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  • [April 26, 2012]

    Practice makes perfect: the College of Engineering UPOS Program

  • Twenty undergraduate students who intend to take summer internship positions recently received the Undergraduate Practice Opportunity Scholarship (UPOS) offered by the College of Engineering. The scholarship offers financial support as well as career-related advice. Sponsors of the scholarship, Philip and Hsia Choong, conferred the awards at a ceremony on April 20.

    UPOS was established in 2011 in order to facilitate internships and practical experiences for undergraduates in theirs second or third year. It is supported by the Hsia Sheo-Yu & Hwang Yu-Tseng Fund through a 100,000 USD endowment from Philip and Hsia Choong.  Both Philip anad Hsia Choong are supporters of Peking University; the couple has donated funds totaling over 700,000 USD.

    Philip Choong is a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an internationally renowned expert on space technology. Hsia Choong, also a MIT graduate, has 32 years of working experience at Hewlett-Packard Company.

    “I believe that internship is a very important means for the students to discover themselves and the outside world. It will help them shape a clearer idea of what career they want to take in the future,” said Mr. Choong.


    UPOS is carried out in three stages. An initial scholarship of 1,5000 yuan is provided prior to the internship, while a stipend of 2,000 yuan is later awarded to recipients who demonstrated excellent performance, said Yongmei Li, UPOS manager and director of the College of Engineering Office of Development.

    An extra 1,000 yuan is awarded to students who decided to become tutors to recipients of the subsequent year.

    “We encourage them to pass on their experience,” Li said.

    UPOS is currently in its second year. Last year, 23 undergraduate students participated in the program.

    At the ceremony, last year’s beneficiaries offered insight about their experiences.

    Wei Zhang, a junior in the Department of Energy and Resources Engineering, talked about her two internships in the oil industry. One was in the Institute of Safety Technology and Environmental Protection of the China National Petroleum Corporation, the other in the oilfields of Schlumberger.

    Zhang was able to experience contrasting work styles; the institute was comparatively relaxing and routine while the oilfields were challenging as engineers faced more uncertainties. She said the experience will help her make right decisions about her future career .