Why Ground Zero Performance Cafe Is the Best Spot on Campus

Samantha Kaplan-2015 Uncategorized 1 Comment

So last week, everyone blogged about their favorite study spots on campus.  Well, I want to up the ante, and talk about my favorite spot on campus.  That spot is Ground Zero Performance Cafe, which is a study spot, a hangout spot, a concert venue, and a coffeehouse.  In fact, I’m going there tonight to meet with my “Big” and …

Have You Heard of LINKS?

Samantha Kaplan-2015 Uncategorized, Why USC Leave a Comment

Making the decision about where you want to go to college is hard.  There are so many options – big schools, small schools, West Coast schools, East Coast schools, Universities, Tech schools… So how will you decide?  Some of you may have seen my tweets about Viterbi LINKS, but do you know what that means?

What Mechanical Engineering Is To Me

Samantha Kaplan-2015 Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Most high school students, and most of the world’s population, really have no idea what it is Engineers do.  Some Engineers don’t even know what Engineers do.  As a Junior in Mechanical Engineering, I’m still trying to figure it out – and honestly, I’m okay with that.  I think Engineering is nearly impossible to describe; the things a person can …

My Plans for Winter Break: AWB India!

Samantha Kaplan-2015 Viterbi Life 1 Comment

This winter break, I am very excited to say that I will be going to India with the Alternative Winter Break (AWB) program through the USC Volunteer Center.  Last year, I was fortunate to go on the AWB program to Thailand.  It was an incredible trip with three main components: service, travel, and forming connections with other USC students.  I …

My Favorite Class(es) – for AME and for Film!

Samantha Kaplan-2015 Viterbi Class

One of the reasons I was drawn to USC in the first place was that Viterbi advertised an “Engineering +” initiative, and told me I would be able to pick up a major or minor outside of Engineering.  I am very lucky to be both a Mechanical Engineering Major, and a Cinematic Arts Minor.  When I thought about what my …

My Top 5 Favorite LA Restaurants

Samantha Kaplan-2015 Best of LA, Food Leave a Comment

I’m very lucky to go to an amazing school in an amazing city.  What makes my experience so amazing?  Is it the research I’ve done?  The people I’ve met?  The classes I’ve taken?  Sure, those things are great, but let’s be real: it’s all about the food. So here it is: my list of my top 5 favorite eateries in …

Delta Kappa Alpha Fall Rush ’13

Samantha Kaplan-2015 Viterbi Life Leave a Comment

One of my favorite activities at USC is the Professional Cinema Fraternity of which I am a part, Delta Kappa Alpha (DKA).  DKA focuses on the professional aspects of cinema while also creating lasting bonds with other students who share a common interest in film.  For me, DKA has become a way to become more involved in cinema, outside of …

Happy to Be Back!

Samantha Kaplan-2015 Viterbi Life Leave a Comment

I can’t believe it’s already the third week of school.  It feels like I never left USC, but it also strangely feels like I just got here.  So far, everything is going really well.  I’m enjoying my classes, I’ve had some awesome opportunities to explore LA, and I’m getting more involved in the organizations I’ve chosen to be a part …

More of My Summer Adventures!

Samantha Kaplan-2015 Viterbi Summer Leave a Comment

I cannot believe it’s already halfway through July.  The summer is moving so fast, which is sad because it means my time at Disney is almost done but good because it means I’ll be at SC soon! Since my last update, I’ve gotten to do a lot of really exciting things.  At work, I’ve been able to go on a …

My Summer at Disney!

Samantha Kaplan-2015 Viterbi Summer Leave a Comment

I cannot believe it’s already been 5 weeks since I left SC!  I am missing it terribly, of course, but so far summer is fantastic.  I’m spending my days interning at the Happiest Place on Earth, Disney World! Last year, I interned in the Environmental Engineering Department, which I loved.  I worked mostly on data collection and data analysis to …

My Summer Plans: Interning at Walt Disney World

Samantha Kaplan-2015 Viterbi Summer 1 Comment

This summer, I am very lucky to be returning to Walt Disney World for a second summer! Last year, I worked in the Environmental Engineering Department, doing data collection and analysis regarding the ways to make Disney’s Parks and Resorts more energy efficient.  This year, I will be working in the Mechanical Engineering Department.  Since I am a Mechanical Engineering …

My Awesome Weekend: A Recap

Samantha Kaplan-2015 Best of LA, Viterbi Life Leave a Comment

This weekend started early for me, since my Writ130 professor cancelled class on Friday!  This means I got to spend my morning talking to prospective students at a Preview event.  After that, I got to come back to my house and take a nap (which was magical). Friday night was the Gala for the School of Cinematic Arts (SCA), which …

Advice to Freshmen: Keep an Open Mind

Samantha Kaplan-2015 Viterbi Life Leave a Comment

When people come into college, they have different attitudes towards their experiences.  Some people come in sure of what they want to study and get involved in, while others have no idea of what they want to do.  When I started school as a Freshman, I had a clear plan.  I knew I wanted to be a Mechanical Engineer, I …

A Very LA Weekend

Samantha Kaplan-2015 Best of LA Leave a Comment

This weekend, I had the awesome opportunity to do some Los Angeles exploration!  My exploration started on Friday night with a trip to In-N-Out Burger, followed by a trip to West Hollywood for Millions of Milkshakes!  It was the most delicious evening I’ve had in a while. After the delicious meal and dessert, I went over to the LACMA (Los …

My Spring Break with Mom

Samantha Kaplan-2015 Uncategorized Leave a Comment

I usually hate taking breaks from school.  I love USC and Los Angeles so much that I very rarely want to leave.  However, this Spring Break, I looked forward to Spring Break because my mom and I went on a cruise!  The two of us had never traveled alone together, so I was really excited. The cruise started on the …

Why I Love Being a Girl at Viterbi

Samantha Kaplan-2015 Women In Engineering Leave a Comment

Growing up with a dad who is a Mechanical Engineer, I always looked at the work he did and thought it was very interesting.  When I got to high school, I realized I loved math and science, and I wanted to study those subjects further in high school.  However, I also wanted to be creative.  To me, Engineering is a …

USC in a Word: Inspiring

Samantha Kaplan-2015 Why USC Leave a Comment

Today, a prospective student asked me to describe USC in a word.  After taking a minute to think (it’s hard to describe something so amazing and multi-faceted in just one word), the word I landed on was “inspiring”. In this blog, I’ll try to explain why. When I was deciding between colleges, I wanted a top notch engineering education. What …

A Trip to the USC/UCLA Basketball Game

Samantha Kaplan-2015 Trojan Spirit, Viterbi Life Leave a Comment

This past Sunday, I took a break from studying to take my grandpa to the USC/UCLA Basketball game at the Galen Center!  Located just across from campus, the Galen Center is a really convenient location for students, and it makes all of the Basketball games really accessible.  Plus, tickets for students are free! Because I am seriously obsessed with Trojan …

My (Awesome) Freshman Dorm: Birnkrant

Samantha Kaplan-2015 Uncategorized Leave a Comment

My Freshman Year, I lived in Birnkrant on Floor 5 – (BKV Love!).  I had one roommate, Sarah, and I had about 40 floormates and one RA.  I lived at the very end of the hall in a traditional dorm room with two beds, two desks, two closets, and two dressers. Birnkrant was an amazing housing experience – everyone in …