Meet Maria

Chemical Engineering
Class of ’18


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Hey I’m Maria! I’m from Orlando, Florida, and I’m studying Chemical Engineering with an emphasis in Materials Science.  Here at ‘SC, I’m the president of QuEST,  our LGBTQ engineering organization, a Freshman Academy Coach in charge of a class of incoming students, and I work in a Composites Research Lab on campus. On my weekends, I like to get away and go camping, to the beach, or check out the food in Los Angeles! This past summer I studied abroad in Madrid, Spain taking two engineering classes on the Viterbi Overseas ProgramFind at more about my #ViterbiLife below!



My Favorite Places in LA

Involvements

I studied abroad in Spain this past summer through the Viterbi Overseas Program! I spent seven weeks living in Madrid. During the week, I took two engineering classes an explored the vibrant, cultural city. On the weekends, I travelled to eight other cities around Spain and in the south of France! I was able spend my summer walking around historic cities, palaces, aqueducts, and cathedrals while learning about technical writing and engineering economics.
As a Freshmen Academy Coach, I mentor first-semester engineering students in an introduction engineering course that focuses on the 14 Grand Challenges! It’s a lot of fun interacting with the students, and it’s an incredibly rewarding experience!
Queers in Engineering, Science and Technology (QuEST) is an organization supporting and advancing LGBTQ students in the STEM field through academic events like study nights, professional events where recruiters and professionals will come in and talk about their experiences within companies, and social events like trips to get free boba! I’m co-President and it’s been an awesome way to learn how to put on small and large-scale events.

My Major at USC: Chemical Engineering


My Favorite Classes
I learned how to think about nature through the lens of equations, which is way cooler than it sounds! This class is what made me know I’d chosen the right major because solving the homework was honestly fun, and the things I learned have taught me not only about ChemE, but about tackling any hard problem!
Definitely a change of pace from my usual classes, but ballroom dance was an awesome way to let off steam during a tough week and meet new people! I learned the waltz, the foxtrot, the tango, and swing dancing in this fast-paced class, and really got out of my comfort zone.
Chemical Engineering Blogs
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Chemical Engineering Podcast
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Viterbi Students in CHE

Learn more about chemical engineering at USC from the student perspective

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Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering & Materials Science

Read more about the chemical engineering department at USC

"Chemical Engineers Power the World"

From research to academics to the people who make it all happen

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Fun Facts

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My Tips for You

Application Essays

I was really worried about my essays but looking back I'm glad I ended up just being myself. I tried to tell my own story in my own way and not sweat the small stuff!

Application Extracurriculars

Don’t feel pressured to list every last extracurricular activity you’ve ever remotely been involved in. It’s totally cool just to talk about the few things you’re most interested in.

See other tips

Two Truths and a Lie

Can you guess which of these are true or false?
False! I honestly had no idea if I wanted to do ChemE or, you know, literally any other engineering. I chose ChemE though because it was a challenge and I ended up loving my classes, and more importantly my classmates
True! I began working in it during my first semester, actually. I knew I wanted to be involved in research from the start to get some hands-on experience and so I started looking into it pretty much as soon as I got to USC. My lab professor was super welcoming and made sure I could keep up!
True! Sophie is always cracking jokes

My Top LA Hikes

  • The Hollywood Hike is one of my all time favorites, and it’s a total crowd pleaser! If you’ve got family in town, this is a great choice and the best part is you end up behind the sign itself!

  • Sandstone Peak is about an hour up the Pacific Coast Highway but it’s totally worth the drive. From it’s peak (the highest point in the Santa Monica Mountains) you get otherworldly views of exposed sandstone and lush greenery. Best part, it’s only 3 miles round trip!

  • This photo was taken in Hidden Valley at Joshua Tree. Joshua Tree is the nearest national park to USC, and it’s kind of a rite of passage to hike out into the desert and just climb huge rocks with your friends. Bring water and sunscreen, oh! and a camera for all of the insane desert views and night sky!