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Jobs: Assistant Director, Writing & Community

Date Posted: July 14, 2022

Job #: 21567 (apply here)

Overview

What does the person in this role do? 

The Assistant Director for Communications (Writing and Community Manager) develops thoughtful, creative content for MIT Admissions and Student Financial Services across a variety of media forms, with a special focus on writing. They also recruit and manage teams of student creative collaborators to amplify and express the dynamic and unique experience of MIT undergraduate life, and participate in the reading and selection process.

How does this role advance the mission and vision of  our office?  

This role supports the office’s commitment to access and equity, while demystifying MIT, and making a complex institution intelligible to our admitted students and their families. We believe it is important to present MIT honestly, and our approach to communications focuses on identifying and amplifying student stories rather than pushing institutional messaging. In areas of core administrative competence —  for example, the admissions and financial aid processes —  we want to communicate clearly and empathetically to diverse audiences. 

What would make someone a good fit for this role, specifically? 

Someone who is a good fit for this role will have the kind of brain that likes to take incredibly complex, difficult topics and translate them into writing that anyone can understand, and will love working with our brilliant, creative, sometimes chaotic students to tell the story of MIT. 

Where does this role fit in the organizational structure of the office? 

At MIT Admissions, an Assistant Director provides management and leadership of a specialized, critical programmatic area, reporting to an Associate Director who leads a team. The Assistant Director for Communications reports to the Associate Director for Communications, and will recruit and supervise up to a few dozen student collaborators, with administrative support from other staff on the Communications team and the blogger management team.  

Characteristic Duties + Responsibilities 

Specific Role Duties + Responsibilities 

  • Develop purposeful and creative content for print, web, video, and other media as assigned in support of the Offices of Admissions and Student Financial Services.
  • Recruit and oversee the SFS Student Advisory Board. Collaborate with SFS leadership to guide and oversee the work of the group.
  • Oversee student creative teams and associated projects for Student Financial Services and Admissions. Identify new students on an ongoing basis to work with the communications team.
  • Oversee the student blogger team in partnership with the Director of Special Projects, manage budget, payroll and onboarding of bloggers. Participate in blogger selection committee and attend all blogger meetings.

General Admissions Duties + Responsibilities 

  • Read and evaluate approximately 2,000 domestic and international first-year and transfer applications annually, requiring regular evening and weekend work from late October through May. 
  • Participate in the first-year and transfer selection process.
  • Schedule, plan and present numerous regional recruitment information sessions throughout the country, generally requiring 3 to 4 weeks of travel.
  • Other travel requirements include attendance at local and national college fairs, and occasional professional conference participation. 
  • Regularly serve as the designated available Admissions Officer at the Cambridge campus, presenting information sessions and answering questions from visitors.
  • Will be eligible to work a combination of in-office days and remote days each week.

Qualifications, Requirements, Preferences

Qualifications

The fundamental qualifications for an admissions officer include the following: 

  • The ability to read and write quickly, accurately, and well, with keen attention to detail, and the ability to discern pattern from chaos 
  • The capacity to rapidly form a well-supported opinion, and just as rapidly defer to the collective judgment of the committee when situationally appropriate
  • The adaptability to succeed in multiple professional contexts: reading at home alone, discussing cases in committee, and traveling to speak publicly before large audiences
  • The discretion and tact to discuss deeply sensitive matters, and the integrity to be entrusted with extremely important decisions
  • The initiative to work independently with minimal supervision over sustained periods

Certain roles in the office require specific skills, but these are the underlying attributes common to people who tend to enjoy, and do well in, the admissions profession. 

Requirements

A successful applicant will be able to demonstrably meet the following requirements: 

  • A bachelor’s degree (in any field) 
  • At least three years experience, including at least two years of communications experience
  • Demonstrable ability to support MIT’s goals of access, equity, and inclusion 
  • Experience writing and creating content for print, web and other media
  • Strong grasp of contemporary youth culture and enthusiasm for learning and sharing MIT’s specific and vibrant student culture
  • Strong skills in written and oral communication, organization, attention to detail, and initiative
  • Enthusiasm for collaborating with the communications team, current undergraduates, and internal and external partners
  • The ability to perform regular evening and weekend work during the academic year, and a few (cumulative) weeks of travel by air annually 
  • A driver’s license 

Preferences

The following attributes may be a plus, but are not expected or required: 

  • Experience in higher education, admissions or student financial services
  • Knowledge and demonstrated practice in design (e.g. InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator) and media production (e.g. Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere, Adobe After Effects)