Back From Germany and Starting A Great Semester!

Makana Krulce-2015 Viterbi Life Leave a Comment

Aaaand I’m back! Hey everyone! As much as I miss my crazy adventures in Germany, it is good to be home at USC. I spent the last semester and summer working at Evonik Industries in Darmstadt, and I could not have asked for a better experience. Getting to work in industrial chemical engineering for six months, while being part of an engineering exchange program and traveling through Europe was beyond my wildest dreams… it certainly was the adventure I hoped for.

The chemical engineering facility where I worked in Germany!

The chemical engineering facility where I worked in Germany!

My winter break was also exciting – my family decided to save me from the German snow and take a vacation in Hawaii. I spent a little too much time soaking up the sun rays to blast the cold out of me. As a native southern Californian, Germany was definitely a change weatherwise and I concluded that I am simply not capable of handling cold weather. Caution: LA will do that to you 🙂 But it was nice meeting up with Zach and we grabbed lunch and went on a hike together!

So now what? Well, I am going into my second semester of being a junior, and the transition is much easier than I expected. Thankfully, I am on track with my other chemical engineering friends, and it has been nice to see some familiar faces in Viscous Flow (CHE 443) and Advanced Inorganic Chemistry (CHEM 453). I am most excited for my last general education class, called the African Diaspora. My professor is really inspirational and has incredible presence, so I am looking forward to her lectures. Jumping back into USC life is so familiar, which is a nice change from the last few months. The last few weeks have been so seamless! I went to a meeting at the Viterbi Academic Resource center, since I am one of the tutors there, and it felt like I never left. We talked about some of the changes this semester, and I’m excited for a more modernized free tutoring experience for our Viterbi students. I’m also excited to share my experiences abroad with other students, particularly those in chemical engineering! Getting my hands dirty in the industry was incredibly rewarding.

 

Visiting an abandoned industrial center in the Ruhr area of Germany with my friends!

Visiting an abandoned industrial center in the Ruhr area of Germany with my friends!

I am excited to use the knowledge I gained on my classes this semester. Since I am taking my first chemical engineering lab class, hopefully I can use some of the problem solving techniques I learned in Germany at my co-op! I might get back involved with research on campus too, so stay tuned for that. Overall, this semester has a promising start and I can’t wait to see where it leads me!

 

A group picture from one of our many weekends together -- this is in Hamburg! Also, there are 15 countries represented here, from Poland to Israel and the Czech Republic to Brazil!

A group picture from one of our many weekends together — this is in Hamburg! Also, there are 15 countries represented here, from Poland to Israel and the Czech Republic to Brazil!

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