I think the last time I saw the sun was Saturday. In a strange turn of events for August, Boston has been graced with cloudy skies, unrelenting rain, and chilly temps since the weekend. Welcome back to Boston…or is it Seattle? Anyway, grab your umbrella just in case.
While the weather attempts to dampen our moods, campus-wide excitement will not be contained once Orientation starts this weekend. I remember my Orientation very well; I had just come back from FLP (Freshman Leadership Program), a Freshman Pre-Orientation Program, and was so excited to explore MIT for a full week. There seemed to be events going on 24 hours a day! While this was exciting, it was also overwhelming.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to go to every single Orientation event. Freshmen, that’s why I recommend looking through the schedule, choosing what interests you, and saving time for last-minute decisions. Oh, and grab tons of free food. It’s pretty much the pivotal element to many Orientation events.
Believe it or not, Orientation is also a great opportunity to learn about internships. In their sophomore year, many GEL students were enrolled in UPOP (Undergraduate Practice Opportunities Program, not to be confused with UROP, the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program), but it’s never too early to explore career opportunities!
If you’re interested in becoming an engineering leader, or discovering more about UPOP or the Gordon program, there are plenty of opportunities to do so during Orientation:
– Wednesday, September 1st (2-3:30, Johnson Ice Rink): The GEL program will have a booth at the Academic Expo. Stop by and talk to students about their experiences with engineering leadership!
– Thursday, September 2nd (12-1, room 12-196): As part of “Freshman Explorations” on Thursday, you can have lunch (free food!) with the UPOP office! They’re very friendly and they know a ton about career development. Plus, it’s another opportunity to meet students who’ve benefited from UPOP.
– Thursday, September 2nd (1-1:30, room 12-196): An open house with snacks in the UPOP office. (More free food!)
The UPOP office is a great resource that teaches career skills and encourages leadership development. Next week I have a personal UPOP meeting in which someone from the office will show me how to improve my resume. Then, there’s another meeting for GEL students to review their internships over the summer and talk about plans for the next year.
But Orientation Week isn’t about UPOP or GEL or me; it’s about you! The people you meet, the activities in which you participate, the places you go during Orientation Week can really set a pattern for your time at MIT.
My advice: choose your activities carefully. Consider activities in which you could be interested. Throw in some random choices. And remember: go for the free food!
Oh, and enjoy the upcoming weather: