Category Archives: Beyond MIT

Walk to Fight Suicide – Consider Attending

Locally, there will be a Walk to Fight Suicide happening in Brighton.  This is part of a larger, national event, and may be a good opportunity to get away from MIT and support a very worthy cause.  Info below.  As always, if you need support or help at anytime, be sure to reach out to the various support services that exist at MIT.


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Filed under Beyond MIT, Events

People over PSets: Multicultural Conference 2015 is coming soon!

Lots of news stories and stories of humanity have broken in our community, across our region, our nation, and across the globe these past few months.  Whether it was the attacks on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris and the subsequent discussions of free speech and freedom of the press, or the work of MIT students, staff, and faculty to bring to campus discussions about the #blacklivesmatter movement, and how to transform that power into last change.

There are things we need to talk about, conversations we need to have, and topics we need to learn more about.

Unlike Ron Swanson, we actually want to talk to you about this issues.

MIT’s Student Activities Office and Office of Multicultural Programs hosts an annual Multicultural Conference (MC^2) which delves deep into the issues affecting our community and our globe, and we want you to join us this year!

Taking place at the Endicott House from Friday, Feb. 5th after class to the evening of Saturday, Feb. 6th, this conference will feature discussions around the topic of “People over Psets: Tools for Building Community,” and is a must-attend opportunity!

Grab a coffee, let’s chat.

Find more info at and register soon, spaces are going fast!!!

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Filed under Beyond MIT, Diversity & Inclusion, Events

Happy Holidays and Safe Travels from the SAO!

Another semester closes, and as folks head home, head to IAP internships or abroad trips, or hang out and just relax on the couch, we hope everyone has a very happy, relaxing, and enjoyable holiday break!

Hopefully your flights are smoother than this one:

And if you are going traveling by moped… please bundle up:

Make sure you get your car checked out before getting on the road:

and if you are traveling by spaceship, make sure you come to a slow, safe, controlled stop if you have gone Plaid:

But seriously, relax a bit ya’ll.

Get some extra sleep while you can.

Catch up with and hang out with friends and family…

…except for Aunt Annabeth… she’s definitely not your favorite aunt.

Enjoy your break and we’ll see you over IAP or in February!

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Filed under Around MIT, Beyond MIT

LeaderShape at MIT: An IAP Must!

The time has come again to get yourself ready for the experience that is LeaderShape!

An international organization with opportunities and programs on college campuses everywhere, LeaderShape takes the discussion around leadership beyond whether you are President or Secretary, beyond “Do we have the budget to order Pad Thai for 200 people?,” beyond any awards ceremony.  LeaderShape is an experience that will help you discover, put into words, hone, plan for, and get absolutely pumped for your own personal vision of leadership and the positive change you want to bring to the world!

DON’T BE THIS CHILD! Take change into your own hands and create your own vision for leadership that may change the world!

LeaderShape is an intensive 6-day leadership development and community-building program over IAP each year.  Join MIT faculty and staff and 70 of your fellow undergraduates for this incredible experience!

Applications are now open at – so, go, click on the link now and apply… now!

The SAO does not recommend typing DWIGHT in repeatedly on your application to LeaderShape. That isn’t very leader-y.

LeaderShape will be held January 16th-21st, 2015, over IAP and transportation to the retreat location is provided from campus!

The Application Deadline is November 7th, which is like soon, so… like… get on it.  Again, apply here:

Info sessions to prepare attendees will be held on November 17th and Dec 3rd, but more info provided on those to folks who apply by November 7th!


We hope to see you at LeaderShape!

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Filed under Around MIT, Beyond MIT, Leadership, Student Activities Updates

Last Minute Announcement: A Community Gathering

Earlier this week, Institute Community and Equity Officer Edmund Bertschinger emailed our community about the opportunity to discuss, reflect, and learn together about the events unfolding in Ferguson, Missouri. The events happening in Missouri influence what happens on our own campus and around the nation, and we appreciate the chance to talk and come to understand this situation better amongst our community.

If you are around today, and have some time, we highly encourage you to stop by and take part, however is most comfortable for you, in this gathering. Information is below.

