from Tufts University, majoring in Economics. After graduating from Tufts, I started my career in the financial services industry as an accountant and eventually moved over to the buy side to work for a global hedge fund. I currently work at a large U.S. bank focused on hedge fund and private capital investing for our bank clients.

What drew you to the Global Business Administration program?

I was drawn to the GBA program after traveling and working in Asia and seeing how global our economy has become. I reached a point in my career where I wanted to go back to school to get my MBA and though I thought of going back to school full-time, I felt that the opportunity cost was too high. The GBA program caught my attention for the follow reasons: 1) as an undergraduate at Tufts, I knew of Fletcher’s reputation and the respect it garnered in the professional world; 2) the global nature of the program and courses I believe will be able to provide me a unique global perspective that other programs may not; 4) I can get my degree in 2 years while still working full-time; and 5) I really want to be a double Jumbo.

What is one course that you have taken thus far in the GBA program that has been instrumental in helping you to achieve your current professional goals?

Completing 3.5 semesters in the program, I have had so many great classes and professors. However, the course that has been the most beneficial to my professional career thus far has been Corporate Finance. It is a rigorous course, but the foundations that it provides are invaluable and speak directly to my line of work. The course has reinforced concepts to help me evaluate the financial health of a company as well as better understand the financial language required when talking with others in the investment community.

Is there a topic that you have learned about at Fletcher that has particularly resonated with you?

“Marketing is everywhere and…everyone is marketing” comes from Professor Simonin’s Global Marketing Management course. Not having taken a prior formal marketing course, the concepts we touched on in the class opened my eyes to new ways of thinking about and evaluating how marketing is indeed everywhere. We are not only consciously and subconsciously targets of marketing, but we are also everyday marketers of our own personal brand.

Seeing as the program is mostly online, do you have any advice on how to best foster relationships and increase collaboration with fellow students and faculty?

My best advice is to proactively reach out to and engage with your fellow classmates. The online course can feel lonesome, but I have found that establishing and setting up reoccurring weekly Zoom study groups is the best way to stay engaged with my classmates. Oftentimes in these study groups, we end up talking about our respective lives more than the week’s course material. It is in these Zoom study group sessions where I feel I have really gotten to know the amazingly smart and talented people in the program.

What is your biggest passion?

I love to travel internationally. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has likely put a halt on traveling for 2020, but I am actively updating my list of places to visit once it is safe to do so. Besides seeing the “tourist attractions,” my travels have allowed me to meet and engage with many interesting people, locals as well as fellow travelers. The stories shared and friendships created solidifies the realization that we are indeed a global community.

GBA Student Christabell Makokha

Christabell Makokha

My name is Christabell Makokha and I am a Partnerships Director at IDEO.org, a global nonprofit design studio. I have a B.A in Engineering Sciences and a B.E in Biomedical Engineering from Dartmouth College. Most of my professional experience has been in strategy consulting and working in development, designing and leading implementation of new, sustainable business models and partnerships to drive solutions that reach underserved populations, including women, youth, and smallholder farmers.

What drew you to the Global Business Administration program?

Given my background and interest in sustainable development, I was excited to see that the GBA program would provide a platform to understand relevant underlying principles that can drive social impact and sustainably. I was keen to understand the fundamentals of finance and strategy, as well as global legal, political, and monetary systems, and how they affect emerging markets.

Also, the fact that there is no GRE/GMAT requirement for admission drew me to the program. I find this forward thinking in the ongoing debate over the effectiveness and relevance of, standardized testing in determining one’s success in grad school.

What course was your favorite course thus far and why?

Definitely Corporate Finance! It was a tough course to maneuver, but Professor Schena was fantastic at linking seemingly abstract concepts to current affairs, thus making it very relevant and applicable. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic hit just about when we were about to do our final valuation project, so we pivoted and did a valuation of Zoom. It was very interesting then seeing how our valuations stacked up against the market. The real-life application of concepts helped build my understanding and confidence in the subject matter.

Seeing as the program is mostly online, do you have any advice on how to best foster relationships and increase collaboration with fellow students and faculty?

The GBA program attracts such an interesting cohort of people, with rich professional and personal experiences. I would say do not hesitate to ping someone on Zoom chat or email to connect. Everyone is really open to having deeper conversations and there is a lot you can learn from Zoom social hours (although sometimes it means waking up at 4am given the difference in time zones!).

