I am not your typical MIT student. In high school, I never built a robot, never coded on my TI-89, never watched Star Wars. I did not get a 223,462,346,400 on my SAT. I did not take all 27 levels of the AP Physics test (I also apparently don’t know how many AP Physics tests there are).
How did I wind up at MIT, you ask? One fateful Saturday morning while attending a community service event at my high school, I broke into the campus life center, gently harassed a staff member to let me use his computer, and screamed like I’ve never screamed before when I saw my admission letter. That day, this theater geek/runner/newspaper junkie became a MIT student.
Truth is, I’m still a theater geek/runner/newspaper junkie. Along with my major in Chemical-Biological Engineering (Course XB, for those of you up to speed on the course numbers), I’m pursuing a Theater Arts minor because there’s no combination more perfect than spike tape and mass balances, right?
I’m also on the Varsity Cross Country and Track teams here at the ‘tute, in which I get to hang out with some of the most awesome people I know. Two years ago, I would’ve laughed at you if you told me I’d be a varsity athlete in college. Now, I run the steeplechase. Finally, when night falls, I transform into Associate News Editor for MIT’s newspaper, The Tech. Some people will try to tell you engineers write numbers, not words. In this blog, I’ll prove them wrong.
Actually, people will tell you a lot about engineers. A variety of one- liners tell me “real engineers give you the feeling you’re having a conversation with a dial tone or busy signal,” “real engineers consider themselves well dressed if their socks match,” and “real engineers know the second law of thermodynamics-but not their own shirt size.” Well, I know my shirt size, and breaking the engineering mold is one thing I hope to accomplish in my next MIT adventure: the Gordon-MIT Engineering
Leadership (GEL) Program.
Over the course of one or two years, GEL takes engineering students at MIT and challenges them to think as engineering leaders. Through weekly engineering leadership labs, projects, and classes, students selected for GEL learn how to best tackle working in a group and take leadership roles in engineering projects.
GEL speaks to the variety of engineers on campus. In GEL, chemical engineers collaborate with electrical engineers, mechanical engineers rub elbows with aero-astro engineers. GELs work with industry mentors, participate in Internship Plus experiences, and get exposed to experiences that expose us to a world of engineering beyond the Institute’s “Ivory Tower.”
While I just got accepted to GEL, I’ve learned one thing so far: there’s no “typical” engineer at MIT. In fact, “typical” doesn’t describe anyone here, and in GEL I’m going to learn how to bring these atypical students together. Best of all, you get to share in my experiences along the way.