ICEO Community Gathering
Date: Friday, August 22, 2014
Time: Noon – 3 pm
Location: MIT Bush Room, 10-105

Noon – 12:30 pm
Refreshments/water provided or bring your own lunch

12:30 pm – 12:45 pm
Welcome – Ed Bertschinger, Institute Community and Equity Officer
Words of inspiration – Robert Randolph, MIT Chaplain

12:45 pm – 1:15 pm
Viewing of selected videos
Affinity groups announcements

1:15 pm – 1:45 pm
Guest Speaker – Malia Lazu, Executive Director and Co-Founder, Future Boston Alliance
MIT Community Innovators Lab (CoLab) Mel King Community Fellow, Class of 2011

1:45 pm – 3:00 pm
Facilitated conversations

As we start our new academic year together, it is our hope that we are able to do so in solidarity as a community committed to peace.

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Filed under Around MIT, Beyond MIT, Community Events, Diversity & Inclusion

Class Connections Event for Class of 2014 & 2015 Tomorrow Night!



Tomorrow night, Wednesday 2/26, marks the next event in the ongoing MIT Class Connections program, featuring an opportunity for the Class of 2014 and 2015 to engage with and hear from successful alumni from their respective 25th and 50th reunion classes.  The event will start at 7pm in the West Lounge, which is on the 2nd floor of W20.

This event will focus on 4 alumni who will share what lessons they took from their time at MIT and how that influenced their work afterwards as well as giving them an opportunity to share key advice with current students.


The Alumni that will join us are:

David Saul ’64, Senior Vice President, State Street
Jee Chung ’89, Head, Enterprise Systems, GMO

Stephen Deutsch ’65, Partner, Foley Hoag LLP
Crystal Dixon ’90, Director of Administration, Parkside Christian Academy


Light refreshments will be available at the event.


Please register ahead of time and please do so as soon as possible here!

The Student Activities Office and MIT Alumni Association look forward to seeing you tomorrow night!


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Filed under Around MIT, Beyond MIT, Events, Leadership

Nominate an Inspirational Teacher!

Each year, the Public Service Center, in association with Lemelson-MIT and the MIT Alumni Association, sponsor the Inspirational Teacher Award!  This award recognizes high school teachers that have had a profound effect on your path as a student, and may have been influential in your ending up here at MIT.

Take some time to nominate a high school teacher who inspired you!

Exceptional students often have an exceptional leader or teacher who helped to guide them towards an awesome achievement like being accepted to MIT.  So, please take some time out of your busy finals schedule to nominate a teacher who was your favorite from high school so that we can thank them for helping to get you here!

Don’t just reward your favorite high school teacher with an apple – reward them with a nomination for MIT’s Inspirational Teacher Award.

Check out for more info!


–Joel P.

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Filed under Beyond MIT

Using Social Media for Professional Development

So, hey there MIT students.  Welcome back from that summer at an internship or trip abroad or service project or R&R at home!  We hope you are coming back to Cambridge and campus well-rested and ready for another busy year here.

Even though you may just be getting back to campus, you also may already thinking about that next big opportunity, whether it is a volunteer role, an internship, or that first job you will land post-MIT.  I would like to offer you some advice and support in that venture to land that next opportunity for yourself through the use of LinkedIn, which could be considered the Working Professional’s Facebook.

Yes, you can use social media to network and partake in professional development, and LinkedIn is one of the best resources out there to do so.  According to Mashable, 37% of surveyed job recruiters find professional social networks an important resource, 90% of Fortune 100 companies use the network’s talent search tools to hire, and LinkedIn is one of the fastest growing networks out there.

A good LinkedIn profile gets you hired at this office. *DISCLAIMER: Statement cannot be proven, nor are we comparing companies or MIT students to cats, but seriously, cats.*

Having a robust and engaging LinkedIn profile can be just as helpful as having an awesome looking and chock-full-of-content resume, so here are some thoughts on what you can do right now to stand out in the LinkedIn crowd.

Include coursework and extracurriculars.

If part of your curriculum in that class last semester included working with a company to address an issue they were facing, or case studies from your industry were included, talk about those experiences and what you learned from that process.  If you are able to show off that you are learning in class in ways that would be beneficial to the company on Day 1, you are on the right path.

Think your time as President of the Underwater Basket Weaving Club was just for fun? THINK AGAIN! You learned some valuable skills in that role and organization – things like budgeting, team building, event planning, and crisis management.  Having trouble translating your student organization or extracurricular experience into transferrable skills for your industry?  Any SAO staff member would be more than happy to come present to your organization on transferrable skills or sit down over some coffee and chat about how Underwater Basket Weaving makes you a great Lead Researcher for that one company you are interviewing for!

Show off some of your work.

