QUESTees Dive into Leadership

In the “new normal” faced by students this semester, virtual communication has become more important than ever. A few QUESTees are tackling this issue through their leadership on the launch team for Dive Chat, a new group-messaging system that hit the App Store in August. I had the opportunity to speak with Aaliya Husain (Cohort 35), Jules Parra (Cohort 35), and Ishaan Kapur (Cohort 36) about their experience with Dive.

Dive Chat is a new student-run startup that leverages group chats through organized channel messaging and events. As one of ten launch teams at universities across the country, the Dive launch team at UMD has been hard at work building their team, hosting virtual social events, and developing a mentor program for freshmen. 

Aaliya started working with Dive when a recruiter reached out to her via LinkedIn this July. She resonated with Dive’s mission and culture, so she agreed to serve as UMD’s Launch Campus Manager for the summer. “Since Dive is a completely student-run startup, you get to see all aspects of the app: the development, the business side, and the tech side. Everyone is always willing to help with professional questions or random everyday questions,” Aaliya said.

After being messaged by the recruiter and learning that Aaliya had already joined, Jules joined the summer team as Assistant Campus Manager. Jules is interested in a career in technology and thought it would be a valuable experience to work on a startup’s launch team with other UMD students. Ishaan joined the launch team as a Recruiting Manager for similar reasons, saying he was excited when he “learned that it’s this cool new app and actually believed it could go somewhere.”

Since the app’s launch last month, UMD’s team has focused on engaging in the campus community. Aaliya said the team has been getting to know each other virtually. “What I love about our team is everyone is so nice, and I wouldn’t have met all of these people if it weren’t for Dive. We have fun socials too just to get to know each other.” Dive has also instituted a mentorship program for incoming freshmen with virtual social mixers. “It’s not just about the app, but community-building as well,” Aaliya said.

After organizing strategy for the internal teams over the summer, Jules is looking forward to keeping up with her network and maintaining the friendships she made through Dive. Ishaan is continuing his role with Dive’s recruiting this fall, and he feels excited to continue challenging his communication and teamwork skills. Aaliya decided to switch to a brand strategy role in order to learn more about brainstorming, design thinking, and content creation.

Working with Dive’s launch team has been an influential experience for these QUESTees to grow professionally. Aaliya reflected, “Everyone on the team is very active and their belief in the product is insane. Everyone has a deep-rooted belief that this is great, and that makes everyone want to work harder.”

Do you want to learn more about Dive Chat? Visit

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