Kylie King: A Happy Farewell

By: Chineme Obiefune (Q25)

Kylie King, QUEST’s Program Director, recently announced that she will be leaving QUEST after seven years and taking on a faculty position at Champlain College in Vermont. As Kylie embarks on the next leg of her journey, we wanted to take the time to talk with her and reflect on her experience at Maryland and her work with the QUEST program. I recently had the privilege of interviewing her and getting a better understanding of where her mind is at prior to the big move. The following is a transcript of the discussion that ensued:

Kylie King (right) was honored at QSO’s End of the Year BBQ on May 7th

If you had 3 words to describe how you feel in this moment, what would they be?

Excited, Hopeful, Heavyhearted

Looking back on your time here, what are you most proud of?

I love the relationships that I’ve formed with people and the ones that I’ve helped people form with each other.

I’ve had the opportunity to teach and advise cohorts 18 through 28, and it’s wonderful meeting them as students and getting to know them better as they move on as alumni. Seeing where their careers go and what different ventures they move on to is a very rewarding experience. I’m actually still in touch with many alumni, and I hope to keep those connections open forever.

I also love that I’ve been able to help students and alumni meet each other. I believe it’s important for all members of the community to get an understanding of who is in the program and how they can leverage their connections and knowledge.

Is there anything that you would have done differently?

Looking back, when we moved into this new space, I think we could have thought a bit more about the design of the QUEST lab and the new QUEST classroom. There are so many different tweaks and changes that are just coming to mind now, and it’s a shame they couldn’t have been implemented the first time around.

Where are you headed to next?

I am going to be an Assistant Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship at Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont. It’s a small private school, and I’m looking forward to it since I don’t have much experience working within small institutions. Having said that, I think QUEST has prepared me well for that since it’s a very tight knit program in its own right.

I’m also excited for the opportunity to have a role as a faculty member as opposed to a staff member. I plan on continuing my research and shifting it to focus on how teams work in entrepreneurial settings. I have plans to continue partnering with people at the University of Maryland, so I’m excited to continue that connection!

What do you think you’ll take with you from your time in QUEST?

I’ve been around some really great teachers in the QUEST program. I remember when I was a Grad Assistant and I commented on Dr. Bailey’s classroom being like a magic show. It was as if the students were on the edges of their seats waiting to see what would come next! All the instructors in the program have been great role models and have taught me the value of relationships. I hope to build a community of learners in my own classroom at Champlain where discussions can flow and students can feel open to asking questions.

What words do you have for people taking 190H, 390H, and 490H?

For those in 190H, say yes to as many opportunities that you can in the QUEST program. The bulk of the academic content is already under your belt so don’t forget to apply that content in future classes. I encourage you to go to social events and say yes to meeting alumni or going to the conference. Try to put yourself out there as much as possible to maximize all that QUEST has to offer.

For those in 390H, you have a gap next semester so I encourage you all to stay invested in QUEST. At the end of the day, it’s not just about the classes that you take. When I talk to alumni, what really sticks with them are the opportunities that they took outside the classroom. Try to get involved with things and get to know people. If you think the first 2 years went by fast, just wait until the next two disappear!

For those in 490H, I hope that you continue to work hard. You’ve all worked hard in 490H and I hope you recognize that hard work is valuable in and of itself. You should want to do your very best at all times, but don’t do it just to impress people and get a good job. Do it so that you can feel good about the work that you’ve done! I hope you learn to appreciate the value of working hard for the sake of working hard, not just for what comes next.

What advice would you have to people considering making a big move in their career?

The first piece of advice is to believe in yourself. If you think a job is out of your reach, then apply yourself and put yourself out there. The worst thing that could happen is that you update your resume, build a bigger network, and put yourself in a better position for the next job. Having said that, make sure to take risks as your risk tolerance will allow!

The second piece of advice is to not be paralyzed by looking for the best possible option. Don’t be afraid to make a decision because you’re not sure if it’s the best decision. If making a move is better than staying where you are right now then you shouldn’t be afraid to make that move!

Thanks Kylie for all you’ve done for QUEST!

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