Senior Spotlight: Michelle He

By Grace Cha (Q24)

For this month’s senior spotlight, I had the wonderful opportunity to get the scoop on Q23’s Michelle He. You’ll notice her 490H team’s winning poster hanging brightly in the QUEST Lab – a poster that she helped her team design last semester for their project with Caterpillar.

Photo of Michelle He

Michelle He, Gelato Aficionado

Originally from Rockville, MD, Michelle will be graduating this May with a degree in Marketing and Information Systems. Her interests and hobbies include long-distance running, drawing and painting, losing at trivia nights, hiking, and attending dog meet-ups (even though she doesn’t own a dog). Some of her ambitious goals as a senior are to reach Yelp Elite status (Michelle: “Please like my reviews, guys!”) and to successfully complete a headstand by the end of the year.

Michelle has kept herself busy these past four years. Apart from QUEST, she also completed Smith’s Design Fellows program due to her interests in marketing and graphic design. She served as the Community Service Chair and VP of Marketing for SUSA, the Smith School’s student governing organization. She also is an active member of the professional business fraternity Phi Chi Theta and leadership society Omicron Delta Kappa. Currently, she designs various marketing materials for the Smith Undergraduate Office. Outside of the business school, Michelle works at the Eppley Recreational Center, and this past spring break, she led a community service trip in Baltimore focusing on socioeconomic equity.

The highlight of her college career was her study abroad trip to Milan, Italy for an entire semester in Spring 2016.

“Going to Italy was amazing. I took a picture of every gelato I ate abroad,” Michelle said, proudly smiling. She took a grand total of 42 pictures.

Post-graduation, Michelle will be working full-time for Deloitte Consulting as a Business Technology Analyst in the DC Metropolitan area.

“I decided to go into technology consulting because it provides the flexibility to apply different skills to a wide range of projects,” Michelle explained. “I ultimately want to pursue a career in design and technology, and I think Deloitte Consulting would be a great start to achieving that goal.”

However, Michelle isn’t quite just ready to jump into full-time employment. This upcoming summer, Michelle will be biking over 4,000 miles in a span of 70 days from Baltimore to Portland for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults. After hearing about her Alternative Break co-leader’s experience running for the same organization, Michelle was inspired to do the same.

“This trip combines many different things I’m passionate about – traveling, fitness, and my commitment to giving back. It gives me the opportunity to connect with people all over the country and learn their stories… Ultimately, I think this would be a meaningful and epic way to end my senior year.”

The bike ride begins when she and other participating cyclists dip their wheels in the Baltimore Inner Harbor. Over the span of 10 weeks, Michelle will be raising money and awareness for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, only bringing a small duffel and a sleeping bag. Staying at local YMCAs, churches, and community centers along the way, Michelle will also be donating time to cancer communities in select cities.

“I actually just got my bike last week. I’ve never owned a bike until now, but I’ve been taking cycling classes to prepare,” Michelle said. “I feel so conflicted. I’m excited for the summer to start but not excited for my final year at Maryland to end.”

And although there isn’t much time before graduation arrives, Michelle attributes a lot of her success to QUEST and its supportive community.

“I had my first internship at Booz Allen Hamilton with a QUEST alum, who is still very much involved. From there, QUEST helped secure my next internship. I know alumni all over the world who I can connect with,” Michelle said. “Actually, people in QUEST were some of the first to donate to my account for the Ulman Cancer Fund – that means a lot to me. It’s reassuring to know that the QUEST community still stays strong after graduation.”

For incoming and current QUEST students who luckily have a bit more time in their college careers, Michelle also imparts some advice.

“Hang out in the QUEST Lab between classes. Go the the QUEST-sponsored events and meet people you wouldn’t have talked to before. Bond through the joys and sorrows of a long team meeting because those are the moments you’ll remember by the end of it.”

If you are interested in supporting Michelle He on her bike ride for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, check out her fundraising page here.

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