QUEST Students Make an Impact Over the Summer

By: Rohan Mishra (Q32)

Summer break is an extremely productive time for many of the students in QUEST. Many students
spend their summer gaining experience in the real world by pursuing internships. Considering the wide
variety of majors that QUEST covers, it was inevitable that students represent a diverse array of
industries through their internships. Many students from the QUEST community experienced some
unique opportunities.

Jacqueline Deprey, a Computer Science and Operations Management and Business Analytics double
major from Cohort 30, interned at Leidos over the summer. Leidos is an American company with
footprints in the industries of defense, aviation, information technology and biomedical research.
Jacqueline was a software engineering intern at the Gaithersburg office in Maryland. Her duties included
designing, testing, and debugging software to better monitor air traffic control centers’ databases
nationwide. Her main responsibility was building an automation tool that processed Mongo database
information and displayed warning messages to facilitate administrative processes. When asked about
how her experiences with QUEST impacted her, she said, “My team at Leidos implemented the agile
development process we learned about in 190H, and we had daily scrums and monthly sprints, just like we
learned about in QUEST.”

Jacqueline (front, center) during her internship

In addition, she used the design thinking process on a regular basis when working with the system administrators as she had to empathize with them to best define the problem, create potential solutions, and test them to figure out what best met their needs. QUESTDev initially introduced her to working with Mongo Databases, which she then worked more in depth with over the course of her internship. Jacqueline also benefited from having several of her cohort-mates work in the same office and says that seeing them was a welcome sight. She was also able to network with other QUEST alumni at Leidos and learn more from them about their experiences with Leidos. With respect to learning from the internship, she mentioned, “I learned I am most passionate about projects when I get to work directly with the client, learn about their problems first-hand and find the best solution to meet their needs.”

Adam Hostetter, an Operations Management and Business Analytics major from Cohort 29 interned at
General Electric Healthcare in Milwaukee. The company develops healthcare technological solutions for
medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, disease
research, drug discovery, and biopharmaceutical manufacturing. Adam worked at their HQ over the
summer, as part of the Commercial Leadership Program internship – an internship that is a pipeline into
marketing/sales for medical devices. This internship is extremely prestigious, and Adam was one of only
22 students selected for it from the entire country. Adam was focused primarily on working on two
internal consulting projects for the summer. He says his time with QUEST helped him a lot, adding, “It
was really interesting to see some of the ideologies we talked about in QUEST put into practice at
GEHC.” He benefited immensely from the experience and mentions that there were a bunch of
opportunities for co-growth and teamwork. He says GE really values learning and development, they
even have a whole day dedicated to research called GE Learning day, where you can’t send emails or
schedule meetings. He sums up his experience as “an opportunity to be constantly pushed out of my
comfort zone, with all the right people and tools to find my own way and succeed.”

Adam at the GE Healthcare headquarters

Nadine Eloseily, an International Business and Government and Politics double major from Cohort 29
interned with the Egyptian Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation over the summer.
More specifically, she was working with the senior adviser to the minister. She was the only intern for
the majority of the summer, so her role varied with the requirements of the office. Tasks that she did
throughout the summer included conducting research and building reports on a number of topics that the senior adviser wanted to venture into, editing talking points for the Minister to use in her meetings with the UN and creating profiles discussing the donor relationship between Egypt and other nations (such as Japan) for internal use within the ministry (called donor profiles). With regards to how QUEST prepared her for her internship, she says, “A lot of the design elements and professionalism that QUEST teaches in 190H was very helpful throughout my internship.”

Nadine in Egypt

What she learned from the internship was very meaningful, as she received insight from the work she did in that professional environment and took away lessons that would serve her over the rest of her career. She summarizes her experience by saying, “I was put into a lot of situations that were outside my comfort zone this summer, but I did my best to make the most of the resources around me and found that I had a very rewarding and interesting experience!”

Varsha Ramachandran, a double major in Operations Management & Business Analytics and
International Business from Cohort 31, interned for the University Process Innovation team at UMD’s
Division of IT. The UPI team focuses on the strategic business processes of the university and how they
relate to the underpinning information technology. Varsha worked as a Business Process Analyst, where
she worked to improve the technological processes at UMD. Tasks she performed included identifying
best practices at other Big 10 schools through interviews, creating data representations using Tableau,
and documenting her findings through writing one-pagers and creating swimlane diagrams. Varsha
found out about the position from a QUEST email and decided to apply as she had prior experience in
the field of higher education. She thinks the experience helped prepare her to officially join QUEST,
saying, “I am now well-equipped to handle the communicative aspect of QUEST: conducting interviews,
creating presentations, and drafting professional reports.” Her role has also helped her garner more
technical knowledge and skills in statistical software and industry practices. She describes her entire
experience as, “I learned that all business solutions require thoughtful analysis of both the data and the people involved. I learned that it’s just as important to listen and spend time with your clients as it is to
accurately and effectively manipulate and present raw data.”

Experiences like these are at the core of what being a college student is about. The chance to be able to
apply your skills in the real world is crucial, and it is clear that students from QUEST are especially well
prepared to contribute in professional environments.

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