Last Friday Shelley Burns, director of the Center for Professional Skills and Development, welcomed 144 sophomores to Q-Camp.

Named for Paul Queally, R’86, Q-Camp introduces sophomore business students to practical, real-world exercises in professional and career skills. The students travel off-campus to a nearby conference center to experience first-hand the social and professional interactions they will face as they enter the 21st century workforce.

“The students who participate in Q-Camp are highly proactive individuals who are investing their time and energy into preparing for their future careers. Based on my conversations with many future and past Q-Camp students, the experience continues to provide rewarding expertise that will guide their decisions for years to come,” shared Shital Thekdi, assistant professor of management at the Robins School of Business, who partnered with Deloitte to lead a breakout session on consulting.

Having attended Q-Camp as sophomores, the Q-Camp student ambassadors understand the weekend from a unique vantage point. Stephanie Hepp, ’14, explained, “Q-Camp provides an opportunity for sophomores looking at different career avenues to speak directly with industry professionals. Q-Camp allowed me to see all that was out there, but more importantly it helped me narrow my sights. It was the spring board for my entire career.” Upon graduation, Hepp will be working in investment banking and capital markets at Wells Fargo.

Colleen Tobin, ’14, added, “It has helped me get out of my comfort zone. My advice to this year’s sophomores is, ‘constantly push yourself.’ The more you push yourself, the more comfortable you’ll be in these professional interactions and situations and the more you’ll be rewarded.” Tobin has accepted an offer to be a consultant with Veris Consulting.

Dan Cosgrove, ’11, senior purchasing manager of professional services and global business incentives at Procter & Gamble Co. returned to Q-Camp this year as a speaker. “Q-Camp and the Robins School employ real-life teaching. I learned a lot during Q-Camp on top of the great education I got at the Robins School. Because of the initial insights I received into the business world, I have been able to continuously build upon my foundation through my career.”

Brenda Doan, ’16, shared her experience of Q-Camp 2014. “After last weekend, I have a renewed sense of motivation for my future. From developing an elevator pitch to learning how to speed read people, I learned so many things that will help me in my journey toward my career. I learned how to communicate effectively, how to follow-up and how to take that extra step in order to get the internship or interview I want. For that, I am truly thankful.”

Paul Queally concluded the first evening with lessons on success. Explaining the importance of understanding the people we work with as fellow human beings, he urged the audience to express empathy. He characterized empathy as the mark of a great leader. As the audience leaned in, he asked that everyone remain “intellectually curious. There is a commonality to what makes people great, so read biographies; life is about learning.”

On February 22, the Robins School will host the very first Q-Camp2, a similar program exclusively for junior business students which will refresh the skills learned at Q-Camp the previous year by participating in real-world exercises that will develop their professional skills in preparation for their summer internships and future careers.

View Q-Camp 2014 photos