Why it’s awesome to be a woman in Engineering at USC Viterbi!

Lyssa Aruda-2015 Uncategorized, Women In Engineering Leave a Comment

Hey everyone! Happy Monday! This week we wanted to share with all the ladies why it’s awesome being a woman in engineering here!

I knew I wanted to do something science related with my life after attending an all girls science camp the summer after 7th grade at UC San Diego.  It was the best week of my life, where I got to do all sorts of cool experiments and meet amazing women pursuing science.  After that I never questioned that science was my future despite being generally thought of as a male dominated field.

I’m just going to start by saying that on a day to day basis, you don’t really think about being a woman in engineering because it’s totally normal here.  There are at least 30 girls in my sorority studying engineering (including my little and one of my roommates), my class is probably about 40% women, and no one really thinks about men and women being different in classes. Compared to my experience in high school, where there were only 2 girls in my 30 person AP Physics class and only 3 girls on the advance track for math, college here is significantly more comfortable being a woman to the point where you forget how special it is to have that type of environment.

Despite this being something we often take for granted here, there are a ton of reasons why it’s especially awesome to be a female engineer.  The first is all the resources available to women engineers, including our own women in engineering office and the amazing work with Society of Women Engineers.  Some of my favorite events have been through SWE, including my favorite volunteer opportunity working with local Girl Scouts to earn science related badges! It’s great to work with a group of girls here to encourage younger girls to stick with math and science.

SWE also hosts one of the coolest events on campus, Evening with Industry.  After every career fair, SWE hosts an event where they invite members of industry come for an awesome networking night.  Basically you get to sign up to speak with two companies, and you sit with one for dinner and one for dessert.  It’s the best time to get to know industry representatives because it’s only about 4 students and a representative!

Women also make up a lot of leadership on campus and within Viterbi.  For example, on the executive board for AICHE, there are 8 girls and 2 guys- a quite impressive ratio I would say!

Many of my best friends here are girls.  Girls stick together here and really build lasting friendships with each other.  I love spending time with my engineering girl friends, and always know I’ll have a good time with them.

I think the most important thing to emphasize again though is that this isn’t something I think about every day.  No one thinks of female engineers any differently.  There are tons of girls around the engineering school all the time, and it’s such a comfortable environment.  Many of my professors have been women too, which is always encouraging!  I have absolutely loved my experiences here as a women in engineering, and I wouldn’t choose anywhere else to have the best experiences as a female science major.

 

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