Do you have a quote that has been helpful along your professional journey?

“Until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.” Lately I’ve been contemplating how much of Africa’s history is left out in “world” history or narratives about “global” politics and how this impacts the perception of Africa around the world. It is shaping how I think about the next phase of my professional and personal journey, and how I can play a role (albeit small) in Africans having a voice in the global discourse on Africa.

You must start each day (for the rest of your life!) listening to the same song. Which song do you choose and why?

Alicia Keys, “This Girl is on Fire” or Rachel Platten “Fight Song”. I cheated and picked two! Both songs are like having your own cheerleading team; how can you not win the day?

Photo of GBA Student Daniel Robb

Daniel Robb

Hi! I’m Daniel Robb and I currently serve as an analyst in the oil and gas industry. In this role, I am responsible for providing economic analyses and capacity planning for natural gas pipeline systems. Prior to enrolling in the GBA program, I attended the University of Pittsburgh, where I received a Bachelor’s in Business Administration and a Master of Public Policy.

What drew you to the Global Business Administration program?

I was drawn to Fletcher because I wanted to upgrade my analytical skills through an MBA program while also complimenting my existing education in public policy. As an analyst, I am interested in the intersection of business, politics, and public policy in the energy industry and The Fletcher School is the ideal place to study this intersection.

What is one course that you have taken thus far in the GBA program that was instrumental in helping you to achieve your current professional goals?

Professor Gideon’s course on Decision Analysis was instrumental in improving my analytical skills. Learning new techniques to build models and analytical tricks to simplify and solve complex issues has immediately helped me on the job.

What course was your favorite course thus far and why?

My favorite course thus far is International Security. On a personal level, I love reading about history and the current events discussed in class. Professionally, the course provides a framework for how wars begin, which has given me a better perspective on political and country risk as it pertains to international business.

Seeing as the program is mostly online, do you have any advice on how to best foster relationships and increase collaboration with fellow students and faculty?

Since there are time constraints during class, the best way to foster relationships with other students is to create informal study groups. Additionally, it is important to introduce yourself to the faculty and attend office hours frequently, forming connections outside of the live sessions.

What was one of your favorite international experiences?

One of my favorite international experiences was a two-week hiking trip through the Himalayas to Everest base camp. The trip was challenging, with bitterly cold weather and altitude sickness, but I made friends from around the world and it was an incredible experience. I would definitely do it all again.

Leigh Juul - GBA Student

Leigh Juul

I grew up in South Africa, attending various boarding schools before attending university in Johannesburg where I studied supply chains. I have been with the same company that is based in Johannesburg for 22 years and travel for work extensively. I moved to the United States four years ago and in my current role, I am responsible for our procurement and GTM (go to market) logistics which entails consulting with global clients on their IT supply chains and international transactional model needs.

What drew you to the Global Business Administration program?

The global nature of the degree program fits perfectly with my aspirations to further develop my understanding of international trade. Additionally, the flexibility of the online platform and the ability to take classes from anywhere – which I need as a frequent traveler – is extremely beneficial.

What is one course that you have taken thus far in the GBA program that has been instrumental in helping you to achieve your current professional goals?

The marketing course, without question, has been the most instrumental to me professionally. The frameworks and models provided were extremely beneficial to my current job and I really enjoyed the various readings and assignments. I also enjoyed the way in which the professor structured the class and challenged us. It would also be a missed opportunity for me not to mention that while I have been in supply chains for 24 years, I am currently taking the Global Supply Chains Class and am learning so much more than I ever imagined.

Can you recall a class discussion that really changed your stance on a topic?

It is all about politics for me right now and in our “Fletcher Reads the Newspaper” class, we are reviewing and discussing COVID-19 and its global impact extensively. Some of the conversations can be difficult at times, but they are critically engaging and cause me to think more deeply as to what type of leader I want to be, and what stance I want to take on particular issues as I become a US citizen next year.

Is there a topic that you have learned about at Fletcher that has particularly resonated with you?

There have been a few topics that have really resonated with me. A strength of this program is that it is not just enhancing my skill sets, it is also making me a more critically engaged person. For example, we read many case studies that are devastating to me, particularly those around healthcare and struggles at the bottom of the pyramid. Growing up in Africa has made me very sensitive to these issues, but I am becoming more aware of their different facets and the stakeholders involved as we engage with these cases critically in the classroom.

