Last weekend, 144 students attended Q-Camp, an annual business bootcamp that University of Richmond holds at the local Westin hotel.
Named after its founder, Paul B. Queally, '86, the seminars aim to provide students with an opportunity to learn and hone practical business skills, such as proper etiquette and interviewing strategies.
Along with 46 alumni, the seminar also featured 34 faculty volunteers, with 49 companies represented, according to Shelley Burns, the organizer of the event and director of career programs in business.
Kendall Stevenson, a sophomore and finance major, said she was thrilled by the opportunity and thought it was one of the most beneficial things she's been to at the business school so far. She said part of the reason it was so helpful was that alumni were present.
Stevenson said the business professionals had worked closely with students to teach them skills such as interviewing techniques, elevator speeches and etiquette. The alumni also spoke about their lives and what jobs were available in certain fields, which Stevenson said she found particularly useful.
Stevenson said one strategy that stuck out in her mind was called "speed-reading people." The strategy attempts to separate interviewers into separate personality types, and then based on that information someone trying to get the job can change how they approach the interview to improve their chances of being hired.
The students at the seminar also learned proper etiquette for business, whether for a business dinner, interview or other business function.
"I thought it was a really unique opportunity, and I was glad to be a part of it," said Stevenson.
For the etiquette part of Q-Camp, the program invites upperclassmen who have attended it in the past to come during the dinner to mentor the younger students.
"Q-Camp is a great program," said Michael Marquardt, a senior and accounting major. "I was excited to come back again, this time on the other side."
Marquardt accepted a job at Deloitte in its Dallas, Texas branch last semester. He said the business school had many beneficial programs, but Q-Camp stood out in his mind as one of the best.
"I partially got my job from Q-Camp by meeting the Deloitte recruiter there," Marquardt said. The opportunity to work with professionals is one of the biggest advantages the seminar provides, he said.
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Burns said the program was originally designed for juniors, but was later shifted towards sophomores to give them a crash course in what to expect in business. She said 73 percent of graduates from the business school had internships when graduating, but among those, the students who went to Q-Camp had a higher instance of paid internships.
There is a huge demand for the program, and because of the long waitlist and the way that it's geared toward sophomores, not everyone gets the chance to go.
To try to alleviate this problem, the business school is also adding Q2 and Q3, short for Q-Camp 2 and 3 respectively. Q2 will be Saturday, Feb. 22 and is meant to teach juniors internship strategies, while Q3 aims to teach seniors how to evaluate internship opportunities, or how to get one. It will debut sometime in September.
"Focused Fridays" is another supplementary program from March 21 to April 11, which will connect students with employers in order to teach them the most common mistakes and how to avoid them.
Contact reporter Richard Arnett at firstname.lastname@example.org
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