MIT Admissions

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Ben Jones

Jul 12, 2006

So You Wanna Be A Blogger?

Posted in: Miscellaneous

In years past, we've asked folks to let us know in August if they wish to be considered for an admissions blogging position, and we've made final decisions right after REX, when permanent housing assignments are solidified. (While previous blogging experience is paramount in our selection process, we must also be careful to provide a broad spectrum of the MIT experience - so where you live, along with various other related criteria such as your intended major and extra-curricular interests, will all be considered.)

While the traditional schedule will remain true for this year's Regular Action (RA) admissions blogger selection process, Matt and I have decided to add an Early Action (EA) round for a couple of reasons - first, there seems to be more interest in the program this year than ever before, and second, it will allow us to cover pre-orientation/orientation from the MIT '10 perspective.

The EA round will only be open to incoming freshmen. (We have plenty of crusty old upperclassmen bloggers to cover orientation. :-) The RA round will be open to all MIT undergraduates, however (in the interest of full disclosure) you should know that we will be looking to hire almost exclusively freshmen to maintain a balance between new students and upperclassmen.

To be considered in the EA round, you should email me (benjones at you-know-the-rest) by July 31st, 2006 and:

  • Provide a link to your "portfolio" - in other words, your current blog.
  • If you post regularly on any admissions forums such as College Confidential, please provide URL's and username/screenname/etc.
  • Tell me what you submitted for your housing choices (in order of preference), what you're considering for a major (list all possibilities), and what activities you hope to become involved with at MIT.
  • Write a short essay (100 words or so) responding to this prompt: "At 4:42 PM EST, an aardvark sprang from its burrow and headed southwest. Assuming a trajectory of 42.6 degrees for said aardvark, where is the banana and why is that man chartreuse?"

Answers to what I am guessing will be common questions:

  • We will likely select two bloggers in the EA round, and defer everyone else to the RA round, but this number is not 100% set in stone. I am not yet sure how many bloggers will be selected in total by the end of the RA round.
  • You may not submit supplemental recommendations. In fact you may not submit any recommendations at all.
  • Do not feel that you need to "clean up" your existing blog for us. We know that just because you use the F-word there doesn't mean you intend to use it on the admissions site. (If we can trust Laura to make the transition, we can trust you. ;-)
  • If you wish to apply in the RA round, the same rules apply - but the deadline is August 31st instead of July 31st.

To all of you who have already emailed me to express interest - whether applying EA or RA, please send me a supplemental email answering any of the above questions that were not addressed in your original email.

Any questions? Just post 'em in the comments and I'll update this entry accordingly.

Comments (Closed after 30 days to reduce spam)

Next it'll be SAT/ACT scores! grin

Posted by: Anthony on July 12, 2006

hi sorry for the untimed question but I had questions regarding transferring to MIT. I dont want any chances or anything but i just wanted to get a feel of what kind of an individual MIT really expects to know just so i am on track in college or maybe to get to know whether i really want to transfer to MIT or not. I am an international btw but will be studying in a US univ. Worcester Polytechnic Institute,Worcester to be exact..

Posted by: Shikhar on July 12, 2006

I thought we were done applying. :(.

Posted by: Timur Sahin on July 12, 2006

Ouch Ben, way to out me. =P

Posted by: Laura on July 12, 2006


Posted by: Christian on July 12, 2006

oh my god there's an actual admissions process!! =D

i almost thought the process of choosing bloggers was very... under the table. but it's so open! yay!

Posted by: cristen on July 13, 2006


Posted by: Colin on July 13, 2006

can you make them post their answer to the essay prompt on their first official blog?

Posted by: charlotte on July 13, 2006

Remember a few posts back when I answered the question about how the no-eyed species survived and you said, "CHRISTINA WINS THE PRIZE!" but the prize was never actually specified?

Well. *Ahem*

As my prize, I would like to have an admissions blogger spot without having to fill out that application or compete against my friends.

K. When do I start?

Posted by: Christina on July 13, 2006

Christina! Apply like the rest of us, and take something else as a prize. I don't know, will a cookie do? (A big, frosted one? Like those cookie cakes at Mrs. Fields' or something...)


This concludes my run-on sentence of the day.

Posted by: thekeri on July 13, 2006

b*tch pls, a cookie could never do.


And stop it! You're totally an amazing blogger!

Posted by: Christina on July 13, 2006

Quick question totally unrelated to blogging (although blogging is without doubt fascinating and wonderful and all that other good stuff) --

Mr. Jones, I'm an MIT hopeful, and I'm unfortunately not much at writing essays. How much might this hurt me?

