Paul, 2016, United States
Briefly summarize your work experience prior to enrolling at Fletcher.
My first job after finishing my bachelor's degree was at my alma mater, Georgetown University, where I was a program associate at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs, conducting research, writing, and developing programs for initiatives related to global liberal education. I got to travel to China, India, and Australia on behalf of the university to strengthen Georgetown's global engagement. After working at the Berkley Center for one year, I moved to Phnom Penh, Cambodia on a Princeton in Asia fellowship to work for the National Democratic Institute. This was an incredibly exciting opportunity to work with local and international organizations on constituency dialogues and electoral reform programs amidst an opposition parliamentary boycott and mass demonstrations. It allowed me to gain practical experience in a developing democracy in the global south, and to apply the knowledge I gained in my undergraduate studies in the field of international politics.
Why did you chose the MYF pathway?
Knowing I would be starting at Fletcher two years after graduation gave me peace of mind and something to look forward to. It also offered me the flexibility to consider a wide range of shorter-term job opportunities.
Why did you chose Fletcher?
For me, Fletcher's two most distinguishing features are the incredibly strong community and the highly interdisciplinary, flexible curriculum. With all students full time and most living near or on campus, everyone is fully engaged in their studies and eager to share their experiences with and learn from their classmates. Professors deemphasize grades and encourage study groups and collaboration. Students study together, discuss research ideas, and share internship and job opportunities. The diversity of the student body -- in terms of background, experience, and interests -- makes this kind of collaboration especially powerful. The Fletcher faculty are also extremely accessible. Meaningful relationships and regular interactions between students and faculty to discuss course material, research, and careers are the norm.
The Fletcher staff, including those in the registrar's office, library, student affairs, and career services are all available to support student success. I appreciate the availability of dedicated career coaches for different sectors (private, public, and NGO/IO) whom you can meet with one-on-one for résumé and cover letter reviews and conversations about more general career ideas. Fletcher also does a great job of building and maintaining relationships with Fletcher alumni and employers in every sector and plans career trips in NYC and DC with an impressive and diverse array of organizations/firms in each sector. The Fletcher curriculum allows you to focus on virtually any field or sub-field within international affairs. The cross-pollination of ideas is evident at events, in class discussions, and informal conversations.
How has the work you completed between your undergraduate studies and Fletcher added to your Fletcher experience?
I am tremendously grateful for the perspective I gained in the two years between my undergraduate and graduate studies -- both in terms of clarifying my interests and in terms of gaining relevant professional experience. When I applied to Fletcher in fall 2011, I was attracted to the flexible and interdisciplinary nature of Fletcher's curriculum and I planned g security studies and conflict resolution. Over the past two years, my interest in hard security issues waned as I became more focused on democracy, human rights, and governance. Had I gone directly into graduate school after completing my bachelors degree, I may have focused my studies on issues I have turned out to be less passionate about. I am tremendously grateful for the perspective I gained in the two years between my undergraduate and graduate studies -- both in terms of clarifying my interests and in terms of gaining relevant professional experience. The work experience that my classmates and I have adds a hugely valuable dimension to class discussions and to relationship building outside the classroom.
Fields of Study
- International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
- Comparative Politics
Activities involved in at Fletcher
- Los Fletcheros
- Research Assistant, Professor Nadim Rouhana
- Harvard Law and International Development Soceity
Education before Fletcher
- BS, in Foreign Service (International Politics), Georgetown, School of Foreign Service
Experience before Fletcher
- Program Associate, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs
- Princeton in Asia Fellow - National Democratic Institute, Cambodia