Undergraduate Practice Opportunities Program

Mentor and students interacting at a UPOP event
Why mentor?

Mentoring UPOP students is an invaluable experience, and many of our mentors return year after year. It allows you to support MIT students, increase their comfort level in building networking skills, and contribute to their professional success. Our students and mentors often form meaningful relationships that can last well beyond the UPOP year.

The cherry on top? Becoming a UPOP mentor allows you to meet and collaborate with other experienced mentors from a wide range of industries, so you can grow your own network as well!

What does mentoring involve?

There are two ways to mentor with UPOP:

  • Join the UPOP Mentor Network. Throughout the UPOP year, students will have exclusive access to the UPOP Mentor Network, and in the fall and spring semesters they will be required to reach out to a mentor to set up a meeting based on their unique needs or interests. The goal is for students to understand the value mentorship can offer throughout their careers and to become more comfortable making professional connections. As a mentor, you can help put the importance of UPOP learning concepts into context and provide a perspective on life after MIT. Network mentors can designate the maximum number of students they can meet with per semester, allowing for a more flexible experience.
  • Participating as a Team Training Workshop (TTW) mentor is an exciting, hands-on experience that fosters community and collaboration between mentors, UPOP staff, and students. Mentors can choose from three session options lasting 3 to 3.5 days that take place over MIT’s winter break (Independent Activities Period or IAP) and Presidents’ Day weekend on the MIT campus. Mentors are assigned a team of students and guide their progress through eight learning modules focusing on teamwork, problem-solving, and communication, and a team project. They also help them prepare for networking sessions with prospective employers.
What is TTW anyway?

The Team Training Workshop (TTW) is the cornerstone event of UPOP, an intensive experiential learning opportunity that places students in small teams assigned to mentors representing a wide array of industries. Teams work together on a series of activities focused on building the skills students will need in the workplace, regardless of what their MIT course is. TTW immerses sophomores in professional development while still prioritizing camaraderie and fun.

The TTW takes place over three sessions: two are 3.5 days over two weeks in January, and the third is 3 days over Presidents’ Day weekend. Students must complete the TTW to finish UPOP successfully, and most participants agree it is the most effective and memorable experience in the program.

Learn more about the TTW here!

How do I become a mentor?

Fill out UPOP’s mentor interest form, and our mentor relations coordinator will be in touch to schedule a meeting to discuss your interests and experience. Please be prepared to provide a copy of your resume or the URL to your LinkedIn profile.

Additional FAQs

Are there any requirements, such as age or experience?

There are no age requirements, and mentors come from a variety of industries. We are looking for post-graduates who have embarked on their careers. You just need to bring your valuable life and professional experience to the table to pass along to students.

Do I have to be an MIT alum?

Nope! We have wonderful mentors who did not attend MIT.

Are there other ways to get involved?

Yes! You can have your company join our employer network, allowing them to attend networking events and list internships with us. They can also request to become a sponsor.

Photo: Tim Dove

The activities within UPOP in terms of leadership, management, and building are critical to readying students for higher level responsibilities and leadership. Students can vault ahead and start to understand the finer aspects of business, of negotiations, of leading teams, and of leading companies. ”

Tim Dove ’79, President & COO Pioneer Natural Resources