An Overview of MIT’s Undergraduate Practice Opportunities Program

A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sam M. Hwang received both a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering, with a concentration in bioengineering and entrepreneurial management, and a master of science in materials science and engineering. Currently, he serves as the chief executive officer of New Pathway Education & Technology Group, which he also founded. During his time at MIT, Sam M. Hwang participated in its Undergraduate Practice Opportunities Program (UPOP).

Established to help students design their careers and succeed in the professional world beyond school, the Undergraduate Practice Opportunities Program is a full-year, for-credit program comprised of five different sections spread from the beginning of a student’s sophomore year to the fall of junior year. Fall sophomore semester begins with a focus on professional communication, including resume and cover letter writing, and training for job interviews. Then, in January, students engage in a small group Team Training Camp, where they not only are mentored by industry alums but also gain networking experience. Spring semester includes practice in professional etiquette and a learning-by-doing look at the job search process. Next, the longest section of the program is an internship experience with three reports and an on-site visit from a UPOP staff member. Finally, during the fall semester of their junior year students report on their time in the program and take steps toward beginning their careers.