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MIT staff blogger Chris Peterson SM '13

My new job @ admissions by Chris Peterson SM '13

like nick saban, but for nerds

I was rewriting my profile this morning – the first substantive update in five years – to reflect my new role and responsibilities in the office when I suddenly realized that I hadn’t actually blogged about my new role and responsibilities in the office. This is a problem, but unlike most we take on here at MIT, it’s a easy one to solve.

As many of you know, most of my career has been essentially doing “web stuff”, including the blogs, for the office. And I’m still helping Kris out with them and other communications projects. But earlier this summer, I assumed a new job as an assistant director of talented outreach, overseeing our recruitment and evaluation of students with exceptional academic and technical achievements.

I’m new to the position, but the role it plays in our office is old: it was most recently done by Dawn, and Matt handled the substantive duties for many years before then. Essentially, my job is to find some of the most intelligent, most skilled, most creative students in the world, make sure we know who they are, and make sure they understand everything they need to know about our admissions process. I’m a talent scout, more or less, except instead of going to the NFL Combine, I’m going to FIRST, or Olympiads, or Maker Faire.

So what does this change for any of you? Not much, honestly. I’d been doing aspects of this job on an ad hoc basis before I was hired into it, so that’s stayed the same. I’ve got new business cards and my office moved across the hall. Since I’ve got some new things to focus on, we’ve crowned Lydia Princess of the Internet, and Her Royal Internetness will help Kris and I make the blogs better than ever before (and I’m sure you’ll agree our new bloggers are helping that happen). I have been and will be involved with many different nerdy events: next on my calendar is the Siemens Regional Finals, hosted here at MIT by our very own Dean of Admissions. But even though I now have an added focus on these cohorts, my overall mission is still to make MITAdmissions as intelligible as possible for anyone going through this wild and complex process, just like everyone else who works on our team. In that respect, it’s same as it ever was.