Customizing your Curriculum

One of the most salient features of a Fletcher education is precisely the fact that it is not a single education, but rather allows for infinite customization, through our 170+ annual course offerings, fields of study, exchange programs, and cross registrations. Each student may decide on a different academic trajectory to suit his or her own professional and academic goals.

To get a better sense of how these individual curricular decisions can play out, we have invited a small group of students in their final semester to talk about their goals, their classes, and the decisions made during their Fletcher career. We invite you to learn more about them by clicking below. Each student is listed with their degree program and intended post-Fletcher career field.

Alejandra, MALD - Strategic Communications for Social Impact

Alejandra, MALD
Mexico


Pre-Fletcher Experience
Deputy Director Industry Research at ProMexico, Mexican Agency for Trade and Investment Promotion
Head of the Research and Evaluation Department, Promexico

Fields of Study
International Business Relations
Development Economics

Capstone Topic
A case study on marketing for non-profits

Post-Fletcher Professional Goals
I am interested in a career in the communications field. My interests lie in areas related to marketing strategies, strategic communications and advocacy. I plan to work in organizations/projects that would allow me to combine my interests in communications, strategy, and development by providing strategic communications advice to advance causes with social impact.

Curriculum Overview


Semester One
  • Corporate Finance
  • International Finance
  • Econometrics
  • Development Economics: Policy Analysis
During my first semester I wanted to acquire a set of basic tools that would better prepare me for future courses while fulfilling some of my requirements. I wanted to get practical skills that would allow me to better market myself in the labor market. I particularly liked Professor Jenny Aker, who taught Econometrics, a great and engaging teacher.

Semester Two
  • Culture and development
  • Marketing for nonprofits
  • International Organizations
  • International Financial Management
During this semester I wanted to really explore and enjoy the interdisciplinary approach of the Fletcher curriculum. My first semester was interesting but was very similar to what I had done in the past (as an Economics major undergrad). The course on Marketing for Non-profitsreally influenced my choices for both my internship and subsequent courses. Try Professor Natalie Laidler-Kylander (one of the best!) and try something different from what you have done in the past (you might discover new career paths).

Summer Internship

Communications strategist at The Mae Fah Luang Foundation in Thailand

Semester Three
  • Intellectual Property Law
  • Macroeconomic Policy Analysis
  • Media, Politics and Power in the Digital Age (Harvard Kennedy School)
  • The Informal Economy (Harvard Kennedy School)
This semester was an opportunity to further explore my interest in communications. I took a course at HKS on Media in the Digital Age that reinforced my interest in communications. It was also a great complement with my course on Intellectual Property Law, which allowed me to explore some of the legal challenges that arise in the digital age. The course on Macroeconomic Policy Analysis with Professor Klein is a must: a very practical course focusing on quantitative analysis and policy memo briefing.  

Semester 4
  • Strategy and Innovation in the Evolving Context of International Business
  • Foreign Relations of the US since 1917
  • The Making of a Politician (Harvard Kennedy School)
  • Regional Economic Development (Harvard Graduate School of Design)
During my last semester I completed my breadth requirements and took a course at HKS on communications and politics. The course focuses on leadership, media training, and public speaking -  really valuable skills for any professional.  I also deeply enjoyed the course on Strategy with Dean Chakravorti, a really knowledgeable, engaging and inspiring professor.
Bernardo, MALD - US Foreign Service

Bernardo, MALD
United States


Pre-Fletcher Experience
Human Resources Business Partner, Target Corporation, Minneapolis, MN
Group Leader, Target Regional Distribution Center, Fridley, MN
Logistics Analyst, Target Corporation, Minneapolis, MN

Fields of Study
International Organizations
United States

Capstone Topic
U.S. Diplomatic Engagement with Non-state Armed Groups

Post-Fletcher Professional Goals
After Fletcher, I will be joining the U.S. Foreign Service as a Foreign Service Officer.  Although I do not know my official assignment yet, I will spend the summer after graduation interning at the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Curriculum Overview


Semester One

  • Diplomacy: History, Theory, and Practice
  • U.S. Public Diplomacy
  • The Foreign Relations of the United States to 1917
  • Analytic Frameworks for International Public Policy Decisions
Prior to starting my first semester, I was very methodical in proactively mapping out my two-year academic plan.  I had selected my two fields of study and wanted to knock out the breadth and depth requirements my first year.  Since my undergraduate degree was in Business and I had worked in the private sector for four years, I wanted to primarily take courses within the Diplomacy, History, and Politics division.  Also, since I knew I’d be joining the U.S. Foreign Service after graduation, I began to take courses relevant to U.S. foreign policy and the practice of diplomacy.  This semester was a nice balance of intertwining the theory and practice of diplomacy.

