“My name is Daniel I am a senior studying Biomedical Engineering.” I need a moment to let that sink in… This is my last fall semester as a college student. The beginning of the end.
To kick the year off, Freshmen Academy Coaches welcomed all the new freshmen engineers at the New Student Welcome, an event filled with fun and festivities including games like a rock-paper scissors tournament, limbo competition, and the Bestest Game Ever. This event never fails to inspire me with energy and enthusiasm. I’m coaching my third year of Freshman Academy students this Fall semester and it’s the largest class I’ve ever had – 35 students! We’ve already conducted two-on-ones to get to know them better and we’ve just hosted our first out of class activity – Baked Bear at the University Village. The most rewarding aspect of being a Freshman Academy Coach is watching your students grow in confidence and take on new experiences as the semester progresses. I’m excited to see what they accomplish in this next year.
During my first weekend of the semester, I represented ASBME and Spark SC at the Viterbi Presidential Council (VPC). Forty student leaders were invited to a weekend long retreat led by the Klein Institute of Undergraduate Engineering Life (KIEUL) and Viterbi. We went to Temescal Canyon where we engaged in various bonding activities and reflections. We set personal goals and expectations and started to brainstorm how to break them down into small, attainable steps. My favorite part of the weekend was doing a ropes course and connecting with my fellow Viterbi leaders. We’re all very motivated to continue pushing our respective organizations to achieve more and one way to do that is by sharing knowledge and collaborating with one another.
Two weeks ago, I led the coordination of ASBME’s BIOMED Research Symposium, an event designed to showcase the cutting-edge biomedical research conducted at USC. We hope to help build relationships between students, staff, and faculty by encouraging a close-knit BME community. Further, this event enables students to network and learn about getting involved in labs doing amazing research here at USC. The event is divided into several parts: dinner, where students will have the chance to talk with faculty members in a more intimate setting; presentations, where students can learn about research and how to get involved; and open-house time to allow students to talk with faculty and staff they might not have gotten a chance to meet earlier. This year our keynote speaker was the new Biomedical Engineering department chair, Dr. Kirk Shung. We also had the privilege of having Dr. Eun Ji Chung, whose research focus on the design and application of nanoparticles for cardiovascular and cancer theranostics. Dr. Crisitina Zavaleta closed our event by speaking to her lab’s diagnostic imaging strategies that have the potential to improve cancer detection sensitivity and specificity.
Last, but certainly not least, my main focus this semester will be securing a full-time position after graduation. This past week, I attended the USC Career Fair, a Trojan Talk, and the Viterbi Career Conference. I had the privilege of speaking with recruiters at several companies I am very interested in, but this is just the beginning of the process. Wish me luck! I’ll keep you guys updated with any progress I make on this front.