Posted by: faye on July 13, 2006

Pick me. My blog's the best page in the universe. Besides Maddox, that is.

Who am I kidding? I'm terrified. Almost as terrified as when I actually applied to MIT. Yeeesh!

Posted by: JKim on July 14, 2006

I just hope I don't have to break out the karate, that's all I'm saying.

(JK, terrifed also!)

Posted by: Christina on July 14, 2006

Oh JKim. I love you and your blog. And Maddox and his book, which I bought yesterday.

(Not terrified. Pessimistic/cynical. :D)

Posted by: Colin on July 14, 2006

Love you too, Colly! :-(

Posted by: Christina on July 14, 2006

Yeah, I already sent my application wink

Let's see how it goes.


Posted by: Omar '10 on July 14, 2006

I love Colin, Xtina, and JKim. EVEN IF THEY DON'T LOVE ME BACK.

Ohhh snap. Yeah, I said it.

Posted by: thekeri on July 14, 2006

Keri, my love for you is so ...large-scale... that even stating it would be redundant!

Posted by: Christina on July 14, 2006

Oh. Okay, then. Sorry for the public outing, then?

Posted by: thekeri on July 15, 2006

Sometimes I feel bad that these comment threads basically turn into CCKJ live chats. :-X

Posted by: Christina on July 15, 2006

I don't.

Heart you all!

And you're all brilliant writers, and we'll all become bloggers, and the world will be infested with puppies and rainbows.

Posted by: JKim on July 16, 2006

Whoa. The optimism from Jess is just exuding in nonstop waves. Way to ruin my perfectly-honed cynicism there.

Of course, she's gone and can't defend herself now. So I win.

And I used to feel bad about it too, Christina. But then I tried to shift it over to one of our blogs in order to spare Ben from our comment spam, and he said not to. Something about how his blog never gets attention anymore. Spam away, kids. Spam away.

Posted by: thekeri on July 16, 2006

oh, i'll never become a blogger with the domination already present here :[

Posted by: cristen on July 16, 2006

In that case, hi, Cristen!

Don't mind the rest of us; we just don't know how to mind our own business. Or something like that.

Posted by: thekeri on July 16, 2006

"Don't mind the rest of us; we just don't know how to mind our own business."


Posted by: Christina on July 17, 2006

Ok, new requirement for becoming a blogger: you need to be able to plot and pull off tons of practical jokes on Ben. As the office clown, we need tons of arsenal to get back at him...(Ben don't read this post! shhhh)

Posted by: Mikey on July 18, 2006

Hey Ben!

I saw you yesterday! but yeah... again, I was in a rush to the next class (weight lifting) and couldn't stop to say hi, but I'll try next time...

.... lol, I was also too shy to say hi... haha, that's the truth.

Posted by: Omar '10 on July 18, 2006

Mikey brings up a point that I hadn't really thought about before. What exactly are the job requirements of a blogger, aside from, well, spending 4 hours a week (I think? right?) blogging? Is there anything else? Are we ever in the office? Do we get to help with admissions?

Posted by: Christina on July 18, 2006

"Are we ever in the office? Do we get to help with admissions?"

That sounds like fun smile

Posted by: Omar '10 on July 18, 2006

Omar - hehe. I know. :-D

Posted by: Christina on July 18, 2006

keri - Hi Keri!! I am a humble fan of your blogs.

omar - hehe if i saw ben, i'm sure i'd be too shy to say hi as well. =]

hey! as bloggers we'd ALREADY be helping with admissions. =P wonder if there're like.. group meetings or something.

Posted by: cristen on July 18, 2006

If a job requirement is showing up on occasion and annoying the crap out of the admissions officers, then I've got it down already. (Now pick me! Pick me!)

...wait, we'll all do this anyway, won't we?

Cristen - way to tell me this now. Are you on LJ or xanga? (Both? Neither?...)

Posted by: thekeri on July 19, 2006

Oh man, you folks should NOT be shy to say hello to Ben, he is the NICEST GUY and will be CRAZY-HAPPY to have you say hello to him next time you pass him! (Oh wait Ben, did I just ruin your rep?) Seriously, do not pass up a chance to accost Ben with a cheerful hello and introduction: I *PROMISE* you he will be glad you did it, and so will you. smile

Posted by: leftcoast mom on July 19, 2006

Haha, I'm still deciding when to go... I saw him today while walking by the office, but didn't stop to say hi... I'll stop... soon.........

