Summary for the busy people: When you go to a grad school like Fletcher, you need to stop comparing yourself to others. It is easier to accept that you´re in a team and you have the privilege of knowing such a different bunch of people.
Here is the question I get asked a lot this summer: “So, who are you studying with?” That is not that easy to answer! My fellow companions are so unique and I want to give you some impressions of who they are and what they are doing during their summers. This is just a small selection of my class at Fletcher and I hope I can continue with “connecting worlds”-posts.
Maybe, my dear German friends, if you like what they are doing, you might want to get in touch with them. Let´s face it: This world is all about networking and if I can be of any help, you know how to reach me.
- Uzair, from Karachi. My favorite experience with Uzair: Delicious Pakistani homemade dinner with American soldiers and German Hefeweizen
I do not know why that smart man has ever worked at Deloitte, because for me he is the born politician. He currently interns at the Hudson Institute in D.C. , researching on national power parity between India and Pakistan. Uzair is patiently answering all my, sometimes stupid, white Western questions about Pakistan and Afghanistan. Personally, I think, somebody should offer him a tour through German schools. So he could tear down some stereotype walls!
- Deepti, from Keralla. My favorite experience with Deepti: “Just one” drink in a karaoke bar in New Jersey.
She never stops working! And it is no wonder that she received a grant to intern in a developing country – Deepti went to educate Lanka in Colombo, Sri Lanka. We skyped once with the worst connection, but I have not found out yet, whether she encountered an elephant. She has now returned to New York from where she will head on a backpacking trip to Costa Rica and Panama.
- Robert, from Erfurt. My favorite experience with Robert: walking 50minutes through New York City rain, because the location we were looking for was “just a few blogs from here”
He.does.not.sleep! Robert and I lived in one tower on campus and I especially loved that occasional stopping by, that usually ended in foreign relations discussions lasting 2-3 hours. Robert spent June in Brazil, where I predict he will retire later in life and just started the 6-month prestigious Carlo-Schmid-internship program at NATO headquarters in Brussels.
- Abhishek, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. My favorite experience with “Abhi”: Building a snowman in the middle of the night.
Whenever I was falling in panic mode because of work load or existential life questions I couldn´t answer, there he was: calming Abhi. Rarely have I met a person who is as calm as he is. Abhi graduated this May and just moved to California to work for a technology start-up.
- Geoffrey, Hartford. My favorite experience with “Geoff”: Spontaneous TV-show nights, mostly The Walking Dead.
Geoff is a Januarian, a Fletcher student who starts the master program in the Spring semester. Supposedly, Januarians have a harder time integrating – well, that cannot be proven with Geoff. He is very funny, spontaneous and he has the ability to critically reflect himself. Geoff interns for an energy company in Boston. He wants to focus on natural ressources security; I guess, we´ll need a lot of Geoffs in the future.
- Mark, from Boston. My favorite experience with Mark: Watching the first game of the Red Wings – Bruins Stanley Cup Playoff games (it was my team, the Detroit Red Wings vs. his team, the Boston Bruins)
The all American hockey fan and I found out in our first conversation how much we love sports, good food and security studies. There is not really that much more you need to start a friendship ;-). I conclude after one year, that Mark and I basically agree to disagree on pretty much everything. I am moving in with Mark next year, so it will stay interesting. Mark focusses on security studies, especially American foreign affairs. It was his dearest wish that I mention how much he is in love with his state Massachusettes ;-).
- Eric, from Montreal. My favorite experience with Eric: Watching him in the kitchen – he is a food designer, his dishes look like art.
It is very unfortunate that Eric and I have no contact in classes, because I am the technology/security-person, and he is the international development person. People like him refer to students like us as war malds, whereas people like me refer to students like him as the humanity malds. Yes, the real world dysfunctions are displayed in the small Fletcher microcosm as well. Eric is so passionate about development, that I am really sure he will make a difference. He is currently in Liberia, working for a NGO. He is doing research for a social enterprise that will provide services for young people trying to find jobs or start their own businesses.
- Nora, from Budapest. My favorite experience with Nora: Buying cheap Red Sox tickets, ending up in first class seats with Popcorn and Pumpkin beer.
Nora in the morning: Asking me in German, how I am. Chatting with our cleaning lady in fluent Spanish, turning around to greet somebody else in fluent French. If there is somebody predisposed to work for the United Nations, it is her. She has spent several years in Haiti, and is currently looked for an “in” into development consulting.
- Thomas, from Amsterdam. My favorite experience with Thomas: Singing “I will survive”
Thomas currently works with “Doctors without borders” in South Sudan. All I know from what´s app-conversations is: They are dealing with Cholera. Thomas has a super-long distance relationship to Australia.