Semester Two
  • The Foreign Relations of the United States since 1917
  • Democracy and State Reform in Latin America
  • Introduction to Economic Theory
  • International Organizations
Building off my first semester, I decided to take the second part of the Foreign Relations of the United States with Professor Henrikson.  I, however, also wanted to revisit my passion for Latin America, so I decided to take Professor Burgess’ class.  I also decided it be wise to fulfill my quantitative analysis requirement, while taking my course requirement for International Law and Organizations.  Professor Johnstone’s International Organizations course was very enlightening in understanding the complex world of multilateral organizations.

Summer Internship
U.S. Department of State, The Operations Center’s Office of Crisis Management Support

At the Department of State, I interned in the Office of Crisis Management Support.  I monitored potential and emerging crises as lead crisis management officer responsible for regional portfolio of South and Central Asian Affairs (SCA) and backup officer for Near Eastern Affairs (NEA).  I identified specific incidents and threats that could potentially affect private U.S. citizens, official U.S. personnel and facilities, and/or other key U.S. interests in assigned regions.

Semester Three
  • International Negotiation
  • Foundations of Policy Analysis
  • Evolution of Strategy
  • Islam and Politics
My summer internship was very influential in my course selection for my final year.  Over the summer, I had to write numerous briefs and memos.  As a result, I began to take courses that would further hone my writing skills, while also helping me formulate frameworks for policy analysis and strategy development.  I also wanted to expand my horizons by better understanding the intersection of Islam and politics.  Finally, for each of my classes I began to think about how each of my papers could contribute to my thesis topic.

Semester Four
  • International Mediation
  • Leadership in Public and Private Sector Organizations
  • Decision Making and Public Policy
  • Management of Crises Response (Harvard Kennedy School)
Since I thoroughly enjoyed my International Negotiation class, I decided I wanted to further explore this discipline by taking International Mediation with Professor Babbitt.   As an aspiring policymaker, I continued to take Professor Martel’s courses: one on leadership and the other one on decision-making.  Finally, I decided to cross register at the Kennedy School.  Although the course is focused on the management of domestic crises, I know I can apply these lessons to international crises as well.

 

Hannah, MALD - Business models serving the poor

Hannah, MALD
United States


Pre-Fletcher Experience

  • Several years designing, managing and evaluating international development programs
  • Experienced in business and program strategy
  • Gender integration specialist
  • Interested in social entrepreneurship, impact investing, and private-sector innovation for underserved markets
 
Fields of Study
International Business
Development Economics

Capstone Topic
Diffusion of Innovations at the Base of the Pyramid: The case of mobile money in Kenya and India

Post-Fletcher Professional Goals
I’m interested in working with companies that are developing new products and services that can help improve the lives of the poor in developing countries.

Curriculum Overview


Semester One
  • Corporate Finance
  • Entrepreneurial Marketing
  • Econometrics
  • Law and Development
In my first semester at Fletcher, I dove into the foundational quantitative skills that would serve me well throughout the rest of my coursework. Taking econometrics and corporate finance at the same time was tough, but a great way to kick-start my Fletcher education. Professor Kylander’s entrepreneurial marketing was stimulating and applied, and gave me a chance to be creative with other students. The semester was challenging and well rounded.

Semester Two
  • Culture, Human Values, and Development
  • Strategy and Innovation in the Evolving Context of International Business
  • Field Studies in Global Consulting
  • Microfinance and Inclusive Commerce
  • System Dynamics (MIT Sloan)
My second semester combined many of the topics I came to Fletcher to study: business strategy, new approaches to economic development, cultural elements of development, and applied analytical and communication methods. Some of the overlap allowed me to delve in-depth into new topics such as financial inclusion and mobile money. A highlight of the semester was my project for Field Studies in Global Consulting. I traveled to Tanzania with my team to research the electronic payments landscape, and made recommendations to the company’s Vice Chair on the role MasterCard could play in financial inclusion.

