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Tufts University, The Fletcher School

Landing Your Dream Job: Office of Career Services Prepares Students for Success


Before students even arrive on the campus of The Fletcher School at Tufts University, Elana Givens, director of career services, makes one thing clear: “We want them to start thinking they are here for a job—it has to be part of their agenda from day one.”

During the summer, Fletcher students begin a mandatory careers course that includes two webinars and a homework assignment to draft a résumé. This prepares them for internship applications with late summer and early fall deadlines.

Students also are required to conduct a gap analysis of the job description requirements in career fields of interest, so they know what knowledge and skills they are lacking. Aside from providing training in analytics, the exercise helps them choose classes, internships, and workshops to fill the gaps in their experience.

“We want them to start thinking they are here for a job—it has to be part of their agenda from day one.” –Elana Givens, Director of Career Services, The Fletcher School, Tufts University

The school, too, is working on its own gap analysis: enhancing areas of study where there is high demand for jobs. In the hot area of cybersecurity, for instance, the school has hired faculty and launched a new Master of Science in Cybersecurity and Public Policy, a joint effort with the Tufts University Department of Computer Science and School of Engineering.

The Fletcher School offers specializations in other growing areas: gender analysis, climate policy, and impact investing. Fletcher’s climate expertise is further bolstered by its new dean, Rachel Kyte, a former leader in climate change issues at the United Nations and World Bank Group. While studying impact investing, Fletcher students obtain practical experience by working on projects with a variety of organizations, including social enterprises such as Kiva.

Some students also gain hands-on experience in a consulting class that involves work on four-month projects with companies such as Boeing and Deloitte. Many of those experiences lead to job offers, Givens says.

Furthermore, Fletcher teaches both the soft skills (such as negotiation) and the hard skills (such as data analytics) that the job market demands, Givens says. “There is a good practical component to the work here.”

As the world of work changes, the school is doing a curriculum review “to make what we do here more market-relevant and geared toward the future,” Givens says.

Givens recently accompanied a group of 220 students on a trip to Washington, DC, which included visits to 47 organizations—many hosted by Fletcher alumni.

During the past decade, the percentage of Fletcher graduates who reported they found a job in their desired field within six months has ranged from 93 percent to 98 percent.

Career Services