A core part of the HUPO professional development program is mentoring and supporting students from the time they enroll in the program to the time they graduate, which we have worked to further improve this year. Each year, HUPO facilitates the ‘Buddy System’ where each incoming student is paired with a current student with similar background and interests. Once students are on campus, we organize a social event for buddies to get together in person before the semester starts to ensure that incoming students feel prepared for the upcoming year. We also encourage buddies to meet throughout the year, and believe that this system has helped build long-lasting friendships between the MUP cohorts.
We encourage second-year MUPs to assist first years as often as possible. During orientation this fall, HUPO organized a Harvard Square scavenger hunt to help first-year students find their way around campus, and a software setup session to help incoming students navigate the various software programs required from the first day of first year.
Additionally, second-year MUPs share internship experiences and reviews of elective courses through the monthly HUPO newsletter, and every year we have a night in which second-year MUPs give 3 minute presentations of their summer internships to first-years. We create a database of information about our internships and supply it to first year students.