MIT Admissions

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Ben Jones

Jun 13, 2007

Checking In

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Hi folks!

Wow - just noticed that my last entry was published over a month ago. Sorry guys, I apparently thought I was Nance for a second there... my bad. Meanwhile Mr. Prolific has logged 43 entries so far in 2007 - I think he deserves some sort of trophy, don't you?

Before I tell you about my travels over the last month, I just want to take a minute to thank our senior bloggers Bryan, Sam, Mitra and Jessie. They've been a huge part of building this community, and I'm really, really going to miss them. Thanks guys, for sharing so much of yourselves over the years and for simply being awesome.

With four bloggers graduating, we'll definitely have some openings in the fall and I'll post the application details soon. I'm also happy to announce the arrival of a new blogger, Evan Broder '10. Evan was actually hired last year, but we made him take a gap year because he decided to live in Burton Conner and we already had 3 bloggers living there (no longer the case with Sam and Mitra graduating). Look for Evan's blog to launch later this month.

So where have I been?

The last time I wrote, our office had just received some really bad news and the fallout kept me pretty busy for the following couple of weeks (happily, the dust has settled quite a bit since then).

Mid-May found me on a plane to California for the Ivy-Plus conference. This conference happens every other year and is attended by admissions people from the 8 Ivy League schools, Stanford, and MIT. (Basically we share ideas and concerns and try to work together to make everything a little better in the field.) This year was Stanford's turn to host, and they did an amazing job - big thanks to Rick Shaw (Stanford's Dean) who kept us entertained and well-fed at every turn.

Even though I lived in Berkeley and Oakland for over a year after college, I somehow never made it down to Stanford during that era, so this was my first time seeing the campus. What a beautiful place! Mad props to Stanford students - if I lived in a place that cool I'm not sure I'd ever be able to get any work done.

I went on a student-led tour and our guide was refreshingly honest. Response to "the earthquake question" (which I gather is fairly common on their tours): "yep, no doubt we're overdue for the big one, but no one really thinks about it too much." :-) (As you guys know from these blogs I'm a big fan of college reps just being real and not trying to sugarcoat things... so bravo.)

Post-California, I had about 12 hours at home before getting on another plane to attend my college reunion (I won't say which number, but you can stalk me on facebook and figure it out). That was an absolute blast, and also the first vacation I've had in as long as I can remember - it went way too fast.

After Memorial Day, I had a whirlwind four days in the office before leaving again for Waitsfield, Vermont, where I spent a week hiking (and eating... a lot) with my family. To those of you who call Vermont home: I am jealous. What an amazing state you have! (And I honestly didn't mind how hard it was to find cell phone service and internet access!)

(P.S. you may think Ben & Jerry's is good when you eat it out of the pint, but that pales in comparison to tasting it right off the production line - trust me.)

So now I'm back and making plans for the summer. I have a bunch of behind-the-scenes upgrades to do on this site, some print redesign projects, a bunch of new copy to write, and a lot of planning meetings to attend. We're also moving a significant part of our reading and selection process online this summer, which involves a lot of learning and testing. Should be an interesting few months.

If you guys have ideas for things you'd like to see on mitadmissions.org or MyMIT, drop a comment into this thread and let me know. I'm not promising we can do all of them, but we'll sure give it a shot.

Hope your summers are off to a great start!

-B

P.S. In response to Greg's comment about the server taking forever to post comments, I totally agree and that's at the top of my list of things to address this summer. We'll be moving to a new server and hopefully upgrading the software, so the slow comments should be fixed before the busy fall season kicks off. Sorry for the inconvenience!

Comments (Closed after 30 days to reduce spam)

Yayy Evan!

You still can't live in BC, though, cause ^I^ live there now. Hahaha. I KIIID I KIIID
man i'm tired.

Posted by: JKim on June 13, 2007

Stanford >>> MIT !

And I'm not at Stanford

Posted by: hehe on June 13, 2007

Sounds like you've had an exciting month! I can't wait for the blogging applications. Actually, I can't wait for a lot of things (housing results, HASS results, FEE results, starting school, etc). I'm just impatient by nature I guess wink I should actually get cracking on the FPOP/Mission 2011 apps, though...

@hehe: I disagree. MIT > Stanford by the millions. Stanford's still a good school, though =)

Posted by: Wings '11 on June 13, 2007

JKim, I was totally there first. So I win. Maybe you should stop blogging instead. wink

Posted by: Evan on June 13, 2007

I am COMPLETELY obsessed with Ben and Jerry's. I bought and ate like 8 pints in May, which is a lot for me, since I barely eat ice-cream. You'll see me doing those Jenny Craig commercials in a couple of months if I keep it up. So right now I'm into Chunky Monkey and Pistachio Pistachio :D And I, too, can't wait for the blogging applications. i don't have a blog but I'd completely rock at blogging. I mean, I rock at COMMENTING ON OTHER PEOPLE'S BLOGS.

