Jonathan Brands, 2015, USA

Why Fletcher? First, and foremost, I liked that I could tailor my studies to my interests and be allowed to focus on two separate fields. Most other programs were very specific in their requirements, allowing little leeway, and thus limiting my opportunities. After two years of Peace Corps service in the Republic of Georgia, I wanted to gain a greater understanding of the theory and concepts behind macro-development work and chose Development Economics as one of my fields. However, development work is a very specific concentration, leaning towards public and non-profit employment, and I wanted to make myself more marketable in the private sector. I thus chose International Trade and Commercial Policy as my second field. The ability to chose two different fields of study allows me to maximize my future employment opportunities. Fletcher emphasizes that it is a professional school, translating stellar academics to employment. One of the things that impressed me most was all the resources the school dedicates to helping students achieve their career goals. From the very beginning, we are encouraged to look towards our life after Fletcher, stressing that the school and our future successes are intertwined. It immediately makes you feel like part of the larger Fletcher community, and eliminates the zero-sum game/cutthroat mentality that pervades the attitudes found at other schools. I would recommend Fletcher to any student who wants a strong diverse academic environment, complemented by fellow students and staff dedicated to our future career success. There are no programs out there that focus as well on this combination.

On Campus Life: There is no greater school than Fletcher for a tennis enthusiast like me. Everyday, I walk outside of the school and the beautiful blue tennis courts greet me. Making friends is easy, as anyone who has ever played tennis in their lives will migrate to the courts for a rally or two. If tennis isn't your thing, right next to the courts is the Fletcher field where you can see people playing frisbee, soccer, quidditch (seriously), and a multitude of other sports. It is so easy to get involved in sports for fun or more seriously on both graduate and undergraduate teams. Outside of sports, the school offers plenty of opportunities to get involved in whatever it is you are interested in. In fact, there are so many opportunities, I actually have a harder time choosing how to be involved than finding ways to get involved.

Favorite magazine:

National Geographic

Favorite author:

Ernest Hemmingway

Favorite city:

Cape Town

Favorite location on campus:

Tennis Courts

Fields of Study

  • Development Economics
  • International Trade and Commercial Policies

Activities involved in at Fletcher

  • Diplomacy Club
  • Tufts University Refugee Assistance Program
  • Fletcher Youth Initiative
  • Latin America Club

Education before Fletcher

  • BA, Foreign Affairs, University of Virginia

Experience before Fletcher

  • Peace Corps, Peace Corps Volunteer, Dedoplistskaro, The Republic of Georgia
  • Analysis Research Planning Corporation, Consultant, Washington, DC, USA
  • Hermanas Educadoras de Notre Dame, English Teacher, Monte Verde, Honduras


  • Spanish
  • Georgian
  • English