Summer Internship
I worked as a fellow at Start Up India in New Delhi, where I conducted research and informed business strategy for start-up social enterprises in the healthcare and financial services sectors.

Semester Three
  • Contemporary South Asia: Entrepreneurial Solutions to Intractable Social and Economic Problems (Harvard Business School)
  • Information and Communications Technology for Development
  • Business at the Base of the Pyramid (Harvard Business School)
  • International Economic Policy Analysis
My second year coursework continued to consolidate around my main interests. I got off campus a bit and took two great classes at the Harvard Business School, both related to innovations in serving low-income markets. International Economic Policy Analysis with Michael Klein was an excellent way to refresh my econometrics knowledge in a practical, applied way. An overall theme of my course choices at Fletcher has been combining business skills and economics topics in the context of applications for international development.

Semester Four
  • Gender, Culture and Conflict
  • Comparative Politics
  • Development Economics: Micro Perspectives
  • Behavioral Economics and Public Policy (Harvard Kennedy School)    
In my last semester at Fletcher, I’m focusing a lot on my thesis, but also taking four classes. When I visited Fletcher before deciding to enroll, I visited Dyan Mazurana’s Gender, Culture and Conflict class and was blown away by the depth of the content and her dynamic teaching style. This semester I am finally getting to take the class myself, and it’s challenging me to think deeply about the role of gender in society and in conflict. My microeconomics class and behavior economics class complement each other well. The semester is keeping pace with my others in helping me see connections among a variety of topics and analytical as prescriptive methodologies.




Hillary, MALD - Economy Policy in Developing Countries

Hillary, MALD
United States

Pre-Fletcher Experience
Peace Corps Volunteer, Benin
Portfolio Analyst, NEPC Investment Consulting, Cambridge, MA

Fields of Study
Development Economics
International Political Economy

Capstone Topic
Trade Policy and Economic Integration in West Africa
 
Post-Fletcher Professional Goals
International economic policy with a focus on developing countries  

Curriculum Overview

Semester One

  • Corporate Finance
  • Political Economy of Development
  • Law and Development
  • Petroleum in the Global Economy
My objective first semester was to lay the groundwork for the rest of my Fletcher curriculum. I wanted to knock out some of the breadth requirements while also taking at least one class out of pure interest in the subject. This semester I learned a lot about finance and a lot about development, both fields that I had worked in prior to attending Fletcher.
 
Semester Two
  • Development Economics: Macro Perspectives
  • Econometrics
  • International Investment Law
  • International Trade and Investment
Second semester I began to think more about my fields of study and decided on Development Economics and International Political Economy. I focused mostly on taking courses that would satisfy my depth requirements. I also began to think about my thesis and started to build an academic relationship with Professor Kowalzcyk, who taught Trade and Investment and who is also my adviser.
 
Summer Internship
Treasury Department, Office of Environment and Energy
 
At the Treasury I worked with the Office of Environment and Energy. For most of the summer we were working on the design of the Green Climate Fund, an innovative new donor funded organization that provides financing for climate change mitigation and adaptation projects. The skills I learned in Corporate Finance and International Investment Law were very helpful in my internship.
 
Semester Three
  • Advanced Trade and Investment
  • Econometric Impact Evaluation
  • Macroeconomic problems in Latin America
  • International Finance
Because of a quirk in course scheduling, most of the economics courses I wanted to take in my final year were offered only in the Fall semester. This meant taking four economics courses at once, which sounds crazier than it actually was. My favorite course was Econometric Impact Evaluation, because we had the opportunity to complete a consulting project for a development organization. My group worked with Catholic Relief Services and conducted an econometric impact evaluation of a malaria prevention campaign in Sierra Leone.
 
Semester Four
  • International Energy Policy
  • Sustainable Development Diplomacy
  • Political Economy of Reform, Growth, and Equity
  • Decision Making in Public Policy

With my fields of study complete, and just one breadth requirement left, I decided to take classes that would broaden my horizons and teach new skills. Having loaded up on economics courses the semester before, it is a nice to take some more writing intensive courses.

