Offered twice during MIT's Independent Activities Period (IAP) in January, UPOP's weeklong workshop (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm) takes learning beyond the knowledge and skills needed to find a job to the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in that job.
The workshop, delivered by MIT faculty, UPOP staff, industry professionals, and subject-matter experts, is presented as a series of experiential-learning modules with learning objectives within the themes of communication, problem-solving, and team development, which we've identified as the key skills of effective and sought-after industry professionals. The week is intense but "serious fun" as our students report. (You can read some of their comments here!)
Students participate in the workshop as part of a team, implementing the learning from the modules towards the goal of solving a large-scale, technical or social problem and presenting their solution. It's not all serious, though—in coming together, teams often dress in themes and develop team chants or songs. (Check out the photo album for our most recent teams!)
Each team is assigned to a mentor. Mentors are typically MIT alums, and seasoned professionals from across many industries. Past mentors have included CEOs, entrepreneurs, inventors, lawyers, CFOs, doctors, and more. (Read the bios of our recent mentors!) Mentors help deliver the content and learning objectives at the intimate table setting, and share examples of how the skills taught in the workshop play out in the "real world."
Throughout the week students practice networking with the mentors, and at the end of the week students get to use their networking competence and confidence at the Networking Luncheon where more than 100 employers visit to engage with students, discussing internship and job opportunities and collecting résumés.