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MIT staff blogger Kris Guay

Our new video by Kris Guay

And yeah we’re kind of jazzed about it

By now many of you have seen our new promo video on the website. And if you haven’t yet, you can take a look right here.

MIT: Live the Puzzle from MIT Admissions on Vimeo.

When we re-launched our new site last summer with a new design and streamlined navigation, we also made room for video to be featured right on the homepage. Its part of our overall communication strategy to showcase a constantly changing mix of videos — from old classics dug up from the admissions vault like MIT the Movie and vintage television news footage of one of MIT’s most famous hacks of all time, to music videos like the one we featured of MIT’s amazing acapella group the Logarhythms and student made videos from the Freshman Arts Program.

But its also part of our plan to create some promotional videos of our own to show today’s MIT, in all its living, breathing color.

We’ve already heard from many in early focus group testing who told us they loved the video, and we also heard from some who said, “Yeah, but how come you are not showing the real MIT? You know, the science and research and engineering MIT? We want more of that super cool movable wall and we want to see more robots in the Media Lab.” And to that I say, of course, that’s MIT alright, and we plan to show you more of that in the coming months, so stay tuned.

But for this video, it was our goal to give prospective students a feel for our campus and what it looks like,  full of awesome buildings– some majestic and some kinda weird– and plenty of open green spaces. And we wanted everyone to know that, yes, we really do have sports here at MIT and a lot of students take part in them at a very high level. But mostly we wanted it to tell a story of what our community really loves about being at MIT.

So we hired some professionals to help us out and like so many things here at MIT, the admissions communications team collaborated with students and faculty and the film crew to capture the diverse, fun, and friendly student population.

What is says to us is that while we are every bit a science and engineering school, we’re also a whole lot more than that too – and we’re pretty jazzed about that.

So what does it say to you? I’d love to hear more.

20 responses to “Our new video”

  1. I’m not much of a fan of the new video. I think it fails to show what makes MIT unique.

    Instead it seems like the very goal of the video is to show how MIT is similar to other schools. It talks very little to not at all about academics – it’s like those school sitcoms where the characters never seem to go to class.

    The research section was good – but the video shows little research in progress. Instead the video focuses on the outside parts of MIT’s campus during the spring/fall – when MIT’s trademark is the connecting series of hallways that connect the buildings.

    It was probably the admissions office’s goal to show how MIT is similar to other schools, but I think that is regrettable. I would give the video a C+ for communicating what MIT is like.

  2. Jordi Turner says:

    Everything I hear about MIT makes me feel more at home. I can’t wait until answers are posted!

  3. Keith says:

    I’m so excited! If I get accepted, I’ll be so happy, and I need to find every way I can to pay for it. I want to be there, and thrive in a supportive community encouraging each other to be the best they can be!

  4. Eduardo Elizondo says:

    Many times I hear about MIT students creating, patenting or developing something which makes me believe that it is a completely different world I don’t belong to. However, this video tells me how the students are people just like me, who have similar interests, ideals and goals. In fact it tells me how it is not a completely different world and I can actually be part of it.
    Furthermore, I love how the video emphasizes the great diversity MIT has, it makes me want to already be part of the MIT community.
    Awesome video!

  5. Pete ''79 says:

    I liked the video. Everyone who knows about MIT already has an idea about the research and academic side of things. That’s almost a given and does not need to be reinforced. This video shows a lot of the other parts of MIT life that many of the blogs try to capture and it shows parts of the campus (although Google Earth does a good job of that these days!).

    Sports was a big part of life for many, and a complete non event for some. Just like some never set foot in a UROP and others lived it.

    An idea for a future one would be a tour of the various dorms to highlight what sets each apart. I read some of the social life descriptions and many of those could have been written from my days in the 70’s. From that I take the insight that the dynamics of the social life are affected by the architecture of the dorm and what types of interactions are enabled and encouraged by those designs. Perhaps just a series of 1 min vids for each dorm.

  6. James Williams says:

    Makes me wonder what in the world I am still doing in my hometown. …MIT compared to where I am is like fresh fruit from a tropical climate compared to compost in the bottom of the trash.

  7. Henrik Hodne says:

    To me showing the “real MIT” isn’t really that necessary, because I guess most people already know a lot about this side of MIT. However, there may be a lot of people who don’t know how awesome every single person at MIT are and the fact that there’s more to MIT than just technology.

    Also, this does not help with me trying to not think about admissions decisions. Eep!

  8. James Williams says:

    At my own school a lot of the time I end up having most of my experience made up of going through textbooks and understanding things conceptually, because it seems like that’s the only thing I CAN do. But it looks like there are many different opportunities at MIT. However, nothing would stop me from enjoying the abstract concepts in math.

  9. MIT EC '85 says:

    I don’t like it. At all.

    I thought that MIT was the place for people who go on to invent new technologies, build important things, discover how the universe and life work, start companies, fly in space, and so on. If I were to believe this video, MIT is mostly something else. It’s not that the “something else” is bad, it’s just that it’s not what makes MIT distinctive. If you want to dance or watch a school sports team, that’s fine, but you can do that a thousand other colleges/universities. So why MIT?

    It’s the Massachusetts Institute of _Technology_. If you love science and engineering, and have the potential to excel in them, MIT might be for you. If your interests and talents mostly lie elsewhere, nothing wrong with that, but MIT is probably not the place for you. Maybe I am hopelessly behind the times, but that seems fairly straightforward to me.

