My year 2023 – Recap

Saturday, December 30th 2023

Even though this is the second post in a very short time, I want to reflect on the past year and all the changes it has brought me. And there were a lot of them! One year ago, I hadn’t even applied to Fletcher, and now I have already completed the first out of four semesters.

Honestly, all I knew at the beginning of January was that I wanted to start my Master’s degree. I already had a rough idea of the curriculum, but everything else was still written in the stars. Finding the perfect degree program isn’t easy. And while writing an application is a step in the right direction, you also need a letter of acceptance. So, I submitted my application in mid-February without any high hopes. After all, there are a lot of applicants, so why should I be chosen? When the acceptance arrived unexpectedly, it turned everything upside down for me. Quite literally. I hadn’t expected one. But as my mother used to say to me: “In for a penny, in for a pound.” And with that, the final decision was made.

Until September, all signs were pointing towards “Preparing for Boston”. There were many other things to do besides the visa application – I’m still trying to figure out what the biggest challenge was. In addition to finding roommates and an apartment in Boston, I also had to take care of my flat in Frankfurt and explain to my colleagues that I would be taking a different path from September onwards. To make the chaos even more enjoyable, my summer vacation was changed entirely, and my new destination became: Boston, the Florida Keys, and Miami.

It was an exhausting summer, which was obviously characterized by many changes and uncertainties. How was I supposed to know if moving to another continent was the right decision? To leave my life in Frankfurt. Or was the program what I had hoped for? It seemed like a leap into the unknown. Or a jump into a new adventure.

From the first time I stood in the Hall of Flags on 28.08.2023, at the beginning of orientation week, it has been exactly that: an adventure. My adventure of pursuing a Master’s degree in Boston. After orientation week, lectures started immediately, and I didn’t experience any acclimatization phase. But maybe that’s for the best. If you’re busy, you have less time to think about all the differences to “back home”. And so everything started: lectures, Cornell EMI Case Competition, the final in New York (including our 2nd place), mid-term exams, and then the finals. Between all this, there was a lot of homework and group work.

That sounds like a lot of work – and it was. But I still enjoyed it. Of course, there was also plenty of room for leisure and exploring Boston, plus the surrounding area. In addition to trying out various restaurants, attending a football game, the Fall Foliage Season, a trip to Salem, and a short vacation in Canada, I gained many more insights and experiences. Sometimes, I’m just overwhelmed by all the different adventures. I’ve never been bored.

Finally, I want to answer one of the most important questions: “Would you make the same decision again?” My definite answer: “Yes!” It’s incredible how much has changed for me this year, and the adjustment was definitely not easy. The program is demanding, but this was a deliberate decision on my side. I am growing with every new challenge that I face more or less every day, but the new experiences make up for everything.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to my family, who supports me in all of this and is always by my side. And, of course, to my new “Fletcher family”, without whom it would only be half as fun. 

A Happy New Year 2024 everyone!

Fall Foliage Season at White Mountains

A lot of fun: Boston by bike

Chateau Frontenac at Quebec City

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