UPOP was a great experience for me because it provided me with very applicable knowledge about how to network, find a job, get a job, and even how to act professionally. The hands-on participation nature of the program really allowed me to apply these concepts so that I would remember and act on them, rather than listen once and then forget like in other programs. I think it gives valuable perspective to Sophomores by bridging the gap between classes and the real-world work environment. UPOP differentiates itself from other programs in that the organizers all make a great effort to give personal feedback and attention to every UPOPer. They can address an individual's weaknesses and provide assistance and guidance. Mentors have given me personal interviewing tips, presentation advice, gone over my résumé and even helped with letters of recommendation and cover letters to companies. They also helped put me in contact with people in my field to find a job. Additionally, I've created my own UPOP network, in that I am still friends with some of the great people I met who were in the class with me. UPOP has made me more self-aware when I work in groups or engineering leadership roles. I am more conscious of my effectiveness as a leader and try to look at things from the perspectives of others. This carried over to my capstone design class, where I was working on a team. I landed an internship after a successful interview in which there were 12 other applicants to the same position. After having participated in mock interviews and gone through all the workshop sessions with UPOP, I felt far more comfortable presenting myself and was able to do so in a positive light. Before the interview, I referenced some UPOP 'How to Interview' advice sheets that'd I'd kept and quizzed myself. I even brought in a portfolio of my work that I compiled for the occasion.
Class of 2010 UPOP Alum