UPOP Recruiting Policies & Procedures

UPOP greatly values our relationships with all employer partners. We strive to facilitate meaningful connections and employment prospects that are a good mutual fit for employers and for UPOP students. We not only provide high-touch support to our corporate partners, but students also rely on our office’s relationship with employers to advise them in navigating the internship and job search. We work closely with MIT students to guide them in their search for challenging, paid summer internships and full-time jobs, including guidance in the negotiation process as it aligns with MIT’s general recruiting policies and guidelines.

We ask all companies participating in off-campus recruiting activities with UPOP (which includes all interviews with students who have applied via a UPOP-facilitated job posting or following a UPOP event) to comply with the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) guidelines and with the following minimum policies and guidelines established by MIT UPOP.

New Employers: Initial call with UPOP Employer Relations

Prior to posting positions to the UPOP Network or engaging with UPOP as a corporate sponsor, we ask all new employers to participate in a brief call or in-person discussion with our offices to ensure a good mutual fit. If an employer foresees a challenge in being able to adhere to UPOP recruiting policies outlined below, we ask that they contact Amy Bass, Program Manager for Employer Relations (617) 452-2856.

Offers to Students

It is in the best interests of both students and employers that students to have enough time to make an informed decision about an offer for the summer or full-time job offer. Students who make hasty decisions regarding employment due to short timeframes or without formal offer letters often decline offers prematurely. In some cases, this can also lead to students reneging on job offers—thus tarnishing a student’s professional reputation, or an employer’s reputation, at MIT.

Our office offers guidance and services to assist UPOP students in evaluating and negotiating job offers. In order for UPOP students to make an informed decision regarding an employment offer, we ask that employers honor the following timeframes we outline for students:

  • Summer internship offers: 2.5–4 weeks from the date candidate receives an official offer letter, particularly during peak recruiting seasons Sept–Nov, Jan–late Feb.
  • Full-time offers: At least 4 weeks from date candidate receives an official offer letter, particularly during peak recruiting season Sept–Nov, Jan–late Feb.
  • Recommended timeframe for deadline extensions: UPOP encourages students and employers to negotiate on a case-by-case basis once an official offer letter is provided.

Note: During peak on-campus recruiting times, UPOP encourages students to negotiate with each employer for a reasonable extension past the initial acceptance deadline (1–4 weeks) should the student require more time to make an informed decision.

If a student reaches out to our office to notify us that a UPOP employer has set a decision date prior to the recommended timeframe, or the company has not provided an official offer letter, or a negotiation has proven unsuccessful, UPOP may reach out to partner companies to notify companies about our policy. We will strive to reach a compromise that works for both student and employer.

 “Exploding Offers”

In alignment with MIT’s policies, no special incentive should be held out to induce early acceptance of an offer, nor should a student be subjected to the terms of an exploding offer: i.e. a quick response time, reduction in offer package, abbreviated deadlines for accepting offers, or exploding salary bonuses and offers.

We expect employers to honor all offers made to students and that the offer is not conditional (background checks and similar not withstanding).

Expectation of Written Offers

We ask that all UPOP employer-partners extend official offers in writing (includes via email).

Unpaid Internships

The majority of UPOP students seek paid, full-time (8–12 weeks) summer work. We do not encourage our students to accept unpaid internship offers. With few exceptions, UPOP does not publicize unpaid internships to students. However, if a student is contacted by a company independent of the program with an unpaid offer, UPOP's policy remains in alignment with MIT’s broad standards. We advise both student and employers as follows:

  • To ensure that an experience—whether it is a traditional internship or one conducted remotely or virtually—is educational, and thus eligible to be considered a legitimate internship by the MIT and NACE definition, all the following criteria must be met:
    •  The experience must be an extension of the classroom: a learning experience that provides for applying the knowledge gained in the classroom. It must not be simply to advance the operations of the employer or be the work that a regular employee would routinely perform.
    • The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings.
    • The experience has a defined beginning and end, and a job description with desired qualifications.
    • There are clearly defined learning objectives/goals related to the professional goals of the student’s academic coursework.
    • There is supervision by a professional with expertise and educational and/or professional background in the field of the experience.
    • There is routine feedback by the experienced supervisor. 
    • There are resources, equipment, and facilities provided by the host employer that support learning objectives/goals.

Full Disclosure of Start Date

We encourage students to request confirmation of a start-date (or negotiate a start-date, as necessary). The majority of MIT students are available to begin full-time or summer work following Memorial Day. Full-time candidates who interview with employers on campus expect to start work after graduation and by mid-September at the latest.

Timely Communication

We encourage employers to keep students informed of their status in the hiring process and to communicate hiring decisions within a reasonable time frame.

UPOP Sponsoring Companies

Companies either involved in sponsoring any events (on or off campus) with UPOP, or providing donations in kind, are subject to the same recruiting policies and guidelines as non-sponsoring UPOP employers.

Nondiscrimination Policy

UPOP makes its services available to employers who do not unlawfully discriminate in the selection of employees on the basis of national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

Alcohol Policy

Alcohol is prohibited during the recruiting process of UPOP students (on- or off-campus events) 

Confidentiality Policy

All materials received from our students (letters, résumés, contact information, transcripts, via email or hard copy), should be shared only with those persons at your firm involved in the hiring process.  Note that employers knowingly violating this policy may be denied access to our recruiting activities.

Third Party Representatives & External-to-MIT (for-fee) internship programs

UPOP can neither publicize, nor promote, internship or fulltime positions on the behalf of third-party firms or organizations involved in recruiting for for their own client organizations. In alignment with the former, UPOP does not partner with third party search firms or third-party internship programs for sponsorship opportunities (including on-campus events and volunteer workshops) within our program. UPOP is an educational, credit-bearing program at MIT. Our staff works closely with our partnering programs to vet each organizations’ internship programs so that they align with UPOP’s mission. It remains a conflict of interest to provide our students’ - or ask our students to provide - their contact information to third party representatives, or organizational representatives involved in recruiting for-fee for other companies.

UPOP’s Expectations of Students During the Recruitment Process

  • UPOP expects students to remain proactive in negotiating job and internship offers with employers, as needed.
  • UPOP expects students to follow up in a timely manner to all employer communication (within ~48 hours).
  • UPOP strongly discourages students from arbitrarily extending deadlines or asking for an unreasonable amount of time (ex: 8 weeks+) to make a final decision.
  • UPOP strongly discourages students from reneging on offers.
  • UPOP expects student to notify our offices if they accept an offer via a UPOP company connection.

Thank you in advance for adhering to the above policies. UPOP believes that when students have the opportunity to explore all of the options open to them in order to make an informed employment decision—and remain in timely, professional communication with companies—then both students and employer reap the benefits of an effective recruiting relationship.