Joel Tolbirt, 2015, USA

On the MIB versus an MBA: A regular MBA program would have provided me with a great knowledge base and developed my business skills, but I would have been another cog in the system. Fletcher contextualizes my own international experiences in a way that no MBA program could have. I can study the things I am interested in in a free and flexible way. I receive guidelines from the school then am allowed the freedom to define my own curriculum.

On campus life: There is always something going on at Fletcher. You can stay as busy as you want to be.  From clubs to speakers to seminars, it is easy to stay at the school until the sun goes down every night and sometimes later. Fletcher’s off-campus trips include everything from visiting NYC to skiing in Maine to apple picking. If you have a passion, it is very likely that someone else here has the same one too and wants to share it.

Favorite book:

World War Z

Favorite city:

San Francisco

Favorite landmark:

Rock of Gibraltar or the Golden Gate Bridge

Global Issue or problem that brought you to Fletcher:

Intellectual Property Rights in the face of global manufacturing

Fields of Study:

  • International Political Economy
  • Strategic Management and International Consultancy

Activities involved in at Fletcher:

  • Finance Club
  • Veterans Association

Education before Fletcher:

  • MA, War Studies, King's College, London
  • BA, International Relations, San Francisco State University

Experience before Fletcher:

  • US Army Special Forces, Special Forces Intelligence and Operations NCO, Various


  • German
  • Spanish
  • Russian
  • English