Emily Cole, 2015, USA

On the students: In researching grad schools, I knew I wanted an international focus, a rigorous academic environment and a well-respected faculty. Fletcher meets all of these requirements, but the students really set it apart. Students come to Fletcher with a wealth of experience. They have already been successful in their fields and arrive at Fletcher with career goals in mind. While I expected mid-career students to bring a remarkable level of expertise to the classroom, MALD and MIB students are also standouts in their fields. I have been incredibly impressed with my classmates and have already learned so much from them. Everyone talks constantly about the strength of the Fletcher community, and I have already seen it in action. I spoke with alumni and with leaders in both government and large nonprofits, and all encouraged me to apply to and then to accept a place at Fletcher. Unlike some other programs I considered, Fletcher students are focused on being in graduate school. Many students are conducting research with professors or research institutes, or possibly continuing to do some consulting, but their academic work is their priority. As I sought out advice to make my graduate school decision, I heard over and over again how valuable it is to take time in graduate school to focus on academic pursuits. I’m glad I followed that advice.

On the culture: Fletcher is all about collaboration. The Fletcher ethos is one of collaboration, not competition. As much as I had heard about the emphasis on collaboration before I arrived, I have been overwhelmed by the generosity of my classmates and the truly collaborative environment. Working on problem sets, preparing for an exam, writing a paper, coming to a study group, my classmates have been willing to take the time to explain challenging concepts, talk through a conceptual or writing problem, and, as always, share their experience and expertise.

Favorite book:

The Polar Express

Most rewarding trip:

Peace Corps service in Senegal

Most pressing world issue:

Climate Change

Best place to study:

Third floor of Ginn Library

Favorite location on campus:

Hall of Flags as classes are changing

Fields of Study:                                                                                      

  • International Environment and Resource Policy
  • Human Security

Activities involved in at Fletcher:

  • Tufts Refugee Assistance Program
  • Africana Club

Education before Fletcher:

  • BA, Political Science and French, Amherst College  

Experience before Fletcher:

  • Freedman Consulting, LLC, Senior Associate, Washington, DC
  • Peace Corps, Gender and Training Program Assistant, Thies, Senegal
  • Peace Corps, Preventative Health Volunteer, Diambo Soubalo, Senegal


  • French
  • Pulaar (Fula)
  • English