QUEST in the City: D.C.
On Friday, March 6th, QUEST students took a trip into Washington, D.C. to visit and learn from employees (mostly QUEST alumni!) at three innovative corporate sites. An eventful day, QUEST students came home with a wider network, new skills, and fun-filled memories. Thank you QUEST Corporate and representatives from the three sites for a trip to remember!
The first company QUEST students arrived at was Fjord, the design and innovation consultancy of Accenture. The visit consisted of a welcome activity with QUEST alumnus Russell Lyons (Cohort 16) and a presentation about Fjord’s innovative design process, followed by a question and answer session with several employees. QUEST students then received a tour of the Fjord facility, which as Shefali Gupta from Cohort 33 describes, “was unlike any other office building I’ve ever seen!” Their office had an extremely open layout, allowing employees to work together in teams. Additionally, you could get a sense of their “work hard, play hard” culture, as they had a variety of games (including nerf guns!) out for employee downtime.
The second stop of the day was at IBM, located adjacent to the White House. Students learned about design thinking and participated in an activity familiar to many QUEST students – The “Five Why’s?” The topic in question was also a scenario familiar to QUEST students: “Why do college students fall asleep in class?” Then, QUEST students formed small groups and got to network with various IBM employees, including those in software development, business analytics, and project management.
The final (and most delicious!) stop of the day was at Rasa, a fast-casual Indian restaurant in Navy Yard. QUEST students got to meet and chat with co-founder and owner Sahil Rahman (Cohort 17) and head of marketing Sameera Polavarapu (Cohort 27) and try some of the delicious food. QUEST students learned about how the QUEST program itself influenced and drove the success of the start-up. Perhaps the most interesting point of discussion was Sahil’s motivation for opening the restaurant: to introduce others to Indian food and make it more accessible and less intimidating with certain ingredients everyone is familiar with. Sahil plans on expanding Rasa into more locations in the coming months.
Every student who went on the QUEST in DC trip would agree that each of the company visits proved to be a unique experience, with wider perception gained at every stop. It’s always a rewarding experience to hear about how the insightful lessons we learn in QUEST classrooms are also echoed throughout Fortune-500 companies and start-ups alike. Thank you QUEST Corporate, especially trip lead Jack Curran (Cohort 34), for putting together such a fantastic event!
Tanu Kulkarni (Cohort 34) is a sophomore studying Finance and Operations Management & Business Analytics.