Being a Viterbi Woman Engineer

Jacquie Women In Engineering Leave a Comment

Hi Everyone! When I first decided that I wanted to apply to college as an engineering major, I started to worry about being a woman in such a male-dominated field. When I began attending classes in Viterbi, however, I realized that I was concerned for no reason! I thought I would tell you a little about what it is like being a women in engineering at Viterbi.

When I walked into my first engineering class, Electrical Engineering 150, I realized that there was a good mix of women of men. The following days as I attended more and more of my classes, I realized that this held true for all of my classes. It never felt intimidating to be a girl in engineering from the beginning. I learned about the collaborative nature at USC as I joined study groups and projects. My study group for ISE 220 this semester consists of 3 girls and 2 boys (a prime example of the great diversity). I love that I have found a support system in the student body here through study groups and other organizations!

Another great part of being a woman engineer in Viterbi is the opportunity to join the Society of Women Engineers. Several Viterbi Student Ambassadors, including Natalie and Cassandra, take part in this organization. It is a great way to meet other women in engineering, network with companies, and attend professional events. In the next year, I hope to become involved in this organization as well. This past year, I also signed up for the Viterbi Student Alumni Program, which paired me up with my mentor, Kristin Sahyouni. She attended USC as a female ISE major, as well. Talking to a woman who has studied at USC and gained experienced thereafter has been very enriching. It just further confirms that being a woman in engineering lets me challenge myself and has its rewards following graduation.

Even though I am an engineering major, I have found time to become involved in organizations outside of Viterbi, too. Of these, being a member of Pi Beta Phi is one of my favorite. Joining a PanHellenic sorority has given me an opportunity to meet amazing women from many diverse disciplines. The sense of sisterhood and commitment makes me proud to be a Pi Phi! It also is a little perk that my big sis is an ISE major too!

My Big and I

My Big and I

From all of my classes and involvement, my fear of being a women in engineering has completely disappeared. I encourage you to look past the stereotypes and know being a women in engineering is great! There are no limitations and so much to learn. If you want to hear more experiences of being a women engineer, check out the other VSA’s blogs this week! Fight on!

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