I honestly don’t remember much from my tour of Hopkins, way back in the days of being a senior in high school. There are, however, a few key things that seem to have become forever engrained in my memory. I still recognize my tour guides when I pass one of them on campus, and I remember seeing the DiVinchi robot in Hackerman hall and thinking “wow, that looks pretty cool, like something smart people would use”. Another thing I remember is, as we were walking up the steps to the breezeway, our tour guide mentioned several of the speakers who had come to campus in recent years. The only one’s I recall being mentioned then were Will Ferrell and Bill Nye the Science Guy (talk about selective memory, huh?), but I know there were several other super important people we were told had come to speak.
As it turns out, there are three entirely student organized and run groups in charge of finding cool people to bring to Hopkins. There’s The HOP (Hopkins Organization for Programming), which focuses on performers and entertainment. There’s FAS (Foreign Affairs Symposium), which focuses on speakers with international and diplomatic connections. Then, there’s the MSE Symposium, which does a wide range of speakers including politicians, authors, actors and business people. Last year, I was asked to help out the MSE Symposium staff by becoming their new web designer after their previous one graduated. Not really having much of an idea of what MSE actually did, other than that I had been to a few of their speaker events in the beginning of the year, I accepted and the summer after freshman year began to redesign the website based on the 2011 theme.
One of the really cool things, I think, about the MSE Symposium is that we get a very wide range of speakers, and don’t limit ourselves to one type or another. The speakers we try to get change year to year with the theme, but it isn’t a strict “we only want people of this type” kind of thing. Past speakers include, as mentioned before, Will Ferrell, Bill Nye, Gerald R. Ford, Maya Angelou, Newt Gingrich, Michael Bloomberg, Tom Clancy, Bob Woodward and Malcolm Gladwell. In addition, after each event, speakers take questions from the audience and after that some gather for a meet and greet with whoever is still around after the event. All events are open to the public, too, so the audience isn’t just Hopkins students.
At Hopkins, through organizations like the MSE Symposium, FAS, and the Hop, opportunities to meet many famous and important members of society are all around you. If you have the opportunity to join any of these great organizations, I strongly recommend it, because this is truly a once in a lifetime opporunity to do something very few college students get to do.
Thanks for reading,
Current track: Chasin’ by Sander van Doorn
P.s. keep an eye out for the new version of the MSE website, coming out in the next week or so! http://www.jhu.edu/mse/index.html