QUESTailgate: Work Hard, Play Hard
By Jacob King
Walking back from Friday classes on September 30th, everyone could see campus beginning to change. Giant trucks full of AV equipment, tents being set up in fenced off parking lots, and an increased flow of alumni and families around Route 1. The next day was Homecoming, and everyone wanted to be here for it. Night life that evening was something special as Route 1 was packed with many families and alumni here to explore their old stomping grounds.
Waking up the next morning, it was like campus turned into a festival grounds. The minor changes yesterday were nothing compared to the inflow of people by the thousands with their red and black banners waving yellow and white flags. Putting on my own Maryland gear, I looked like a block of red and white, ready to cheer our (at the time) 3-0 team to yet another victory at the first major home game of this school year. Making my way to the QUEST tailgate was another experience as well. Walking through throngs of fans with burgers in hand, welcoming old friends and remembering long-forgotten memories. Everyone’s merriment was contagious as we walked to lot UU. Then we arrived. The black Rav4 and red tent were signs of the famed QUEST tailgate, and after our long trek, we had finally arrived.
Organized by QSO and Cohort 5 Alumnus Brian Bender, this was a tailgate to remember. Brian was grilling up a storm of hamburgers and hotdogs while his daughter, Paige, was busy beating everyone at corn hole (she is only 8, by the way). While never topping 20 people at one time, a total of at least 80 students and alumni attended throughout the day, making it a very comfortable and close-knit setting. Everyone enjoyed interacting with the Quality Guild outside of the business school as well. One of the best parts was that this was not networking at all, but simply brilliant individuals talking about their one and only favorite school and conversing like old acquaintances. There was great representation from almost all of the cohorts (shoutout to Q19 who had an especially significant showing!). Even when it was time for the tailgate to die down and for everyone to go to the game, people who had just met walked over to the game together.
Everyone at the tailgate shared a “Work Hard, Play Hard” mentality. From students who had just presented their first 190H projects to current 490H teams setting up deliverables to graduates doing fantastic things in the Big 4, Fortune 500 or wherever they may be, we all came together after a hard week’s work to have fun. I, for one, am hoping this is only a small indicator as to just how large and absolutely amazing QUEST’s 25th anniversary gala will be next fall.