Reflections on Selections and Recruiting

Article by Varisha Parikh (Q18)

Two years ago, I sat in my first QUEST Spring Information Session. I was an excited freshman who was so easily amazed by Dr. Bailey’s bowtie and his Testudo pants. I listened attentively to all the details about this interdisciplinary honors program. I watched a team of students present a really cool project they’d worked on. But when I left that night, what stuck with me was that each student was there because they wanted to spend time, effort, and energy promoting this program. I figured the only way I would find out why each student spoke about QUEST with so much passion was if I became a part of the program.

Two years and eight information sessions later, I am one of those students at the information sessions talking about why QUEST is so amazing. I could go on for hours about how QUEST students are so invested in the program, but just witnessing the entire recruiting and selections process is enough. QUEST is a unique organization because the program strives to teach students specific tools while also depending on students to support the program.

Each fall, the entire QUEST community rallies together for a semester and a half long journey towards finding the next generation of QUEST students. The effort begins with ambassador meetings and brainstorming sessions about how to effectively market our program and recruit the brightest freshmen. These meetings lead to successful information sessions in which the current QUEST members get a glimpse of the potential pool of applicants. The ever-increasing number of applications is pure evidence of these excellent recruiting methods. The QUEST Selections interviews are the culmination of all recruiting efforts. These two days bring together QUEST faculty, alumni, and students in their classy business casual to interact with fresh faces and determine if they have QUEST quality. Witnessing the structured interviews, involvement of all interviewers and the fun behavioral interview is like nothing anyone can describe.

Kevin Schoonover (Q11) and Max Cooper (Q19) prepare to interview candidates for Cohort 20

Recruiting and selections are only a fraction of what makes our program so amazing. The other events, activities, and facets of QUEST support the recruiting effort by demonstrating our uniqueness, strength, and motivation. After heading the recruiting effort this semester, I feel so much more connected to our program and everything we stand for. I finally understand why each student speaks of QUEST with so much reverence and passion. This past semester and a half journey has been the most fun and challenging experience. I thank the rest of the recruiting team and the QUEST staff for all of their ideas, efforts, and encouragement, and I thank the entire QUEST community for being such a great support system. As I look forward to senior year and beyond, I know I may or may not encounter QUEST quality people where I end up, but this experience and this family will always remain with me. I will always be that girl who can’t stop talking about QUEST.

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