When I was applying to colleges, there was one thing I knew for sure: college was a place of endless opportunities. I did not, however, know how to find those opportunities! I found plenty to do, nonetheless, but I think it would have been helpful and even interesting to hear the different methods of getting involved in the plethora of clubs and design teams at USC. To that end, I want to give several ways I’ve found awesome ways to get involved. These are not in any way the only ways to get involved, but it’s a good starter list!
Student Involvement Fair: Right off the bat, USC holds a campus-wide student involvement fair specifically for students to get exposure to the huge quantity of amazing clubs at USC! This thing is huge every year, and is a way for you to get the quick hits on all the orgs, and put your email down on mailing lists for those you’re interested in. Check out the list of organizations that participated this year.
Fliers around campus: There’s a phenomenon at college campuses where fliers are everywhere that fliers can possibly be- it gets a little crazy. That being said, you shouldn’t ignore them outright just because there’s so many- especially near the engineering school, there are a ton for awesome tech talks, research seminars, and other events that are too good to pass up. Keep an eye out!
Email a professor or visit office hours: This one especially applies for research opportunities. If you are interested in something a class covers, express that interest and ask the professor what more you can do to find out about it! Professors teach what they love, so they are happy to share that with you. If they don’t have any opportunities for you, at very least you’ll learn a little more about your professor and that subject.
Social Media: Most student orgs keep an online presence on both Facebook and Twitter at least, so they are usually easy to find. Searching on one of these sites and joining a group is a great way to see the upcoming events for that org.
Talk to your friends: Your friends are probably finding cool organizations that you don’t know about yet, and joining an organization is always more fun with a friend! This is how I most frequently get involved in organizations: I joined IEEE (the electrical engineering professional society) because a friend suggested it, AAAI (the artificial intelligence professional society) because a friend suggested it, and Leapfrog (a open-source space technology design team) this way. Even if you’re not talking about organizations all the time with your friends, if they know you are interested in something in particular, then they’ll let you know if they find something that’ll suit you.
Once you find out about an org, joining is usually as easy as showing up! Some have slightly different processes, but all organizations are pretty easy to join. If you’re interested in hearing more about organizations at Viterbi, search for #ViterbiOrgs on Twitter- you might see something really cool!