Administrative Assistant, Space Exploration Initiative (SEI)

by Lisa Breede

Dec. 21, 2021

Job Description

The Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) is looking for a dynamic Administrative Assistant to join the team to provide administrative support.

SEI supports 40+ research projects, parabolic flights, suborbital and orbital launch research deployments, and a team of 50+ students, staff, and faculty. SEI is creating and deploying space technologies that envision a bold and culturally rich “new space age,” from astro-bacteria wearables, to open-access and shareable cubesat constellations, to musical instruments for our space voyages, to floating space habitats, to advanced zero-gravity 3D printing.


Principal Duties and Responsibilities:

Finance and Budgets:

  • Responsible for monitoring all financial activities for research group including working with financial officer to regularly review budgets and spending;
  • Handle all financial activities according to Media Lab Finance and MIT procedure and compliance policy, such as reconciliations of expenses, expense reimbursements, purchase including complex purchase orders and contracts – establishing and closing, independent contractor coordination, Financial Review & Control (FRC) reports, accounts payables, maintain all records, invoices, receipts, and the like according to MIT’s record retention policy, monitoring timely payment and appropriate accounts, maintaining independent contractor statement of work, etc.;
  • Handle day-to-day purchasing;
  • Support Program Manager in executing supplier contracts and independent contractors;
  • Responsible for use of MIT Procurement and Travel credit cards for group according to Media Lab Finance and MIT procedure and compliance policy.


  • Schedule PI and group calendars;
  • Schedule and coordinate internal meetings, research demos, and events to include room reservations, catering, set up, and clean up;
  • Support the program coordinator by coordinating community building activities and events;
  • Proofread and edit documents, letters of recommendation, maintain and update CVs;
  • Coordinate travel logistics, reservations, detailed travel itineraries and coordinate/process reimbursement for travel expenses;
  • Maintain records and contacts related to UROP (Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program), and other affiliated staff;
  • Support the Lab Manager with process related temporary staff, UROPs, appointed visitors and guests;
  • Respond to emails directed to Administrative Assistant;
  • Supports onboarding activities for new group members such as keys, mailing lists, etc.

Communication and Outreach:

  • Maintain, update, and ensure group’s team and project web pages are up to date;
  • Assist SEI leadership in drafting and layout of quarterly newsletters;
  • Manage SEI digital/print templates and assets by creating and updating a media content repository for content such as logos, SEI identity materials, photos, videos, etc.;
  • Manage and maintain master invite list using digital event registration tools;
  • Assist with external logistical communications, i.e., save the date, invites, reminders, etc. as directed;
  • Assist in drafting content and updating schedule for Media Lab event website;
  • Manage events inboxes, i.e., respond, forward, etc. to questions about the event from registrants, press, etc.;
  • Handle speaker invites, logistics, itineraries, coordination and communication;
  • Other duties as assigned.

This position is through August 2022 with the possibility of extension.



  • High school diploma;
  • Three years’ experience as an administrative assistant for senior managers;
  • Ability to learn quickly, proactively recognizing patterns, and work with critical time demands;
  • Aptitude to learn various MIT business software such as B2P, Concur, SAPgui, etc.;
  • Aptitude for efficiently handling a variety of competing, concurrent duties in a startup-like environment with accuracy and resourcefulness;
  • Strong organizational skills and the ability to keep track of many parallel activities;
  • Effective communicator with excellent verbal and written communications skills;
  • Exercises discretion, diplomacy, and tact;
  • Core team member who is able to work effectively both independently and as part of the team with a creative and diverse group of people;
  • Advanced computer skills including proficiency with Macintosh computers, Microsoft Office, Google Workspace.


  • Bachelor’s degree;
  • Familiarity with the following digital tools: Hootsuite, Twitter and Instagram posting, and managing a YouTube channel, Mailchimp, Splash;
  • Familiarity with Adobe Creative suite and InDesign templates.

MIT job #20580

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