I would not recommend you use this video on your LinkedIn profile. And to please, please, PLEASE, get some sleep before you get to this point. Or stop inhaling the fumes.

You can now add images and videos to your LinkedIn profile, so if you want to show off your research or that product you created from scratch, you can do it now on LinkedIn, which gives potential employers an even better sense of your abilities.  Don’t be afraid to post your student organization or involvement media as well, whether it is a solo violin performance or that sweet poster you created for your student organization, do your best to sell yourself.

Ask advisors and professors for recommendations.

A little less demanding than a letter of recommendation, a LinkedIn recommendation from a professor who worked with you personally can take your LinkedIn profile to the next level.  Asking for a recommendation on LinkedIn from a professor or advisor should carry the same weight as asking for a recommendation letter though – give them time to write it.

Connect with Industry Leaders.

As Mashable points out, “Don’t be intimidated by someone’s professional clout; reach out to people whose careers you admire, but be sure to personalize your request to connect.”  Social media allows you to connect to folks at all levels and all over the world, so use that to your advantage, but don’t kill your chances by sending a LinkedIn invitation with their automatic generic message.  Take the time to comment about the work of that leader in their particular industry and connect it back to your interests, so that you are selling yourself as a valuable connection, not a random click.


There are plenty of opportunities to use social media platforms to grow professionally and academically, beyond just LinkedIn and others like Facebook and Twitter.  It takes some time and commitment to make it work, and if you use social media for professional development, go for it completely and don’t leave your social media presence 50% complete.

Your digital identity matters, and an incomplete professional profile on a social network could be looked at like a half-done resume or a cover letter plagued by typos.  Take some time to really create a solid and engaging professional profile for yourself online, and if you take the time to do so now, you won’t have to rush as the job/internship search looms, and that makes a difference.


–Joel P.


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Filed under Beyond MIT

Congratulations MIT Class of 2015!

The Brass Rat is one of those unique moments in one’s MIT career, bringing together an entire class to celebrate their time together thus far, and to look forward to what the rest of their time at MIT may bring.

Starting with Ring Premiere earlier in the spring semester, the Ring Committee, led this year by Matthew Abel, reveals the look of the Brass Rat, and the meaning behind the symbols and design.

Front design for the Class of 2015’s Brass Rat. Image taken from the MIT Admissions Blog.


The class gets their rings tonight at Ring Delivery, an exciting event that takes place at a new venue each year.  This year, the Class of 2015 will pick up their rings at the historic Boston landmark, Fenway Park.  Congratulations to the Class of 2015, and welcome to a network that lasts a lifetime.

Fenway Park, Home of the Boston Red Sox and the MIT Class of 2015 Ring Delivery


–Joel P.

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Filed under Around MIT, Beyond MIT, Community Events, Events

Updating from the Boston Marathon

As everyone has heard and seen, on Monday, April 15th, Patriot’s Day here in Boston, 2 bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.  As of right now, three people have been confirmed dead, and more than 170 people have been reported as injured, some critically.

This was a nightmare situation for our community and city, that such a triumphant and inspiring race should end with tragedy and sorrow.  As MIT students, staff, and faculty, we have such a unique opportunity to experience a historical and exciting city like Boston, and that opportunity was violated on Monday.  It is the hope of this office and the greater MIT community that we can grow stronger from these events, and that Boston can grow closer as a community and support our fellow citizens more than ever before.

There are a number of resources available to our community members, including expert counseling services through MIT Medical.   Additionally, we ask that our community keeps each other safe and stays vigilant- if you see anything suspicious happening on campus, please contact the MIT Police at (617) 253-1212.

If you are looking for an opportunity to reflect on the events of this week, please feel free to join MIT SMASH (Students at MIT Allied for Student Health) and MIT Administrators on Kresge Oval from 5-6pm today to come together as a community and write notes of support for first responders and victims of the Marathon attacks.

If you are unsure of how to process these events in any way, please contact MIT Medical or staff in MIT Student Outreach and Support.  We have around a month or so left of school this year, and we want to make sure we can help in any way to make it a strong finish.

Picture just outside the Infinite of banner hung by MIT community.  Pic via @marlenalove on Twitter.

Picture just outside the Infinite of banner hung by MIT community. Pic via @marlenalove on Twitter.

MIT Green American Flag

MIT Green Building lit up on Monday, 4/15. Pic via @peteyMIT from Twitter.

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Filed under Around MIT, Beyond MIT, Community Events