Students dropped their backpacks and put on their blazers for the ninth annual Q-camp the last week of January.

Nearly 300 community members, including faculty, staff, volunteers, and students spent the weekend of January 28 at the Westin Richmond for two days of networking and professional development. 

“The main takeaway for students from Q-camp is that a successful business career not only depends on a good theoretical education from the classroom, but also requires many soft skills that are developed over time,” said Q Ambassador Wanli Zhang, ‘17. 

From the moment they pick up their nametags on Friday, through when they head back to campus Saturday afternoon, students are put under a professional microscope, learning networking tactics and immediately testing them out with faculty, staff, and alumni volunteers.

“The number one employer desired skill of college graduates is career readiness and professionalism,” said Shelley Burns, director of the Center for Professional Skills and Development at the Robins School of Business. “The opportunity for sophomore business students to learn what networking is and how to be successful at it is a critical skill that needs time to develop. Q-camp introduces students to these important topics before they actually need them.” 

Friday evening, students get the chance to practice their etiquette in a conference style dinner, surrounded by professionals to help them along the way. Then Saturday, after participating in communication workshops, they join together for a networking reception to practice their new skills.

“From guest lists to panelists, our volunteers and speakers include alumni, corporate partners, faculty, parents, and Q-camp alumni,” Burns said. “The collective support from key staff across campus, such as those from the Office of Alumni and Career Services, make all of the difference.”

“I learned so much from Q-camp about how to network,” said Q-camp alumna and ambassador Kayla Truong, ’18. “After Q-camp, I set goals for myself to always continually follow up with my connections and I was extremely motivated to make myself a better person and continue developing all the skills that Q-camp taught me were important to succeed in the business world.” 

Speakers included Dave Luca, ’97, of Indeed.com, Paul Queally, B’86, of Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe, Lauren Shockey, '08, G'12, of UR’s Office of Alumni and Career Services, Patti Carey of Workforce Strategies, LLC, Charles Collie, G'89, of Paraclete Answers, and Christina McClung of Capital One.

Burns says this impressive list of speakers, along with the volunteers and alumni, make Q-camp a must-attend event for sophomore business students.

“Q-camp has grown in each of the last eight years and our ninth was no exception.  Given historic student demand to attend, we not only increased our student invitation list, but we closed record registration on the first day,” Burns said. “In addition to having the largest number of students attend this year, Q-camp attendees enjoyed meeting record numbers of alumni, employers, and senior Q-camp alumni.”

The next step for business students is Q2, where they prepare for a summer internship after their junior year. Then, seniors participate in Q3, preparing for interviews and helping them land a job before graduation.

For more information about the Q process, visit our website. Q2 registration is now open.