QAD Career Education for High Schoolers

We recently hosted a group of students from the Santa Barbara High School Computer Science (SBHS CS) Academy at our corporate headquarters for a day of career education. Our leaders have a passion for education. Giving back to the community in order to advance students in technology is part of our culture here at QAD.

Career Education at QAD

The day started with a tour of our facility that houses QAD’s finance, legal, marketing, R&D and IT teams. Following the tour R&D Directors MaryAnn Guthrie and Thomas Blumer, provided a presentation to the students on QAD’s roots, our current focus on Cloud ERP and where we are headed in the future. The students also viewed a video on why employees love working at QAD. The students were very curious and asked many excellent questions ranging from where our cloud servers are located to what computer programming jobs we see being valuable in the future.

QADer for a Day

In order to give the students a hands-on experience of working at QAD, each of them were paired with mentors in R&D, IT and Marketing. Students experienced a “day in the life of a QADer” which included the roles of software developer, quality analyst, IT manager and marketing specialist. Within those roles the students did QA testing of our product on various devices, sat in on a marketing teleconference with the global team and worked with software engineers on the software and tools they use on a regular basis. In order to round out their day, we all enjoyed lunch in the corporate bistro overlooking the ocean before they headed back to school to hit the books.

From High School to Graduate Development

It was quite inspiring to see these young minds interested in software and thinking about their future careers. What I found very interesting was that in getting feedback from the students, they wanted to get even more detailed looks at the software to better understand the code base and to speak to more executives. If only there were more hours in the day! If we’re lucky, it would be great to see them return for our Fast Track Graduate Development Program after they get their college degrees.

Ellen Borden
Ellen has been with QAD for over 15 years and is a Software Engineering Applications Manager in R&D. She’s also a mentor in the Fast Track Graduate Development Program, a member of the Education Outreach Team and the Event Planning Committee. Outside of work, she enjoys spending quality time with her daughters: one teenager and one who thinks she's a teenager. She’s a Girl Scout leader, likes doing small DIY projects, reads and watches American Ninja Warrior when she can find the time.


  1. QAD looks like a great place to work with its flexibility in being able to work from anywhere and the drive and passion the students had while working there. I feel enterprise systems will become increasingly important in the business world in coming years and it seems like a great place to work.