How far is the Ben and Jerry's factory place from campus?

Posted by: milena '11 on June 13, 2007

Hi Ben, welcome back!

I have a question about online applications. Can applicants include photographs or other illustrations in their applications (for example, as part of an essay)? If not, maybe this is a feature that could be added. (Is there a policy about photographs?)

Thanks for keeping the blogs going.

Posted by: Mum in England on June 13, 2007

Just a few quick technical notes:
Sometimes it takes an awfully long time for the server to respond when posting a comment, sometimes a comment never shows up, etc. I could have sworn I posted something this morning, but now I don't see it. In addition, the "Remember Me?" option doesn't seem to do anything for me regardless of client platform, browser, etc.
I know you probably can't easily do much about these issues from your end, but I thought I'd mention them...

Posted by: Greg Courville on June 13, 2007

I remember when I first started commenting on blogs, the "Remember Me" thing didn't work either. I haven't tried it in a while, though. Maybe you have to enter a URL for it to work?

Posted by: Wings '11 on June 13, 2007

Milena - unfortunately the drive to Vermont (and the freshest Ben & Jerry's) is about 3.5 hours. :-(

Mum in England - the online app doesn't currently have the ability to upload photos, but many students mail them in and we just add them to the applicant's file. Just be sure to include full name and birthday on the photo(s) - it's how we match them to the correct file.

Greg - you're totally right (I added a note to the bottom of the main entry). I'll look into the Remember Me functionality too - it just stopped working one day and I have no idea why.

-B

Posted by: Ben on June 13, 2007

Yay to JKim for posting first and avoiding the "first post" nonsense smile

Posted by: anonymous on June 13, 2007

Automatic deletion of double posts would be pretty cool!

Posted by: 0 on June 13, 2007

Automatic deletion of double posts would be pretty cool! smile

Posted by: 0 on June 13, 2007

Yay, Evan!

(He rocks, you guys'll like him, promise.)

Posted by: Laura on June 13, 2007

*yawn, wakes up from blog hibernation*

What, blogging applications? Oh I am SO all over that!

Automatic deletion of double posts would be great! Rating posts would be kind of cool too, like you see on some tech blogs (I believe engadget.com does it). Oh, and monospaced font for blog comments! Other than that, keep up the good work Ben! How cool it must be to design and operate the part of MIT that everybody first encounters when researching schools! You have an awesome job Ben.

Alright, time to go rip on Laura in her recent blog entry, adios!

Posted by: Snively on June 13, 2007

noo, silly. not you, Evan, I meant the '11 bloggers. you + me + laura = bc blogger quotient. (i.e. last year, sam + mitra + laura.)

i'm not um.. commenting at work or anything

Posted by: JKim on June 13, 2007

Yeah, Snively - it doesn't work.

I tried that one, and he made me wait a year smile

Posted by: Evan on June 13, 2007

lol, totally didn't intend that, but ok. I actually meant it, what a cool job! Because, the day before he retires, he could do something completely outrageous and the entire world could know about it (this, obviously, is not helping my chances at becoming a blogger)!

Oh, and Evan, that sucks that you had to wait! Honestly, a high level of suckage.

Posted by: Snively on June 13, 2007

"Oh I am SO all over that!" - Snively

Sadly predictable.

Posted by: 0 on June 13, 2007

Snively, suckage? SUCKAGE?

What a cool word. Seriously. I've never heard/read it before.
And the coolest thing Ben could do before retiring (hopefully not anytime soon!) would be to take us all to the Ben and Jerry's factory!!!

I haven't stopped thinking about it all day. Time to walk over to my fridge and get my Chunky Monkey!!

Posted by: milena '11 on June 14, 2007

It's ok - my blog as a freshman wouldn't have been nearly as exciting as my blog as a sophomore will be. I hope somebody out there is interested in Course VI! Plus adjustment time and all that good stuff.

And when I had a good idea for a post, I'd just tell other people what to write about.

Posted by: Evan on June 14, 2007

Thanks for the update, Ben. It looks (to give you an update about something mentioned on College Confidential) like my Firefox and Opera access problems on the MIT Admissions home page have been resolved. I wonder if it was a JavaScript issue in previous coding of the page. Anyway, now all is well, and it's great to see you posting again.

When the fall travel schedule is set, I'll have to be sure to schedule attending the MIT meeting in my town. I look forward to meeting whoever comes out here.

P.S. Very funny line about the earthquakes in California. I noticed when I lived in Taiwan (a period that included Taiwan's biggest earthquake in the last 100 years) that Californians never get scared by earthquakes. Been there, done that.

