The 490H Experience
By: Aashima Gupta
Since the start of the QUEST program, I’m sure you have heard plenty about the capstone course, BMGT/ENES490H. This course is unique from anything that I have taken at UMD, mostly because it does not feel like class. You’ve probably heard this before, but it’s true, it’s a real work experience. As a consulting intern at Ernst & Young (EY) this summer, I can confidently say that the skills I gained from 490H have helped me on the job. In fact, on my second day of work, I was asked to make a process flow diagram on Visio. The staff member on my team was really impressed with my work because I already had such a deep understanding of this tool. It’s the little things like this that can set you apart from other interns!
There are two major takeaways from this course: learning how to be a team player and building client relationships. I had a diverse and hard-working team with members Tony Trinh (Q21), Mandy Yard (Q21), Libby Wei (Q21) and Michael Goglia (Q20). Although we worked tirelessly for hours throughout the semester, knowing that I had this team for support comforted me. And we always made sure to have a few good laughs to make our time working more fun!
As for building client relationships, knowing how to send professional emails and talk to clients are essential skills. My QUEST team emailed our client, TAMKO building products, almost every other day, whether it was just sending a thank you email or setting up a phone call. During my internship this summer, I see my EY team members using the same skills that I built through 490H in order to contact our client. Finding a balance between being professional and friendly is key.
490H replicates what many people will experience in the workforce. A lot of college classes shield you from what is out there in the “real world,” but not this one. When I started working this summer, I was not as surprised or naive about what I was seeing, and I give this course credit for that. Just remember, you get out what you put in!