Lulu, MALD - Technology and Strategy

Lulu, MALD
Canada

Pre-Fletcher Experience
Financial Analyst, J.P. Morgan, NYC

Fields of Study
International Security Studies
International Information & Communication

Capstone Topic
The Cyber Relationship between the U.S. and China

Post-Fletcher Professional Goals
To work for a private company or international organization that deals with technology and strategy

Curriculum Overview

Semester 1
  • Analytic Frameworks for International Public Policy Decisions
  • International Communication
  • Processes of International Negotiation
  • Technology Strategy and Innovation in Global Markets
  • The US and East Asia
For the first semester, I tried to get a mix of useful tools (i.e. Analytic Frameworks and International Negotiation) and broad experimentation (since I was still doing some soul searching to narrow my interests). To date, Analytic Frameworks has been one of my most useful classes, giving me a great foundation for understanding a wide range of policy issues through models like decision trees and game theory. The professor, Carolyn Gideon (who also teaches International Communication), quickly became a mentor and is now my thesis adviser.

Semester 2
  • Strategic Dimensions of the Rise of China
  • Decision Making & Public Policy
  • Technology & International Security
  • Terrorism & Counterterrorism
This might be my best semester, in terms of course selection. Every single one of these classes was a big win – fascinating subjects, useful assignments, and excellent professors. I’ve had some great classes every semester, but this combination was probably the most enjoyable all around. I had no plans to take the Terrorism class, but signed up at the advice of a second year who told me it was one of his favorite classes at Fletcher. It is now one of my favorite classes at Fletcher.

Summer Internship

Consultant, World Bank ICT Sector Unit, Washington DC

Semester 3
  • International Finance
  • Petroleum in the Global Economy
  • The Role of Force in International Politics
  • Independent Study
Finance –this class makes the topic as un-painful as possible. I learned a lot in a short time, and Professor Klein’s jokes are seriously underrated. The Petroleum class is a favorite for a lot of Fletcher students, and there are usually far more people who want to take it than physically fit in the classroom. Role of Force is a packed 11 weeks of security studies and international relations theory, and Professor Shultz is a fan favorite here at Fletcher. I also took an independent study credit in order to focus on making progress on completing my thesis, and, uh…I don’t care to comment more on that.

Semester 4
  • Communications Policy Analysis and Modeling
  • Gender, Culture and Conflict in Complex Humanitarian Emergencies
  • Law & Development
  • International Relations of the US & East Asia

It just occurred to me that my last semester is a throwback to my first semester, with continuations of two of my favorite classes: Communication and US & East Asia. Communications as a field and East Asia as a region are two areas of study where I had little previous experience and where Fletcher really deepened my interest. I also try to take a “just because” class every semester. These are classes that might not directly pertain to my academic concentration but that broaden my knowledge about important international issues are interesting and fun. In previous semesters, these have included Modern Terrorism & Counterterrorism and Petroleum in the Global Economy. This semester, it’s the Gender class. I’ve heard great things about it since before coming to Fletcher, and it definitely approaches the study of armed conflict from a different (and important!) angle.

Michael, MA/MD - Medicine

Michael, MA/MD Dual Degree
United States

Pre-Fletcher Experience
  • Combined MD/MA candidate. Three years of Medical School completed, one remaining
  • Prior International experience teaching in eastern Europe, hospital work in southern India

Capstone Topic
Innovation and Motivation in Pharmaceutical R&D Strategies in Developing Countries

Post-Fletcher Professional Goals
I will likely pursue an internal medicine residency, and subsequently practice, though I intend to increasingly integrate my Fletcher education into non-practicing work as my career progresses.

