The skills to harness the full potential of MIT's education

Class of 2009 UPOP Alum

I am a proud UPOP alum. I cannot overstate the impact UPOP has had on my career development. UPOP provided me with the skills to harness the full potential of MIT's classroom education. I have learned so much about how to create effective résumés, prepare for interviews, and succeed in a work environment. UPOP's staff was always willing to stop whatever they were doing and answer my questions, whether it was about answering a particularly tricky interview question, sending appropriate reminder emails to recruiters, or helping me to develop my talking points. The UPOP staff was always there for me, beyond my sophomore year, with advice on negotiating and professionalism. Attending UPOP's IAP workshop was one of the best experiences I had at MIT.  I learned that: 1. Without effective communication and leadership skills, engineering can fail in the most profound and devastating ways;  2. Focusing on the small details of engineering without an awareness of the larger picture is not effective engineering; 3. Effective solutions are almost never engineered with perfect information and require trade-offs among time, resources (people), and features. 4. Leadership at every layer of an organization rather than just at the top is critical. 5. Industrial engineering success calls for teamwork (not isolation) and functioning effectively within a group. Without UPOP, my MIT experience would have been vastly different--I gained so much in skills and confidence through UPOP.