Posted by: tokenadult on June 14, 2007

I can't wait for applications! After all, the only reason I wanted to go to MIT was to be a blogger... wink

...Hopefully the fact that I haven't been as vocal as Snively or Milena doesn't hurt my chances...

Posted by: Aspiring Admissions Blogger on June 14, 2007

Wow, Matt's posted 43 times already! That's an average of 0.26 posts a day, or about a post every 4 days. Awesome! Definitely, trophy-worthy =)

What an exciting month Ben! So one question about the ice-cream: So is Ben & Jerry's or Toscanini's better? =)

And Evan, course VI info would definitely be quite interesting smile

Posted by: Arkajit on June 14, 2007

Evan, pretty much EVERYBODY wants to do course VI.

(At least from what I've seen on out facebook group)

Posted by: milena '11 on June 14, 2007

I'm with Aspiring Admissions Blogger. I mean, the atmosphere, education, and research opportunities are AWESOME, but I really just came to be a blogger wink

Just kidding. But blogging would be amazing!

Posted by: Wings '11 on June 14, 2007

Since I spent the last two days driving too much, I didn't get the chance to leave the following comment:

Congratulations Kim!!!

Um, I mean, Evan.

Posted by: Keri on June 14, 2007

Since I spent the last two days driving too much, I didn't get the chance to leave the following comment:

Congratulations Kim!!!

Um, I mean, Evan.

Posted by: Keri on June 14, 2007

Psh, double posting is the new first post.

Posted by: Snively on June 14, 2007

Hey Ben,
I think of re-applying to MIT for transfer admissions next year.I was just wondering if I should give SAT again or not.Coz I am pretty confused that if my application can be rejected once, I think it can be rejected twice with this score.

Do you think that I should give SAT again......
I scored 2190 in both SAT's??

I am really confused with this.......

And hey!! don't you ever think you have got off with me, I will apply again and this time I will make sure that you will gime the ticket to Boston.

I would be glad to hear any more tips from you for Transfer admission next year.

UTKARSH SHARMA

Posted by: Utkarsh on June 14, 2007

Grawr. Double post. Banjo, care to help me out with that one?

Posted by: Keri on June 15, 2007

The difference is Keri's posts were an _hour apart_?!

Keri, do explain smile

And Evan, congrats.

Posted by: Michael Borohovski on June 15, 2007

tokenadult - that's odd; we haven't changed anything of significance in the software or code since last summer, although hopefully this summer's upgrades will fix any problems you've been having. I haven't heard anything from anyone else, so if others are having similar problems, please let me know!

arkajit - i'd have to go with b&j's, but it may be too close to call...

utkarsh - we'll try to do a whole entry on transfer admissions soon.

and keri, i'm with borski on this one - i'm leaving your double post there just for the time stamp, because it makes me laugh out loud every time i see it. wink

Posted by: Ben on June 15, 2007

Ben!
I am so glad you had a good time in CA at STANFORD.
I am sure that when MIT takes the lead of hosting any Ivy+ conference it will be great.
Densil

Posted by: Densil on June 15, 2007

LOL! Keri, seriously, how much was your computer lagging?!

Posted by: Snively on June 15, 2007

The wireless internet in my dad's house is iffy, so I left the computer, had dinner, forgot it was in a part of the house with particularly spotty internet, came back, moved the computer, and clicked the "post" button again.

After reloading the site in a different tab to avoid double-posting.

Stupid cached pages.

Also, I hate you all. Especially you, Borski. The wireless internet in my dad's house is iffy, so I left the computer, had dinner, forgot it was in a part of the house with particularly spotty internet, came back, moved the computer, and clicked the "post" button again.

After reloading the site in a different tab to avoid double-posting.

Stupid cached pages.

Also, I hate you all. Especially you, Borski. <3

Posted by: Keri on June 15, 2007

Hmm .. what would I like to see on MyMIT? Myself accepted to the class of 2012 ^_^. But beyond that.. I really can't think of anything .. great job on it all, its by far the best admissions site I've ever seen. If I think of something I'll let you know

Peace,
~Donald

Posted by: donaldGuy on June 16, 2007

A suggestion for this site - on the homepage, for each entry the number of comments is listed and hyperlinked, and the link goes to a "comments" anchor on the page, but it's just at the top, it doesn't actually link directly to the comments section.

Posted by: anonymous on June 16, 2007

I've only been sans internet for two weeks and there are already so many new entries =O I hope I have web access overseas next month so I can squeeze in some high quality blog posts before applying! (And so I can facebook.)

Posted by: Grace '11 on June 25, 2007

In your last entry, you said that you'd be posting more about the Marilee scandal shortly. In this post, you're vague. What happened to transparency and openness?

Posted by: wondering on June 26, 2007

In your last entry, you said that you'd be posting more about the Marilee scandal shortly. In this post, you're vague. What happened to transparency and openness?

Posted by: wondering on June 26, 2007

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