Curriculum Overview

Semester One

  • Development Aid in Practice
  • Information and Communication Technologies for Development
  • The International Legal Order
  • Large Investment and International Project Finance
Coming from a very different environment, and only having a single year at Fletcher, I chose breadth over depth, with a general emphasis on two separate (but each equally relevant to physicians) areas; business and development. At the same time, I wanted to take courses with well-known faculty, including courses that embodied the “quintessential” disciplines of the Fletcher education. Professor Glennon’s “International Legal Order” satisfied both these intentions, while two development courses (including Development Aid co-taught by Dean Uvin), were tangentially relevant to some of the programs and initiatives many doctors are involved with. Lastly, Professor Uhlmann’s Project Finance class was a terrific course in studying not only the socio-political influences in project finance, but also practical accounting skills. This was a diverse and balanced semester that allowed me to achieve all my goals in selecting classes.

Winter Term
Healthcare in China - Opportunities for Innovation and Integration (HBS - in Shanghai)

Semester Two
  • The Economics of Global Health and Development
  • Strategy and Innovation in the Evolving Context of International business
  • Entrepreneurial Marketing - Building a Winning Business Plan
  • Innovation, Access to Medicines, and Global Governance (1/2 credit at Harvard School of Public Health)
  • Political Economy and Business Context of Latin America (1/2 credit)
  • Public Policy and Decision Making (audit)

Cross-registering at Harvard was an opportunity I wanted to take advantage of, and during the winter and spring I was able to take two Harvard courses which were relevant to my education overall Fletcher experience. Economics of Global Health and Development focused on the exact type of material that motivated my year at Fletcher. Lastly, courses with Dean Chakravorti and Professor Martel were additional opportunities to study under well-known faculty. My coursework took me on some twists and turns as the year progressed, alternating my focus and interest between private, public, small and big picture, though the sum effect was as I hoped and expected, to provide the diverse education, skills, and mindset that I will undoubtedly utilize throughout my career  - both clinically and non-clinically.

 

 

Mumtaz, MA - Foreign Service

Mumtaz, MA
Pakistan

Pre-Fletcher Experience
Diplomat with the Foreign Service of Pakistan, with diplomatic assignments in Paris, Geneva and Washington DC

Field of Study
International Organizations

Capstone Topic
Implications of the use of drones on the notion of state sovereignty

Post-Fletcher Professional Goals

Will continue to work in the Foreign Service for some time but I eventually intend to go consultancy

Curriculum Overview


Semester One
  • International Treaty Behavior
  • International Human Rights Law
  • Evolution of Strategy
  • Negotiations and Conflict Management
Although a practitioner of international relations and diplomacy, I came to Fletcher with little grounding in the conceptual frameworks of international politics. I benefited from the wide array of courses on offer. In particular, I really liked the course content of law courses and the caliber of the law faculty. My favorite class was international treaty behavior taught by Professor Antonia Chayes who brings together an ideal combination of theory and practice in international law. She is also my thesis adviser.

Semester Two

  • International Organizations
  • Management of NonProfit Organizations
  • International Energy Policy
  • Leadership in Public and Private Organizations
  • International Law-International Relations (Audit)
In my second semester, I tried to get out of my comfort zone (i.e. international law and politics) and took International Energy Policy. Taught by Professor Gallagher, this is an interesting course as we learn about the economics, science, and politics of energy. I took the Management of Nonprofit organizations to fulfill one of my requirements. I benefited enormously from this course which helps us develop managerial skills to run any public or private enterprise.

Nathan, MALD - International Development

Nathan, MALD
United States

Pre-Fletcher Experience
Peace Corps Volunteer, Niger
Communications & Programme Assistant, Plan Niger

Fields of Study
NGO Management
Human Security

Capstone Topic
Defining Success and Failure in Development NGOs

Post-Fletcher Professional Goals
Project, program, and policy work in international development

Curriculum Overview

My strategy for choosing courses was to get the combination of a) policy & management skills and b) a variety of sector knowledge, to be an attractive candidate for program and policy positions. For the technical & management, I took the management and accounting classes, as well as the design, evaluation & economics. I took these all at Fletcher, though there are a variety of classes at HKS and elsewhere. For more specific sector knowledge, I've tried to get a variety of areas relevant to aid work, with a focus on more empowering approaches such as education and financial inclusion. Adding human rights law, humanitarian studies and gender will help make me a more versatile professional.

