We’re Thankful for QUEST!


It’s the time of year to give thanks, and I am so grateful to be part of such a great program on campus (objectively, the best)! QUEST has come to be my family away from my own in every sense of the word. I am thankful for…

…the Quality Guild for ensuring that we can make the most of our time in the program by spending infinite amounts of time designing our courses and curriculum.

…the endless guidance from our amazing professors and faculty as well as the alumni. I’ve lost count of how many QUEST alumni have been willing to sit on the phone with me for boundless amounts of time and advise me, honestly keeping me from going down the rabbit hole of panic.

…the insights that have ultimately helped me redefine my career choices and allowed me to better understand my interests and aspirations.

…all of the friends I have gotten to make, friendships that I know will long outlive our time at UMD.

…learning how to think in ways that go beyond my major and that give me the ability to connect and work effectively with anyone.

…the alumni network for supporting us. Whether it be coming back to help us on various projects, working with us at many QUEST events, or even advocating for us for internships, all of your help shows how tightly knit QUEST is, and I cannot wait to support future cohorts the way you do for us.

…the QUEST student organizations that work so hard to grow QUEST beyond being just an academic program and helping us develop our connections socially amongst fellow QUESTees and with companies in preparation for successful careers.

…having no divide between faculty and students like in other programs; I know I can come with anxiety over a course or excitement over an internship and that QUEST can support me through it all.

…all the opportunities that I never would have had the chance to take part in or even hear about that have also opened up so many doors.

…everything and all things QUEST!

Here are just a few other QUEST students’ remarks that we wanted to share with you:

“QUEST has become and will always be a cornerstone in my life. It has opened up so many doors and opportunities, and I am forever grateful. Thank you Jess, Dr. Bailey, and Dr. Armstrong for being some of the brightest, most ambitious, and passionate people I have ever met. With love, Doron.” Doron Tadmor (Q29)

“I am grateful for the people in the QUEST community! Everyone in this program is passionate which is so inspiring! I can always count on the QUEST community to help guide me and love watching it grow!” Shivani Krishnamurthy (Q30)

“I am extremely grateful for meeting amazing people in the program! Whether they are in my major or not, I have built strong, long-lasting relationships that have elevated my experience in QUEST!” Noah Vernick (Q28)

“QUEST has introduced me to a plethora of astounding people, both student and faculty, that have both impressed me beyond belief and inspired me to work on amazing projects.” Jack Sturtevant (Q29)

“I am grateful that QUEST opened the door to so many opportunities to learn outside of my engineering curriculum and for all of the amazing people that I’ve met through it.” Tamara Lee (Q30)

“I’m grateful for the immense amount of time that the guild puts into QUEST that makes it such a great program. I’m also very thankful for the friends I’ve made along the way!” Michael Vetter (Q28)

“I love QUEST because the program gives me a space to be creative in a productive space where I am given the tools within systems design, product and process improvement and teamwork to see my ideas come to fruition” Hadas Elazar-Mittelman (Q30)

“QUEST has become like a family to me. Like I could go on a 15-hour road trip with any random three people, and we would have an amazing time.” Charles Grody (Q29)

“I’m grateful that the guild works so hard to constantly improve the program based on feedback. They teach us that this is crucial to success, and they work hard to practice what they preach.” Charlie Bond (Q27)

“QUEST has allowed me to put all of the knowledge I get from class into action and has allowed me to appreciate and understand team dynamics. QUEST has been life-changing already.” Aditi Balachandran (Q31)

“I’m most grateful for the tight-knit community in QUEST. Just being around so many kind and motivated people inspires me to do my best every day.” Akshay Guthal (Q28)

“QUEST has given me the opportunity to challenge myself in ways I didn’t know possible and push a community forward to greater achievements and horizons.” Barret Rus (Q30)

“I’m grateful for the sense of belonging that QUEST provides and cannot wait to start my journey in the spring!” Priscilla Lee (Q32)

“I’m very grateful for all the friends I’ve made through QUEST.” Jacob Wilkowsky (Q19)

“The real House of Quality is not the international diagram describing the overlap between customer desires and the firm capabilities, but the home that the Quality Guild has built within QUEST. I am so grateful for not only everything the Guild has taught me, but also the community they have built within the program!” Jacqueline Deprey (Q30)

“I’m grateful to QUEST for allowing me to meet a group of students and faculty that have helped me learn how to approach challenges- and to have fun with them! It’s so nice having a community of people who are so willing to help each other out!” Megha Reddy (Q27)

“I’m grateful for the interdisciplinary aspects of QUEST. There are so many things I wouldn’t have learned with my own major if it weren’t for QUEST.” Ankita Sahoo (Q30)

“It isn’t enough to say that QUEST was the best thing to happen to me in college. Thank you for the incredible courses, the mentorship, and the connections that have led to internships. But most importantly, thank you for the opportunity to build and create amongst a community of some of the smartest people I’ve ever known.” Sameera Polavarapu (Q27)

“I’m grateful for Dr. Bailey as he is an incredible source of wisdom, knowledge, and friendship.” Roger Mao (Q29)

“I am grateful for the QUEST community! I love being warmly welcomed into the new clubs like QUESTDev before I even began my QUEST classes!” Annabelle Baer (Q32)

“I am grateful for the passionate Quality Guild, who work tirelessly every single day to help QUEST Students succeed.” Dan Selzer (Q27)

Thank you QUEST, for playing such a huge role in my and my fellow peers’ journey at UMD! I cannot wait to see what the next year holds for the program and everyone involved. I’d like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and a joy-filled holiday season, as we approach the last stretch of the semester!


Students of QUEST

P.S. We’d like to give a special shoutout to Dr. Bailey! Thank you so much for always extending your family’s table to us each year for Thanksgiving and really cherishing the meaning of the holiday!



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