Posted by: Omar '10 on July 19, 2006

Omar, here's a solution: go get Nance (he's a lot less intimidating than Ben wink ) and have HIM casually introduce you to Ben.

Posted by: Christina on July 19, 2006

I beg to differ: there is no one less intimidating than Ben. Go get 'em, Omar! grin

Posted by: leftcoast mom on July 19, 2006

What, no one wants to just impolitely burst through the door of 3-107 and yell, "HI!"?

Posted by: thekeri on July 19, 2006

You gotta do it now, Omar. We're all cheering you on! Or else you can wait until August 21st and come tackle Ben with me and a few other people. grin

Posted by: Christina on July 19, 2006

Tackling with you, Christina. If I don't get to him the day before that is. Everyone knows all the cool people come on the 20th. ^_^

Posted by: thekeri on July 19, 2006

Um, except the 20th is a Sunday. And as much as I love you Keri, I work enough weekends during reading season, so...

Posted by: Ben on July 19, 2006

Keri and I have already met Ben and thus win at life.

Posted by: Colin on July 20, 2006

I'll go there today after I get out of my last recitation wink

Posted by: Omar '10 on July 20, 2006

I need to see Ben......because......^_^

Posted by: Nur on July 20, 2006

Curse it! I forgot about that...

Fine, Ben. Just know that YOU'RE HELPING CHRISTINA WIN. Or something.

And Colz is right. We so win at life. ^_^

Posted by: thekeri on July 20, 2006

I think the ellipsis after Ben's comment implied he just wants you to come to his house to see him, Keri. His address is 1 Ben Jones Lane and his kids are darling.

I am FOREVER jealous that you've all met Ben AND seen MIT and I have yet to do either. Although, Ben did *call* me at my very own house one sunny afternoon. ALTHOUGH WAIT. He made me cry a lot. :-(

Posted by: Christina on July 20, 2006

So Omar, did you go? Did you go?

-- your anxious public....

Posted by: leftcoast mom on July 20, 2006

Yes, Omar. Did you go and see Ben?

Posted by: thekeri on July 20, 2006

I did go... yesterday afternoon and there was a meeting going on :(

I tried again today, and Ben is not in there... and well, I'll have to try again next week...

:( - it's simply not fair!

But yeah, I'll keep trying, I might eventually be able to meet him

Posted by: Omar '10 on July 21, 2006

o.O that just makes it seem like ben's really hard to find... or partly invisible.

Keri- Both ^_^

How many people actually applied yet? How many people are anticipated to apply?! Is the acceptance rate actually lower than MIT's undergrad acceptance rate?! @[email protected]

Posted by: cristen on July 21, 2006

Cristen, is not that hard to find Ben, I saw him twice walking through the infinite corridor, it just that... when I decide to go and say HI, he's not there!!! But well, I'll find him... eventually. :p

Posted by: Omar '10 on July 22, 2006

Hey Ben I have a question about SATs. I am taking my second time of SATs in October, and my SAT IIs in November, which would qualify me for early decision. I read that I have to officially send the scores to MIT from the test, but on my first SAT I did not do this, because I did not know I needed to. On's website, there is an option to send scores to this still "official" in the sense you need it? Or will it not even matter as I'm hoping my October scores will be higher anyway. Thanks

Posted by: Mike on July 22, 2006

Are you kidding? Ben is the scariest, meanest person I've ever met in my life. I'd prove it, but all I have are private emails :(

Posted by: Michael Borohovski on July 23, 2006

Oh Borski, so negative all the time. Waaaaaaah. :-(

Posted by: Ben on July 23, 2006

Don't try to cover for yourself, Ben. You know Borski's right.

Posted by: thekeri on July 24, 2006

wink I just met Ben! Like, a minute ago !! It was great!

Posted by: Omar '10 on July 24, 2006

GO OMAR! See?? What did we tell you? grin

Posted by: leftcoast mom on July 24, 2006

Yes! Omar's done it!

Okay, I'm stopping with the comment spam now. For real.

Posted by: thekeri on July 25, 2006

Haha, I love how meeting Ben is now it's own prize. That's awesome.

Posted by: Michael Borohovski on July 25, 2006

Nah, Borski is just easily scared. =P

Posted by: Laura on July 26, 2006

man. that essay question was KILLER. wink

Posted by: cristen on July 31, 2006

Comments have been closed.