Semester One

  • Analytic Frameworks for Public Policy Decision-making
  • Human Rights Law
  • Humanitarian Studies in the Field
  • Processes of International Negotiation

Semester Two

  • Microfinance and Inclusive Commerce
  • Econometrics
  • Rights Based Approach to Design, Monitoring Evaluation & Learning
  • International NGOs: Ethics & Management Practice

Summer Internship
Plan West Africa Regional Office, "Because I Am A Girl" Campaign

At WARO, my main deliverable was a strategy for girls' education advocacy in West Africa. I also helped the country offices in the region with their advocacy and program plans for the 4-year Campaign, and worked on the BIAAG Africa reports from 2012 (editing) and 2013 (lit review to prepare for research). 

Semester Three

  • Development Aid in Practice
  • Econometric Impact Evaluation
  • Development Economics: Policy Perspectives
  • Education Policy Analysis in Comparative Perspective (at Harvard Grad School of Education)

January Term

  • Evaluation of Development and Peacebuilding (1/2 credit module)

Semester Four

  • Market Approaches to Human Development
  • Government and nonprofit accounting
  • Gender, Culture, Conflict in Complex Humanitarian Emergencies
  • Independent Study (Capstone)

Patrick, MALD - Cultural Diplomacy and Development

Patrick, MALD
Uganda


Pre-Fletcher Experience
School Organist and Instructor Music, Phillips Academy, Andover, MA
Assisting Organist, Trinity Wall Street, New York, NY

Fields of Study
International Organizations
Law and Development

Capstone Topic
International Trade in Services: The Case of Music in Uganda

Post Fletcher-Career Goals
I’m interested in starting a Cultural Advisory Group to work with developing countries to leverage their cultural diplomacy and to diversify their economies by investing in creative industries and developing arts institutions. But education also continues to be of interest, and I may continue with law school or a PhD in Public Policy.

Curriculum Overview

Semester One
  • Law and Development
  • Processes of International Negotiation
  • Leadership in Public and Private Sector Organizations
  • Diplomacy: History, Theory, and Practice
For the first semester I wanted to take as many breadth required courses for the MALD degree as possible. I satisfied the two required courses for the Division of Diplomacy, History and Politics and the one for the Division of International Law and Organizations. I knew about customary law in Africa, but the paper I wrote for Professor Salacuse in Law and Development sharpened my understanding of the intricacies of intellectual property in developing countries. I also first encountered this question here: Is a strong rule of law a precursor for development or does development come first and then the rule of law follows?         

Semester Two
  • Introduction to Economic Theory
  • International NGOs: Ethics and Management Practice
  • Strategic Marketing for Non-Profit Organizations
  • Values, Culture and Development

I’m interested in the interaction of non-profits with the public and the private sectors in different cultural settings, hence my choice of courses in NGO marketing and management. I learned that NGOs tend to underestimate their value when they partner with corporations.  Yet they do have stories corporations like to associate with.

Summer Internship
The Mae Fah Luang Foundation Under Royal Patronage, The Doi Tung Development Project, Chiang Rai Province, Thailand
Formerly known as the Thai Hill Crafts Foundation, the Mae Fah Luang Foundation was founded in 1972 to increase opportunities for ethnic minority groups in Northern Thailand. I became interested in the Foundation because, among other things, it incorporates the arts into development.  As a researcher, analyst and communication strategist, I worked in a team whose objective was to improve the Foundation’s communication strategy. Our deliverables included making a short documentary to promote the Foundation’s sustainable development practices in Thailand, Myanmar, Afghanistan and Indonesia. 

Semester Three
  • Data analysis and Statistical Methods for Decision-Making
  • Development Economics:  Policy Analysis
  • Legal and Institutional Aspects of International Trade
  • Innovation Systems and Global Development (Harvard Kennedy School)
  • Technology Policy and Global Development (Harvard Kennedy School)
Since my thesis on music and trade touches on innovation, technology, law and economics, I wanted to take courses in which I could learn more about those areas.  This was my first encounter with world trade law. While the material was challenging, I learned a lot in Professor Trachtman’s Legal and Institutional Aspects of International Trade.  In this semester, I was also able to fulfill the required courses for my Law and Development field.  

