Soon-to-be Alumni Feature: Julia Lomakina and Rohan Bajaj

As the semester approaches the stage when students are completing projects and beginning to start studying for finals, for many, it’s a time when they are thinking about the soon-approaching winter break. While some people will be using this as a time to rest up for the upcoming spring semester, some students will be celebrating an important milestone: graduation.

Recently, I was able to catch up with two Q26 students/soon-to-be-alumni, Julia Lomakina and Rohan Bajaj. Both students are graduating a semester early compared to their peers and also have exciting plans in store for after they graduate next month.


Rohan Bajaj (Q26)

Julia Lomakina (Q26)











What’s something that you cherish from your time at UMD?


I cherish all of the wonderful humans I have met during my time at UMD. From rampaging around College Park bars with friends to pulling all nighters for projects, I’ve loved every moment of it. This school also gives you incredible opportunities whether educational, career, or social. I️ am so happy I️ decided to come to UMD – no regrets!


I cherish the people I met here. Fellow students, faculty, and friends have all had a great influence on my interests and goals. I have gotten the opportunity to teach, experiment majors, and work professionally all because of the people that surrounded me.


Favorite QUEST memory?


1) Getting run over at QUEST camp within the first 30 minutes during an ice breaker resulting in a nice head gash. Haha!

2) I got to ride around in a tractor and meet the Cataraptasaurus during a client visit to a Caterpillar Dealer.

3) A few QUESTees went to play laser tag and my greatest mistake was wearing a grey shirt because that was the most intense workout I had all semester.


My favorite QUEST memory was just one month ago, when we went to our BMGT490H client Caterpillar’s Equipment Sale and Expo at their Alban CAT dealership. From an academic perspective, it was great to personally communicate with clients and observe the business opportunity real-time. From a fun perspective, we were treated to award-winning Chaps Pit Beef, free ice cream, and, best of all, got to drive tractors. It was a blast.


What are you plans after graduation?


First, I will be traveling after graduation. I will spend a few weeks in Texas and Florida around the holidays. Then, I will travel to India and backpack around Southeast Asia for a few months. After scampering around the world, I am buying a few rain jackets and will work at Microsoft as a Program Manager in Seattle, Washington.


I plan to take a long break and start working at least past June. My plans are very much in the air, but I will try to volunteer. I am thinking of volunteering as a part of Habitat for Humanity or the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster for the many recent natural disasters. If that falls through, I plan on travelling as much as I can.


Any other parting words you want to give to your peers?


Things I wish I told myself as a freshman: First, do random stuff on campus and around the area. Sounds interesting? Go. Don’t have a friend to go with? Still go. People are friendlier than you think. Second, use all of your resources/network (like the QUEST directory). Don’t be afraid to contact random people and ask them for advice. Third, exams are easier when you pay attention in class.

To the QUEST Community: I am extremely lucky to have you guys. Thank you to the Quality Guild who make it all happen and the students who make the program what it is. I learned and laughed so much with all of you. You are all so exceptional and I am proud to be a part of QUEST. I thank you for your part in my journey.

Final Farewell: I genuinely hope our paths cross again. Keep in touch!


People often get stuck and fixated on wanting and “achieving” more. Don’t try to say yes to everything, but instead say yes to things that make sense for you. Take a step back, put things in perspective, and live your best life!


Congratulations to all of our seniors graduating this December:

  • Rohan Bajaj (Q26)
  • Angelina Bingei (Q25)
  • Pete Dziki (Q25)
  • Eric Huang (Q23)
  • Julia Lomakina (Q26)
  • Max Samuels (Q26)
  • Janae Savoy (Q23)
  • Derien Scott (Q24)
  • Gabe Vostal (Q24)

On behalf of the QUEST student and faculty community, we’ll all genuinely miss your presence on campus; we hope that you’ll be able to visit sometime soon, and wish you the best of luck with your careers and post-UMD life!

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