My favorite involvement at USC has by far been LavaLab. LavaLab is a entrepreneurial organization on campus that puts together teams made up of engineers, designers, and business students that create a product over the course of a semester. My first semester in LavaLab was Spring 2016, where I created a product called MentorMe, which was a way to link college students to professionals in industry to get advice and connections. I really enjoy that it forces engineering students to work with students of different majors because very rarely in the real world do engineers just work with other engineers. It also has allowed me to learn a lot about design and business, which I might not necessarily learn through my classes. The curriculum starts at ideation and goes through everything from marketing to monetization, and ends in a huge event called Demo Night, where each team pitches their idea to the student body and industry professionals.
In addition to the weekly curriculum, there are also Thursday night fireside chats with Los Angeles innovators. Past speakers have been Elon Musk and Arielle Zuckerberg, and I think the speaker series is one of the most educational parts of the organization.
I enjoyed my semester so much that last Fall I applied to be on executive board and stepped up as Director of Community. This is now my 2nd semester on eboard and I’m really looking forward to what this new cohort will bring. I am in charge of making sure that teams work well together, and that LavaLab overall has a community standard that keeps past members involved and interested in the club. I’ll keep you guys updated to how this semester progresses!Meet Ally