QUEST welcomes the opportunity to partner with organizations interested in contributing to student learning and gaining access to talented undergraduate students in business, engineering, and science. Our corporate partners provide experiential learning opportunities for QUEST students through project sponsorship in both our capstone course and our quantitative analysis course.
Benefits for Your Company:
- Fresh eyes looking at your company's processes
- Valuable recommendations in terms of improved efficiency and reduced costs
- Opportunity to identify top talent at the University of Maryland
Corporate partners set up an initial project brainstorming meeting (in person or via phone/teleconference) with QUEST staff and scoping students.
0–2 MONTHS OUT
Partners work with QUEST staff to finalize the project scope and parameters and prepare data.
Partners attend a kickoff meeting on campus with student teams.
Partners meet regularly with student teams and coordinate site visits and stakeholder interviews.
END OF SEMESTER
Partners attend the final project presentation on campus and student teams present on-site as well.
Partners complete a post-project call with QUEST staff and post-project survey 6 months later.
TOTAL TIME COMMITMENT
~5 hours of prep before the semester (project scoping and information gathering)
~1-2 hours per week during the semester (meetings with students and supporting student data gathering)
Types of Projects
Capstone Projects, $10,000
Multidisciplinary teams work with stakeholders and project champions to enhance efficiency and generate revenue by:
- Providing approximately 600 hours of consulting services.
- Engaging in multiple site visits and data collection and analysis.
- Developing actionable and innovative recommendations to an identified organizational challenge.
In the spring of junior year or fall of senior year, QUEST student teams complete capstone projects using the problem-solving skills they’ve learned throughout the program. Project champions from corporate sponsors work with teams during the 13 weeks of the semester and receive innovative recommendations to an identified organizational challenge. Student teams understand the opportunity, research the industry and relevant technologies, develop and evaluate possible solutions, and make final recommendations. Projects and sponsors receive recognition at the QUEST conference which takes place at the end of each semester. Student teams also give a final presentation and report on-site to their champions and other project stakeholders.
“It’s so powerful to have the students come in as an outside party and ask, ‘Why are you doing it this way?’ It really makes us stop and think if our process is really what’s right for the customer. We need that perspective to make sure we stay on the right task and not just any task.”
— Andrew Hong, Spring 2020 Capstone Project Sponsor, ST Engineering - Middle River Aerostructure Systems
Recent Capstone Project Sponsors
Data Projects, $5,000
QUEST multidisciplinary teams develop meaningful insights from real-world data by:
- Providing approximately 400 hours of consulting services.
- Evaluating data to ensure data quality through proper ingestion and synthesis.
- Analyzing data into meaningful insights through the use of models, classification, clustering, and prediction.
The data course within QUEST teaches students how to develop insights from data that is generated by real-world companies. Accordingly, students are expected to address data quality issues that span from data ingestion, cleansing, and wrangling before they start analyzing the data. And while data analysis is important, it is not the main goal of the class.
Success is achieved when the students can learn about data science in the real world and companies can derive value from the engagement. The faculty for the course ensures that students are learning the course material through lectures, case studies, and guest speakers. Sometimes teams need to learn an area of data science specifically for their team’s project. In this case, the faculty will work with the student teams or find subject matter experts to help mentor the student teams. As the semester progresses, corporate partners often glean insights from students examining the data with a fresh set of eyes. Often, students will ask questions about the data collection and dissemination processes within companies that help companies improve their efforts to understand and leverage their data in a timely way. At the end of the semester, student teams will share their final deliverable with the clients with actionable recommendations for the client.
“The team worked on a project that identified over $1 million in potential savings for Oscar Health by focusing on factors that impact customer retention. After watching the final presentation, a Director that I work with who has a son in college remarked, ‘I should have sent my son to Maryland.’”
— Nate Elencweig, Spring 2020 Data Project Sponsor, Oscar Health