Semester Four
  • Field Studies in Global Consulting
  • International Organizations
  • Intellectual Property Law (Harvard Law School)
  • Social Institutions and Economic Development (Harvard Kennedy School)
I’m learning a lot in Professor Johnstone’s International Organization’s class, which also happens to be my last required course.  Since I have a particular interest in the arts and international relations, I chose to take a course in global consulting to gain skills that I could use to consult in the areas including cultural diplomacy, creative industries and economic diversification. The intellectual property law class at Harvard was a strategic choice: I wanted to learn more about areas such as copyright and patents and how they relate to the arts and trade.
 
Sol, MA - Academia

Sol, MA
Philippines

Pre-Fletcher Experience
Director for Intellectual Exchange, Asia-Europe Foundation, Singapore
Junior Consultant, Local Government Academy, Philippines

Capstone Topic
Development Induced Displacement

Post-Fletcher Career Goals
I will pursue my PhD in Southeast Asian Studies, hopefully transitioning into an academic career.

Curriculum Overview

Semester One
  • Development Aid in Practice
  • Legal & Institutional Aspects of International Trade Law
  • International Human Rights Law
  • Independent Study – How Mass Atrocities End Project
As a one-year MA student, I started my short stint at Fletcher thinking that I would finally exorcise that demon in my head saying “you should have studied law.” I took human rights law, which was comfortable territory due to past professional experience, and trade law, which was wholly unfamiliar but where I learned the most last semester. For my independent study, I wrote a few case summaries for the World Peace Foundation’s research on mass atrocities, which will help me with my PhD dissertation on East Timor this fall. I didn’t expect it, but coming to Fletcher rekindled my interest in development studies. Inspired by the Development Aid in Practice course taught by Dean Uvin and Professor Wilkinson, I decided to re-focus my second semester and thesis on development issues.

Semester Two
  • Political Economy of Development
  • Advanced Seminar on Conflict & Development
  • Comparative Politics
  • Non-profit Management: Important Ideas for Motivating and Leading Change
  • Introduction to Research Methods (Auditing)
I am writing my thesis on development-induced displacement, which is basically forced resettlement due to large infrastructure projects like dams. I chose my coursework as building blocks to help me construct my research. The literature in political economy provides the foundation; comparative politics and research methods provide methodological frames. My conflict and development class gives me a window into less familiar cases in Africa. Non-profit management gives me needed headspace away from my thesis with its stimulating simulating of real-world leadership challenges (incidentally fulfilling my EIB requirement with the least math possible!).

Tanya, MIB - Business risk management

Tanya, MIB
United States

Pre-Fletcher Experience
Senior Consultant, Control Risks Group, New York, NY

Fields of Study

Strategic Management & International Consultancy
International Political Economy

Capstone topic
Doing business in Burma/Myanmar

Post-Fletcher Professional Goals
I plan to remain in the business risk management field, working with companies to help them do business in challenging environments.

Curriculum Overview

Semester One

  • Foundations of Financial Accounting and Corporate Finance
  • Financial Statement Management
  • International Business Strategy
  • Global Macroeconomics
  • Social Networks in Organizations
  • Managerial Accounting

As an MIB, most of my classes for my first two semesters at Fletcher were part of the degree’s core curriculum. I was looking for a strong foundation in fundamental business skills and concepts, and that’s definitely what I got! The workload for Corporate Finance dominated the semester, but it was extremely satisfying to realize just how much I’d learned by the final exam, and going through it with the other MIBs was a great bonding experience.

Semester Two

  • Global Political Economy
  • Statistical Methods for Business
  • Marketing Management
  • Managerial Economics
  • Fast Companies
  • Acting in Time: Leadership and Management in the Face of Large-Scale Risks (Harvard Business School)

In my second semester, I was still focused on completing the core MIB curriculum, but I was able to branch out a little bit by cross-registering for a class on risk management at Harvard Business School. I also really enjoyed taking statistics with Professor Nakosteen (the class widely known as “Nako-stats”). As I wrapped up my first year, I was pleased to find that I had developed the foundation and skills I needed to be a knowledgeable participant in conversations about international finance and corporate strategy.

Summer Internship
I’ve been working as a freelance risk management consultant since starting at Fletcher and spent the summer taking on projects in the US and Paris, and traveling in Portugal, Spain, and Greece.

