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A Prospective Student Sent THIS To MIT In Response To An Obnoxious Recruitment Letter! It’s Too True!

Do you remember how you were recruited to your college? Was it a little too far back to remember? I vaguely remember a bright orange booth at a “college fair” that had come to my high school. My mother made me take a brochure from each booth and fill out applications to all of them. (I hated it! It was all done by hand back then!) I don’t remember how exactly we came to choose which university I would attend, but I almost wish it could have been as memorable as THIS guy’s!

April 29, 1994

Dear John:

You’ve got the grades. You’ve certainly got the PSAT scores. And now you’ve got a letter from MIT. Maybe you’re surprised. Most students would be.

But you’re not most students. And that’s exactly why I urge you to consider carefully one of the most selective universities in America.

The level of potential reflected in your performance is a powerful indicator that you might well be an excellent candidate for MIT. It certainly got my attention!

Engineering’s not for you? No problem. It may surprise you to learn we offer more than 40 major fields of study, from architecture to brain and cognitive sciences, from economics (perhaps the best program in the country) to writing.

What? Of course, you don’t want to be bored. Who does? Life here is tough and demanding, but it’s also fun. MIT students are imaginative and creative – inside and outside the classroom.

You’re interested in athletics? Great! MIT has more varsity teams -39 – than almost any other university, and a tremendous intramural program so everybody can participate.

You think we’re too expensive? Don’t be too sure. We’ve got surprises for you there, too.

Why not send the enclosed Information Request to find out more about this unique institution? Why not do it right now?

Sincerely,

Michael C. Benhke
Director of Admissions, MIT

P.S. If you’d like a copy of a fun-filled, fact-filled brochure, “Insight,” just check the appropriate box on the form.

Wow. That’s an impressive letter…let’s see how John decided to respond!

May 5, 1994

Dear Michael:

You’ve got the reputation. You’ve certainly got the pomposity. And now you’ve got a letter from John Mongan. Maybe you’re surprised. Most universities would be.

But you’re not most universities. And that’s exactly why I urge you to carefully consider one of the most selective students in America, so selective that he will choose only one of the thousands of accredited universities in the country.

The level of pomposity and lack of tact reflected in your letter is a powerful indicator that your august institution might well be a possibility for John Mongan’s future education. It certainly got my attention!

Don’t want Bio-Chem students? No problem. It may surprise you to learn that my interests cover over 400 fields of study, from semantics to limnology, from object-oriented programming (perhaps one of the youngest professionals in the country) to classical piano.

What? Of course you don’t want egotistical jerks. Who does? I am self-indulgent and over-confident, but I’m also amusing. John Mongan is funny and amusing – whether you’re laughing with him or at him.

You’re interested in athletes? Great! John Mongan has played more sports – 47 – than almost any other student, including oddball favorites such as Orienteering.

You think I can pay for your school? Don’t be too sure. I’ve got surprises for you there, too.

Why not send a guaranteed admission and full scholarship to increase your chance of being selected by John Mongan? Why not do it right now?

Sincerely,
John Mongan

P.S. If you’d like a copy of a fun-filled, fact-filled brochure, “John Mongan: What a Guy!” just ask.

Ha! Alright, so this might not be an actual letter from MIT, but I can clearly imagine John Mongan sitting down and writing this letter full of satire and sarcasm, playing on their logic and twisting it around so cleverly! I would imagine that the clerk who read this one laughed and had to show it to everyone. Over the course of 20 years, the story has probably been changed quite a bit, but it’s still funny! Was your university as “pompous” as this one?

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