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Category Archives: Law
by Candy Lee LaBalle, MBASpain
On Friday June 17, attendees of AIGAC16 visited The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy on the bucolic campus of Tufts University, located in Medford just outside of Boston. AIGAC members from the US, Spain, India, Germany and India were warmly greeted by Fletcher Director of Admissions Liz Hurley and Kristen Zecchi, Senior Associate Director of the Masters in International Business (MIB).
Over coffee and pastries in the wood-paneled art deco Edward R. Murrow room, lined with the late journalist’s books and personal effects, Steve Bock, Academic Dean and Professor of international Economics, gave an overview of Fletcher’s star programs, the Masters of Law and Diplomacy (MALD) an the MIB. He highlighted the school’s incredible diversity with over 80 countries in the current class, its multi-disciplinary makeup with lawyers, economists, anthropologist, journalists, security experts, veterans and more fields filling the classrooms and the faculty roster featuring military and governmental leaders such as former Ambassador to Spain, Alan Solomont. However, Bock pointed out the commonality that brings these diverse people together—a passion for international affairs.
Next, AIGAC members enjoyed a surprise visit from Dean James Stavridis, a retired Navy Admiral, former Supreme Alllied Commander at Nato and a Fletcher Ph.D. He took glee in pointing out that the deanship at rival school John Hopkins is also held by a Fletcher PhD. Dean Stavridis covered what he considers the three differentiators for Fletcher: 1) its incredibly international flavor, 2) a 95,000+ alumni network worldwide that includes top diplomats, non-profit leaders, directors of humanitarian organizations, security experts and members of dozens of governments worldwide, and 3) a 360-view. While students can focus on a single area, they are given a very broad view of classes and opportunities.
A panel of four students confirmed the Dean’s assertions as they discussed their varied goals in microfinance, cyber security, international business development and governmental affairs. Despite their differences, they surprised us when they all mentioned “hard business” courses as their favorites, especially statistics and corporate finance.
Kristen Zecchi explained that this intersect of business and international affairs is at the heart of the Masters of International Business (MIB), a two-year program that graduates consultants, business developers, general managers and social entrepreneurs. A recent grad founded Andela, a tech-startup in Nigeria which recently secured a $24 million grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.
The unique MIB is a small class of just 35 graduates per year and students have only one required course in macro-economics. Beyond that, they can choose from 160 electives across Fletcher as well as the various schools at Tufts, and there is even an agreement for students to take classes at HBS or Sloan. Zecchi called it the “ultimate buffet” where students can truly create their own specific curriculum. All classes are taught in English except for Islamic Finance, taught in Arabic. AIGAC members who counsel strictly on the MBA, should give a deeper look to the MIB as a unique alternative.
This versatility and internationality definitely result in jobs. My Doan from Employee Relations and Helen Anderson from Career Services revealed that over 95% of grads receive top job offers within 6 months, with about a third entering the private sector (finance, consulting, marketing…), a third entering the public sector (diplomacy, policy, trade…) and a third choosing other opportunities.
We finished our visit with a tour of the school and a frank discussion from Admissions Director Liz Hurley. Applicants must have two years of professional experience, speak at least one foreign language, take either the GRE or the GMAT (average 640-720), and also the TOEFL (for non-native English speakers). Most importantly, applicants must have a true interest in the international aspect of their future and what Zecchi calls “a desire for a truer purpose”.
By Anna Ivey
What’s the ideal LSAT timeline? Your mileage may vary, and your LSAT instructor will be able to give you advice customized to your individual situation. But in a perfect world, here’s how I like to work backwards from the end goal:
Plan to submit your applications in early November (or even sooner, but early November is plenty early). In order to maximize the time you have on your applications, and to let your brain focus on — and master — one thing at a time, that November submission date means I like to see people take the LSAT the February before that.
There are endless and frequent discussions on forums and message boards questioning the value of admissions consulting. One of the more common arguments against using a consultant runs something like this:
“Everyone I know that’s been accepted and is attending top schools did so without …an admissions consultant…. Is [using a consultant] crucial to top-school acceptance? Absolutely not.”
I’m sure if you took a poll of AIGAC members, the overwhelming majority would have attended grad school without the aid of a consultant. Many, including me, would not have taken a test prep course before applying to graduate school. However, over the last thirty years test preparation went from being an act of desperation, to a competitive edge, to a mainstay of the application process. Today, to maximize chances of a top score and acceptance at the best possible school, virtually all applicants take a test prep course.
The same phenomenon is occurring to admissions consulting, but educational advising is currently at the “competitive edge” stage. At this point, using a consultant is not crucial for some. It is extremely helpful for all.
The question is not whether one can get accepted to business, law, or medical school without a consultant. Many are accepted without professional advising. The question is: Are the advantages of using a consultant worth the cost?
First let’s discuss the ways in which a consultant can help you. We bring:
- Experience that you lack.
- Objectivity to a subject that is difficult to be objective about: You
- Editing skills. Professional writers have editors because their writing benefits from a knowledgeable, critical eye. The same is true for the writing of non-professionals.
How do these benefits justify the cost and provide a critical competitive edge?
Using an admissions consultant can:
- Enable your acceptance to a “better” school. “Better” implies more professional opportunity, increased earnings, and an educational experience more to your liking. Just looking at dollars and cents, “better” represents potentially tens of thousands of dollars in your pocket during your career.
- Help you snag a fellowship or scholarship. Savings: tens of thousands of dollars.
- Save you the cost of reapplication. Applying to medical, law, business school or any other graduate program including application fees and travel expenses can cost several thousand dollars. When you apply one time, you save.
- Reduce the time, stress, and frustration you (and those close to you) experience during the admissions process. We can guide you so you don’t go down tangents and useless paths or flounder for weeks as you struggle to learn what we know.
So can you gain acceptance to a graduate school without using an admissions consultant? Certainly. Should you try? Only if you don’t value the experience, objectivity, and skill that can provide you with returns many times the cost.