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Sunday, April 11, 2021

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2021 Q-Camp eligiblity expanded, some non-business students allowed

<p>The rotunda in the Robin's School of Business</p>

The rotunda in the Robin's School of Business

Q-Camp, hosted annually by the E. Claiborne Robins School of Business, had two major changes this year. First, it was an entirely virtual event. Second, more students were eligible to attend than ever before. 

This is the 13th time the University of Richmond has hosted Q-Camp, which was held Jan. 29-30 this year, according to the event website. The purpose of Q-Camp, named after UR alumnus Paul Queally, is to introduce undergraduate students to practical, real-world exercises in professional and career skills, according to the website. 

Historically, the weekend-long event had only been open to business school majors and business administration minors. But this year, the pool of eligible students was expanded to include entrepreneurship minors, School of Arts and Sciences economics majors and mathematical economics majors. The latter two majors are outside the business school.

“The world isn’t just business school,” said Shelley Burns, director of career programs in business. “Companies aren’t just recruiting business students; they want all majors. We can’t meet student demand within our own business school but we really felt strongly that math/econ, A&S econ, since they take some classes within the business school and have business school faculty advising them that they should be included.” 

Despite the loosened eligibility requirements, the student capacity for Q-Camp stayed the same, Burns said. 

“Usually when we launch registration we cap it at 200 students,” Burns said. “Our goal is always 150 attendees, and I think this year we offered 155 students a spot, so we’ve had about the same number of students this year compared to other years.” 

Although the new Q-Camp eligibility rules allow a wider variety of students to reap its benefits, it also makes the already competitive registration process even more difficult for students.

“Q-Camp has always been competitive,” Burns said. “We launched registration at noon and by 12:15 we already had 114 people registered. It’s always been very, very competitive.

“Every year we get students who miss the registration deadline and they want to still come. Unfortunately, we are strict with deadlines. Professionalism is really what we preach.”

Q-Camp is open only to sophomore students who meet the major or minor requirements, with a few exceptions. This means older students who were not eligible their sophomore year but are eligible under the new guidelines were still not given the opportunity to attend. 

“I applied to Q-Camp during my sophomore year in hopes of learning more about the interviewing and internship processes,” said Simone Diaz, a senior majoring in mathematical economics.

Diaz had been under the impression she was eligible to attend, she said, and had even paid the $50 deposit to hold her spot. Shortly after she had paid the deposit, she received an email stating she could not attend because of her major, she said. 

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“I am glad they changed the major and minor restrictions so more students are able to benefit from Q-Camp,” Diaz said. 

Students who do attend the business boot camp get to do mock interviews, networking events and workshops specific to their interests and skills, Burns said. This year, Q-Camp even included sessions about how to present yourself well virtually, she said. 

“We had over 140 volunteers representing over 56 companies for the one-on-one mock interviews this year," Burns said. “We matched students one-on-one based on their interests and we also did one-on-one speed networking virtually. We had more alumni, companies and volunteers than we’ve ever had because of the virtual platform this year.”

Because this was the first year some majors were included, the event was not quite tailored to fit the new major needs yet. 

"Since it was the first time econ majors were able to attend, there weren't any people in the economics field who could speak to us econ majors about their experiences or tips," said Kylene Robles, a sophomore mathematical economics major who attended Q-Camp this year.

"For example, there was a panel with people in finance, accounting, marketing, international business, and entrepreneurship, but none in economics," Robles said. "But regardless, I would still recommend [Q-Camp] to econ majors because a lot of other events were super helpful."

Burns said the event had received better student feedback this year than in any year past.

“100% of students who returned the [feedback] survey would recommend Q-Camp, 98% felt like they gained good skills for networking, and 97% felt like they could talk about their strengths and leverage them,” Burns said. 

Robles further echoed Burns’s sentiment that the event was a success.  

“Q-Camp was a new experience for me that ended up being more helpful than I could have imagined,” she said. “I had never been exposed to networking or interviews, so the mock interview and the ten-minute speed rounds gave me an idea on how to proceed with those things when I start the internship and job process.” 

Contact features writer Alex Maloney at alexandra.maloney@richmond.edu.

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