Q29 Takes the QUEST Conference
On May 9, 2019, Cohort 29 took the stage to present their achievements in 490H, demonstrating mastery of all the skills and talents they have developed during their time in QUEST. The concepts and ideas that are introduced in 190H and expanded upon through each QUEST course really shine through in just viewing each team’s incredible posters.
The evening began with tasteful hors d’oeuvres and mingling as guests were invited to walk around to each team’s poster and get a taste for each project. From there, presentations began simultaneously in two rooms, a fifteen minute showcase of the novel recommendations developed by each team. From team RLA Consulting’s work with Lockheed Martin on “Standardizing the Engineering Rate Setting Process” to team Hello Quest’s work with HelloFresh on “Leveraging Data to Improve Event Selection Strategy,” a huge variety of industries benefitted from the 490H teams’ work this semester.
Our very own editor, Celine Moarkech, worked with Middle River Aircraft Systems for her team’s 490H project and had a lot to say about the experience. “Working with our client throughout the semester was very rewarding! The opportunity to make a real world impact by preventing injuries from happening is extremely exciting especially because we got to see our recommendations through and helped our client plan an implementation strategy.”
There were some special guests at this year’s QUEST Conference. Over the last school year, Cohorts 30 and 31 had the opportunity to work with nine entrepreneurs from across Africa who are part of the YALI Fellows program funded by USADF. A team was paired with each entrepreneur in order to consult and develop recommendations for their startup endeavors, with Q31 teams currently enrolled in 390H building on the work of Q30 teams who took 390H in the fall. The clients ranged from Borena Energy, a solar energy initiative based in South Africa bringing electricity to a village, to Mother’s Delivery Kits, which provides birthing kits to mothers across Nigeria, to Wutiko, a website dedicated to connecting people to opportunities in Senegal. After spending five weeks communicating overseas with the clients, the teams had the unique opportunity to deliver their final recommendations to their clients in person. Currently being enrolled in 390H, I found it to be an amazingly unique experience to have worked on developing solutions in a vividly different environment than in previous projects and really expand my knowledge base in unexpected directions. The recommendations felt a lot more tangible in sitting down and speaking with our clients, some of whom had traveled upwards of 30 hours to be there. It was an incredibly rewarding experience, and the skills both Q30 and Q31 have gained from it will definitely be useful for 490H!
Overall, the QUEST Conference was incredibly successful. Congratulations once again to Cohort 29 for a job well done, and I personally look forward to taking 490H with the rest of Cohort 31 next spring!