  10. Pete '79 says:

    Nope Michael had not seen them, will check them out.

    MIT EC ’85, I think you are drawing a false dichotomy, it is not either one or the other, but you can do both. It is a standing presumption that anyone going to the Tute is good/great with science/engineering. It is not as well known that you can also pursue other passions and interests as well, be it sports, art, music, design, games, writing, whatever. I don’t see those as exclusionary pursuits but complimentary ones.

    I don’t think there is any attempt to make it appear that MIT is something else, more that while MIT is at the top of the heap for engineering, et al, that while there, you can also indulge in many other things and activities, which both serve to help create a more balanced person overall.

  11. Chris Peterson SM '13 says:

    I agree with you @Pete.

  12. Keith Heiner says:

    MIT EC ’85 It’s important to think about the MIT’s objective achieved through this video. If you realize that the majority of people see MIT as this very selective school filled with super-geniuses who care nothing about anyone else(an obviously incorrect assumption founding on absolutely no research about the school), you can see that this video is an attempt to squash this idea. MIT wants the world to know that MIT is just like everyone else, except that the students want to make an impact in science, engineering, technology, and other fields. At least, this is appeared the video’s point to me. Am I completely off-base here?

  13. MIT EC '85 says:

    Pete: MIT has a very distinctive brand which I would think that a marketing campaign would leverage. An MIT alum who just was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics, the MIT alums who recently flew in space and that sort of thing would be of greater interest to the kind of people who might want to attend MIT than the stuff in the video. To use an analogy, most people use SUVs to drive to the grocery store or Walmart, but I have never seen an SUV in that setting in an advertisement.

    Keith: I don’t know why you think that most people think so poorly of MIT students and alumni. In my admittedly biased experience, most people admire MIT graduates. The huge applicant pool does not fit the model that MIT has a bad image. I do not agree that MIT is just like everywhere else, except for the obvious differences. In my opinion, MIT is like the service academies in that it offers a highly unique educational experience that will attract some with its challenges and rigor, and repel others who don’t want that or can’t met the challenges.

    I don’t want to give the impression that I believe that the video is all bad. It’s technically excellent, there are some good points in it, but I think on the whole it misses the mark. In the end, these things are subjective and the video just doesn’t do it for me.

  14. rfong'12 says:

    The sports shots have their merits in combating the unversatile nerd stereotype, which a lot of prospectives seem to be scared off by, but IMHO the video would have benefited from opening with a student activity with a higher novelty/”wow” factor. For example, MITERS, or chocolate lab, or E33, or something else where students use The Power Of Science to achieve Fun Social Goals, et cetera. Or an epic shot of a real dance performance, as opposed to a rehearsal.

  15. MIT EC '85 says:

    Last year MIT had more than 10x as many applicants as slots in the incoming class. Obviously not too many people are being scared off from applying at MIT.

  16. peanut1 says:

    Please respond to my question guys!!
    I’m a junior in high school, and I’ve scored very well on my PSATs (and I’m hoping my SATs as well…I get the scores back in 4 days). I have a very high GPA and I’m involved around school and in my community. I won’t bore you with all of the details, but, naturally, since I’m leaning toward the math/science field, I’m interested in MIT.
    Currently, I’m married to mathematics and physics, though I may get married to chemistry and/or computer science as well (I don’t have a lot of experience in the latter, so I’m still debating). I’m very good at working independently when I have to, which is helpful because the majority of the time at my high school, it’s so competitive that I have to work like that.
    I’ve never had the experience of working collaboratively in a group for a research project or an academic study or anything like that. The only times I’ve done that are being a part of the Michigan Youth Arts Festival orchestra (competition was virtually non-existent; we just focused on sounding good) and being a part of the Detroit Metropolitan Youth Symphony (same there).
    Having said that, I’m worried that I may not be a good fit for MIT. I’m attracted to the idea of a group collaboration for a collective purpose, and, as I’ve said, I’ve experienced that when it came to music. However, I’ve never really done a group collaboration for an academic purpose, so I’m wondering if my lack thereof puts me at a disadvantage. Thoughts, anyone???
    (Note: The lack of collaboration happens because the people I work with always look to me to do all of the work or just deliberately goof off and act half their ages, not because I’m anti-social or something).

  17. MIT EC '85 says:

    It’s a fact that modern science and engineering tend to be team sports. There are not too many people out there making advancements by themselves. That being said, are you sure that you don’t have much experience working as part of team? In church? Community service? Boy Scouts? Team sports? A part-time job? There are a lot of ways of demonstrating your ability to work with other people outside of school.

  18. peanut1, have you done any group projects in school?

    Plus at MIT, we do a lot more collaboration than competition

  19. Pete '79 says:

    Working together only really works well when everyone is bringing something to the table. In the orchestra, you expected everyone to be a good musican and they all brought their skills into play, and you all shared the goal of sounding good. It can be difficult to find academic peers in high school at times and your experience of being expected to shoulder the load in high school is not all that uncommon from all I know and learned. Much like your musical experience however, at schools like MIT, pretty much everyone comes to the table with skills and interests and ability. No one is expected to shoulder the load and do the project for everyone.

    Do not sell yourself short. Working as a team happens more often than you realize and will be more the norm in later life in my view. And don’t sweat about a major at this time. Coming out of high school I KNEW I would be a phsics major. Hah. So much for that. Metallurgy and materials science (which I had never even heard of back then) ended up being my path. 3.091 was an epiphany freshman year.