Courtney Hulse, 2019, United States

On choosing Fletcher: I visited The Fletcher School during the fall, several weeks before I submitted my application. I sat in on a lecture with Professor Bruce Everett and spoke with some students after  class. I was struck by how engaging the class was, even though it was on a topic (energy policy) that I didn't know much about. I also found the students in the class to be extremely warm and open. After class, they shared what their experience at Fletcher had been like and invited me to reach out with questions. I left campus feeling like I had found my people. When I returned to New York, I chatted with colleagues and friends about different graduate programs and about their own experiences. I noticed that the Fletcher alumni had a common reaction: they would get a glowy look on their faces and fondly reminisce about their favorite classes, events, or professors. It was apparent how highly they valued the impact that Fletcher had, and continued to have, on their lives and their careers. Ultimately, the personal connections that I made with Fletcher students and alumni, all of whom were intelligent, friendly people, compelled me to choose to join the Fletcher community.

On two favorite classes: I'm really enjoying "Role of Force in International Relations" with Professor Richard Shultz. The class covers an immense amount of material (roughly 600 years of military history as well as the competing theories for explaining it), but Professor Shultz makes it accessible by using historical examples and peppering his lectures with personal anecdotes (memorably, he recently called an unnamed historical figure a knucklehead). To complement this class, a few of the military fellows here at The Fletcher School work with Professor Shultz to put on a war games simulation called Simulex. This year's simulation was set two years into the future and addressed tensions with North Korea. Second year students described Simulex as "Model UN on steroids," so as a former Model UN nerd, I was really excited to participate and apply the things I’ve learned in class my towards this simulation. I’m also enjoying “Analytic Frameworks for International Public Policy Decisions” with Professor Carolyn Gideon Friedman. The class teaches several analytical (sometimes visual, sometimes mathematical) models that are meant to break down complicated policy problems and better equip people to make informed decisions. We’ve looked at case studies to better understand the types of real-world situations in which these models would be useful, and I can already tell that being able to practically apply these models will serve me well in jobs post-Fletcher. 

Favorite Twitter handle

Favorite musician or band

Most pressing world issue
The rise of non-state actors (companies, NGOs, terrorist groups, etc.) in global governance

Moment when you felt the furthest from home
Driving down back roads in Croatia

Fletcher alumnus you admire
Sakiko Fukuda-Parr

Fields of Study

International Security Studies

International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution

Activities at Fletcher

Fletcher Forum

Science Diplomacy Club

Fletcher Students in Security Studies

Education before Fletcher

BA, Political Science, Vanderbilt University

BA, Anthropology, Vanderbilt University

Experience before Fletcher

Programme Associate, Global Policy Team, United Nations Foundation, New York, NY

Intern, US Department of State, Office of the Geographer and Global Issues, Washington, DC

Intern, NYC Mayor's Office of Human Capital Development, New York, NY