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Fourth annual QUEST Senior conference

By Nancy Pham
On December 5, 2010

As the fall semester is coming to a close, students in the QUEST Honors Fellows Program will present their final projects at the fourth annual QUEST Senior Conference Dec. 9.

QUEST includes students from the Smith School of Business, the Clark School of Engineering and the College of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences, according to QUEST Program Manager Melanie Lee.

Throughout the semester, about 65 seniors, with 12 teams in total, work on a consulting project with a sponsoring company, then present their findings at the conference, according to Lee.

Students work with companies like Lockheed Martin, SAIC Block & Decker and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Projects include a variety of topics, such as energy, wastewater treatment, and cyber security.

"Whatever the company pretty much presents and scopes out for the students, we allow them to act as consultants and find a solution to whatever challenge that they have," said Lee.

The conference is mandatory for all QUEST seniors, but other students are encouraged to attend.

"It's especially important, I think, for students who are new to the program so that they get to see what it is that we're doing as seniors in the program and how much they'll grow from where they are right now," Lee said. "It's also very important for the juniors in the program to see exactly what they'll be doing the coming school year."

"It's a great opportunity for students who are looking for co-op opportunities, who are looking for summer internships, and even for our seniors who are looking for full-time opportunities," added Lee.

QUEST Student Organization Co-President Ryan Ganser has been working for a small architectural engineering firm, trying to improve their internal project management, and is excited to showcase his group's efforts.

"The QUEST Senior Conference is the last thing that you really basically do for the QUEST Program," Ganser said. "So lots of time and effort go into it, so we're very excited to…be able to present our ideas and everything that we've worked so hard all of the semester and really, all the skills that we've built up over the past two years through this program."

The conference will be held in the Samuel Riggs Alumni Center Dec. 9 from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

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