Seeing as the program is mostly online, do you have any advice on how to best foster relationships and increase collaboration with fellow students and faculty?

I am very close to all my fellow students and we talk frequently through group chats and Zoom calls in between class. This has been my lifeline as I navigate the program and I know I have made friends for life. We all have different backgrounds and varying strengths, so even when things get tough (and they do!) we collectively are able to resolve anything.

What is your biggest passion?

Nature conservation is my biggest passion. I am from Africa and the lives and well-being of the wildlife there is something I am extremely passionate about.

What was one of your favorite international experiences?

Gosh, I have been blessed with so many! I did a liveaboard scuba diving holiday in the Red Sea with my Mom when I graduated from college in South Africa and it was such an incredible experience. To be on the ocean for 7 days and to swim so close to marine life was truly remarkable.

You must start each day (for the rest of your life!) listening to the same song. Which song do you choose and why?

I would choose “I Will Be your Lover Too” by Van Morrison because it will always be the most beautiful song I have ever heard. It speaks to my soul – “some people never really leave you, even when they do.”

Margaret Richards GBA student spotlight

Margaret Richardson

Hello! My name is Margaret and I’m the Chief of Staff at a media platform for the global development community. Before this program I spent some time in politics, lived briefly in Jordan, earned my BA in Government from and played field hockey for Smith College.

What drew you to the Global Business Administration program?

The GBA program combines fundamental business skills and knowledge with international policy and politics. In my opinion, this is where the magic happens: at the intersection of business, international policy, and development. Now more than ever, we see how interconnected our world is and if you are someone who hopes to have a positive impact on the world, the GBA program gives the practical tools and theoretical knowledge needed to figure out where you fit into the changing global landscape of sustainable impact.

What is one course that you have taken thus far in the GBA program that has been instrumental in helping you to achieve your current professional goals?

I do not have a background in finance, so Corporate Finance was a class in which I struggled. However, it was also one of the most rewarding classes and within the first two weeks, it began to transform the way I read the news and ask questions of my clients. I want to understand everything there is to know about the way different sectors of my industry operate and Corporate Finance was fundamental to that understanding. The professor also did a great job of reminding me to be creative in my thinking and lean into having a sense of humor in the heat of the moment – two lessons every professional needs to be reminded of throughout their career.

Is there a topic that you have learned about at Fletcher that has particularly resonated with you and if so, why?

In our strategy class we discussed Patagonia and whether businesses can create sustainable change in an industry while also making a profit. This is something I think a lot about, but the way my classmates interacted with the topic – some cynical about marketing strategies, some truly passionate about the potential of social enterprises to create sustainable change – was fascinating. Their perspectives helped me to further develop my own analysis and figure out what questions I needed to ask next. It demonstrated to me, once again, the power of being in a classroom with people from all over the world and how important diversity is to developing my own views and beliefs.

Seeing as the program is mostly online, do you have any advice on how to best foster relationships and increase collaboration with fellow students and faculty?

Start with study groups. Reach out to your classmates and ask if they want to study with you and as you study together, do what you would normally do – talk about work, your home life, what’s going on with your friends and family…etc. It is important to spend a little extra time just chatting the way you would before or after an in-person class. Creating group chats and using them for more than just school is also important – it allows you to develop friendships outside of the classroom. Many of us work full time, so there is a tendency to treat these chats and calls as if they are work calls at the beginning but try not to do this. Bring your full self to the table, including whatever is happening in your life – work, family, and friends – and you’ll find you’re able to foster deeper connections with classmates, even if it is online. It takes some extra effort, but if you put yourself out there, you will find the people you really click with and you will make lasting relationships.

Do you have a quote, saying, or personal mantra that has been helpful along your professional (or personal!) journey?

The wisest man I know, my father, always used to say, “an injured rescuer does the victim no good.” He heard it once in a first aid course from a woman named Jan Brinkman and it became one of the many mantras in our household. Like a lot of his sayings, this one had multiple meanings and is useful in many contexts. For a long time, I took it to mean you need to take care of yourself because if you do not, you cannot care for others. This is true, but more recently, it has meant to me that in order to make a difference, you must be really solid in your principles, what you are trying to do and why you are trying to do it. Only then can you make the difference or impact you’re hoping to make. It reminds me to invest in my principles and pursue knowledge passionately and by doing so, to be confident in the impact I can have in the larger global context as a student and as the Chief of Staff of a social enterprise.