What’s Next For QUEST?

Every semester, QUEST students in the 397 class, Mentoring Design and Quality Teams, take on a project in addition to mentoring 190H students. In the QUEST spirit of continuous improvement, these projects look into ways to improve the QUEST program. For this semester, one of the most daunting projects is focused on “What’s Next For QUEST?”

For Andrew Lee and Ananth Srivatsan, two Q23 members who have long awaited the opportunity to work together, this project’s scope goes way beyond simply looking forward, but rather also looking back into what has made QUEST the program it is today- which is what they say makes it that much more necessary and attractive.

“When QUEST students are told to describe the program, they tend to use words like practical learning, team-based, and innovation,” says Srivatsan, a junior ECE major.

By the end of this project, the two seek to have a more concrete and centralized idea of what the QUEST Program is and be able to answer questions such as “If QUEST were to focus on innovation and consulting, will this be applicable in 4 or 5 years?”

In their attempt to find a “Blue Ocean” for the QUEST program, Srivatsan has stated the importance of analyzing the current state of QUEST. This project is very data heavy as it must analyze what has given QUEST its competitive advantage in the past and how it can continue to be an innovative and enriching program.

In order to properly look at how QUEST has evolved and what direction it’s headed to, Lee and Srivatsan have even gone through binders from the first cohort of QUEST, back when it was called Total Quality Management. Additionally, to collect current information, the two have sent out a survey to current students and recent alumni.

“We’ve found that QUEST was pretty revolutionary when it came out and people continue to join because it’s different and practical.”

Although in school most engineering and business classes are centralized on the individual, the creators of the QUEST Program recognized that in the real-world you are never on your own and made this a framework of the program. However, while other organizations on campus take on team-based learning, this project proves vital in helping QUEST remain at the forefront of innovation and provide students with a program that prepares them for the real-world.

Srivatsan said that the fact that this project was very general, data intensive, and so open ended appealed to him and Andrew the most. The fact that answering the question “What is QUEST?” is so difficult, the two realized that answering “What’s Next For QUEST?” would be that much more interesting and fun to answer.

“I don’t think this project will ever be done,” says Srivatsan. “I hope that every couple of years students get involved in the discussion about the future of QUEST.”

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