US Master’s Degree Tour Series 2011: First Interview at Fletcher School, Tufts University

In early 2011, I took my first graduate-school trip along East coast of USA. This blog post is a series of this amazing intelligent journey. Enjoy!

I think I am obliged to share this story about my experience searching for suitable graduate schools as many of my friends come to ask me about how to get into master’s degree, though I myself haven’t got accepted in master’s degree and still struggling with my college research   I’ve been searching for this opportunity since 2009, of course for the extra of scholarship, but again it was my God father, Brian Atwater, who enabled me to revisit US for the purpose of master’s degree tour. Been applying for Fulbright Scholarship too, but I guess I am not faculty member or someone who works for the government yet that making me failed to get this opportunity.

Anyway, my journey began from Seattle, the city where I spent my exchange year for almost a year. It was winter in January 2011 and my former host brother, Sigvart, a.k.a my boyfriend also went there. We got chance to visit Foster School of Business at University of Washington. However, my first real appointment of interview was with Fletcher School at Tufts University in Meadford, Masachussettes, so my boyfriend and I flew to Boston. We were welcomed by white serene snow and I initially looked very excited because I love winter, snow, and ice. The temperature was freezing cold (about -15 degree Celsius , but my excitement beat everything. The trip from Logan airport to our hostel in Beverly street in Boston was quiet tiring; we had to drag 20+ kgs luggage in the middle of stuck snows while the ice soaked in my shoes into my feet as I was wearing wrong boots which were not water proof. By the time we got into our hostel, my legs were already in pain and blue.

I had appointment at 9.00 AM at Fletcher. The road to Fletcher was even severe, especially with the wrong boots. This time I agree that snow is nice if we dress properly.  Finally, my boyfriend’s skill in reading map made us reach the Fletcher building. Tufts is relatively old school with east coast wooden building style, but I could tell that Fletcher’s building was the most modern one. I am interested with their Master in International Business and Master in Law and Diplomacy. I was a bit shocked when I realized that the person who supposed to interview me was sick and needed to be replaced by his coworker.


The interview awkwardly started with little question about my boyfriend, who just left after escorting me to this building. The interviewer found out that it was interesting how me and my boyfriend met (ummm….we were exchange students and i personally think it was common that love was in the air afterward). So he began to describe about Fletcher. The program is interesting. Master in International Business (MIB) has a combination of all business school curriculum, but to make it internationally focus, the program is paired with some materials from Master in Law and Diplomacy (MALD). Fletcher does aims to create business people who have expert in particular regions, thus their program is designed by regional such as South Asia, East Asia, European, Middle East, etc. Most people who come to Fletcher are already working and the interviewer seemed okay with my background as social entrepreneur though I am still in college. MIB has scholarship both for foreign and American students. It wasn’t full but quiet significant. Unfortunately, I need full supports of finance if I want to get to master’s degree.

I then headed to come to the class of Professor Galagher: Energy Policy. I really love environment and this class provides more about energy as crucial issues in environment. The students were active and asked a lot of interesting questions. I learned about the difference between reserves and resources. Energy reserves are the ones that are able to be renewed through the availability of technology and storage equipment, while resources are not renewable; resources are basically the one the humans mine from the center of the earth. I also learned about energy market; those which are recorded and sell-able in market such as oil and coal, and those which are not recorded such as traditional energy like waste energy. I am glad that I could participated by throwing an example of green algae energy (thanks to my experience in DENSO).

Overall the class was my favorite, before I had an appointment of interview with the professor itself, Professor Galagher. She was pretty, gentle, smart, and encouraging. Unfortunately, I was nervous when I met her (and my feet were frozen from snows) and unable to ask crucial questions that I already had in mind. She  suggested that it was better for me to gain some experiences by working first. The interview was short and a bit discouraging me (i more disappointed to myself).

Some sadness eluded after I joined class of Business in China where I met an Indonesian guy who studied there. The class was nice and I did admitted that Indonesians are always helpful anywhere; he was nice and told me about the school. He also introduced me to the class members. The Business in China class was super interesting. I learned on how efficient the concept of one central system bank created money in China compared to inefficiency of decentralized state system in US which created many not-needed costs (I guess my business minded which brought me to this interest). This Indonesian student advised me to check Babson college if i want to learn more about entrepreneurship and not suggested Harvard as it is full of government’s side people who may be hard for me who is not coming from certain circle of bureaucracy.


My boyfriend came pick me and we traveled back to downtown Boston to get some foods, somewhere at the food court  I got Chinese foods (suddenly I missed Asian foods) and he got Italian pasta. As always, he lovely encouraged me to manage some questions and relaxed me from nervous. We headed back to our hostel, got some rest before being ready for tomorrow’s interview at Harvard.

What a day…

p.s. Due to rigid immigration procedure as assisting spouse in Denmark (yes, I finally marry my boyfriend), I have to stay in the country for 5 to 10 years to obtain permanent residency, and am limited for long-term travel. I never proceed my application to the U.S. and have to think again which school I will go to in Denmark.


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