Hey everyone! Hope everyone is doing well and that high school seniors are getting those applications filled out!
I often discuss the numerous wonderful opportunities that USC gives its students—from awesome career services offices, chances to travel abroad, and hands-on academic counseling to a large variety of student groups that cover the whole spectrum of social and professional interests. But today I wanted to share an experience that I had that I don’t believe I would have had the chance the do at most other schools!
So a few weeks back, the students from my scholarship foundation were invited to have afternoon tea (classy, I know) with a very important administrator—President Nikias. Some of us were all taken aback by this invitation that came out of the blue but after talking with some of the older students, we realized that this actually is quite common! President Nikias often has these afternoon teas with students to give him better context about the population for which he is making decisions.
This was all really exciting for us because we are all dedicated members of the USC community and have strong opinions on most topics—especially because a lot of programs are at a turning point on campus and decisions that President Nikias will make in the near future could significantly impact the trajectory of these programs. My close friends in the group actually met up before the meeting and discussed the topics that we wanted to discuss to make sure we cover all our interests and don’t end up having overlapping questions.
The day of the tea comes and everyone shows up to school in business attire—ready to meet the man himself at 4:30. We all show up at Moreton Fig, right across from his boardroom, and get prepped by his secretary with name tags and nervously stumble into one of the coolest meeting rooms that I’ve ever seen—high ceilings, oil paintings of the presidents of USC, and even an outdoor patio equipped with a long fountain!
President Nikias walks in, grabs some food, and we begin introductions. The meeting, even though it took almost 2 hours, flew by. We quickly transitioned from student intros to his reasoning behind those afternoon teas and his beliefs on student participation in his decision-making process. We finally got a chance to go around and discuss our favorite and least favorite parts about USC and ask him a question about leadership! This part seemed to fly by with all the great questions and responses being thrown around the room.
And just like that—our tea with President Nikias was over. Obviously all of us had a lot to take away from the meeting but I think the most important about this opportunity was the fact that it exists and what that represents. By giving students to give one-on-one input to the President of the school, the administration shows that it truly does value the input of the students and takes action to get that input.Meet Eric