Semester Three

  • Starting New Ventures
  • Petroleum in the Global Economy
  • History of Financial Turbulence and Crises
  • International Business Transactions

With most of my core requirements complete, third semester was my first chance to put together my own schedule, and it was fantastic. History of Financial Turbulence was a wonderful course to take right as I returned from a summer in the Eurozone crisis countries, and Starting New Ventures gave me an entirely new perspective on how and why start-ups succeed (or don’t). International Business Transactions made me glad I didn’t go to law school, but I think it was really valuable to learn how lawyers think about business challenges, and I expect this course to be one I draw on frequently in the future.

Semester Four

  • Modern Terrorism and Counter-terrorism
  • Managing the Growing Enterprise
  • Independent Study for capstone project
  • Political Economy and Business Context of the European Union (in French)
  • Finance, Growth and Business Cycles
  • Technology, Security and Conflict in the Cyber Age (Harvard Kennedy School)

My schedule this semester is the reason I chose to do the MIB at Fletcher: Where else could I take a course on counter-terrorism back-to-back with a course on transitioning a business from a start-up to a sustainable company? Or discuss business case studies and the development of the EU in French on Monday, then do independent research on business in Burma on Tuesday? If you’d told me in my first semester that by my last semester, I would be taking a class on business cycles, I probably wouldn’t have believed you, but here I am, and it’s a very satisfying feeling.

 

 

Yumiko, MALD - Private Sector Development

Yumiko, MALD
Japan

Pre-Fletcher Experience
Associate at Global Sales and Business Development Department, Toyota Group of Companies

Fields of Study
Development Economics
International Business Relations

Capstone Topic
Appropriate Technology for the Base of the Pyramid: Case of Energy Sector in India

Post-Fletcher Professional Goals
I’m interested in working in international organizations, development consulting firms or bilateral development agencies in private sector development field.

Curriculum Overview

Semester One
  • Corporate Finance
  • Development Economics: Policy Analysis
  • Data Analysis and Statistical Methods
  • Political Economy of Development
In my first semester, I focused on meeting breadth requirements and core courses for my fields of study. Because this was the very first semester that I studied outside of my country, and I took two demanding courses (corporate finance and development economics), to be honest, I struggled. However, I really enjoyed courses, particularly development economics, which I had wanted to study deeply since I was an undergraduate student.

Semester Two
  • Microfinance and Financial Inclusion
  • Development Economics: Macro Perspective
  • International Trade and Investment
  • Corporate Governance
  • The Business Environment and Economy in India
  • New Frontiers in Philanthropy, Social Enterprise and Impact Investing (Harvard Kennedy School)
This semester, in addition to strengthening my knowledge and skills in international development, I focused on subjects around business for the base of the pyramid, CSR, social entrepreneurships, etc. The course at HKS was good to understand the overview of impact investing, which is relatively new field in market-based approach. Also, I took a module course of regional study about India to expand my regional expertise in addition to Latin America (my undergrad major) and to prepare for my internship there.

Summer Internship
UNDP Panama - Millennium Development Goal, Poverty Reduction Unit
Kopernik - Indian NGO, monitoring and evaluation of technology dissemination project for the base of the pyramid

Semester Three

  • Econometrics
  • International Negotiation
  • International Business Operation and strategy
  • The Informal Economy (Harvard Kennedy School)
Econometrics with Professor Aker was the one of the best classes that I have taken at Fletcher; I really learned a lot and enjoyed her class. After coming back from my internships, I became more and more interested in frameworks and business models that both the private and public sectors can develop to generate employment and income for the base of the pyramid. This focus helped me decide to take the informal economy and business strategy classes.

Semester Four

  • Market Approaches to Economic and Human Development
  • Law and Development
  • Economics of Global Health and Development
  • Program Evaluation (Harvard Kennedy School)
In my final semester, other than the one requirement that I had to meet (Law and Development, for my law requirement), I am taking three seminar courses to further strengthen skills in international development, focusing especially on private sector development. I especially like program evaluation course, where I can apply what I learned through econometrics last semester. Because the class is taught by a professor who is a practitioner at international organization, the class is very practical and huge plus for my future career.