Mahmoud Jabari, 2018, Palestine

Why Fletcher? I was looking for a school where I could study the role that the private sector plays in enhancing good governance, as well as in contributing to the economic, political, and social reforms that lead to better political realities. The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy has a well-structured, diverse, and interdisciplinary program. Additionally, Fletcher offers the opportunity to concentrate on two fields while pursuing a Master's Degree. I was specifically interested in the International Business Relations concentration. The courses it offers strongly appealed to the type of career I am planning on pursuing in strategic management and business development. I pursued International Political Economy as my second concentration, which helped me with the topic I chose for my thesis. Such an academic mixture provides me with the skills and knowledge that will enable me to help build strategic public-private partnerships that enhance development efforts and good governance. The additional learning opportunities available at The Fletcher School add to this comprehensive learning experience. From research centers to student clubs and working groups, there are opportunities to expand on topics and issues of interest. I am especially active with and interested in the Fares Center for Mediterranean Studies and the Institute for Business in Global Context. There are speakers on a diverse set of topics and issues every week.

On the academic experience: Being in class is my favorite part of my time at Fletcher. Being aware of the rich academic and professional backgrounds of my professors makes me feel very appreciative of every minute I spend in class. For example, I had no background in economics before coming to Fletcher. During my first semester, I took Introduction to Economic Theory with Professor Carsten Kowalczyk. Since one of my academic concentrations is International Business Relations, I also took Foundations in Corporate Finance and Accounting, which was a very challenging class. Every time I make progress in understanding the class material, I become more interested in that field. In fact, these classes remind me on a daily basis that I am pursuing a challenge by choosing new topics that I haven't studied before. While walking around Fletcher, I occasionally hear different languages being spoken by fellow students on the phone or in groups; from Hindi and Urdu to Chinese and French. In my first year, I lived in Blakeley Hall, student housing which has 80 students from around the world, including the U.S. Preparing a meal in the common kitchen will give you a quick – and sometimes extensive – encounter with fellow students who might be preparing a dish from back home. Working in groups with this international cohort is essential to developing teamwork and collaborative skills. Each student brings a unique perspective. This collaboration and teamwork is especially helpful in classes that have case study analysis, like my Corporate Finance class.

My thesis topic was about the Palestinian quest for statehood. At a nexus of security, politics, and economics, I looked at the effectiveness of state and institution building in Palestine under the Israeli occupation by examining the tenure of former Palestinian Prime Minister Dr. Salam Fayyad.

Most rewarding trip:

Visiting France in 2011 and meeting with French diplomats by invitation of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Most pressing world issue:

Political and ideological polarization

Moment when you felt the furthest from home:

Spending a Summer at the University of California Los Angeles in 2010 to study Media, Leadership and Democracy

Global issue that brought you to Fletcher:

Private Sector Development

Fields of Study

International Business Relations

International Political Economy

Activities involved in at Fletcher

The Harvard Journal on Middle East Policy and Politics - Fall of 2015

Education before Fletcher

BS, Communication; Minor: Global Studies - Champlain College

Experience before Fletcher

I took a gap year between my first and second year at The Fletcher School, working full-time in Jerusalem as an Economic Development Associate at the Office of the Quartet.

Marketing Strategist - The Emergent Media Center at Champlain College, Burlington, VT

Corporate & Media Fellow - Ketchum Inc., New York City