All incoming Freshman who enter Viterbi School of Engineering have to take a 2 unit course called Freshman Academy Seminar which is lead by a professor and 2 undergraduate students (known as Freshman Academy Coach). I lead one of these classes with Professor Ghyam and Professor Bucher and have made about 30 awesome Freshman friends. This class is for Freshman to adjust into Viterbi and college life in general. We provide as kind of student liaisons and advisers to the freshman. We talk to them about resources around campus such as tutoring, extra curricular activities they might be interested in, career workshops, developing resume–essentially we try to provide as general mentors so that they can go on to lead a successful undergraduate life at Viterbi. The class consists of team building activities designed by my coach and I. It also have speakers from companies like Dreamworks, Cisco, etc who are able to give them insight on what Engineering really means. Additionally, the professors organize Lab Tours and other in-class projects for the semester.
Outside of class, freshman are treated to some kind of exploring L.A. event so that they can get acclimated to the new city around them! My co-coach and I planned to take our students to the nearby, California Science Center, which was an all expense paid trip! We toured the cool exhibitions-
Inventions from the Arabian World exhibition in the California Science Center!
Awesome IMAX movie poster!
My work badge!
After seeing many exhibitions, we watched Flying Monsters in 3D. It had the most amazing 3D affects and graphics and was an interesting movie on evolution. I was probably more amazed by it than most people because I am currently learning evolution in my Bio120 course.
After the movie, we all walked over to Chipotle, right across the street, and feasted on its wonders. It was good bonding time with the Freshman, I definitely got to know them better! We do at least three of these outside events a semester and they’re always rewarding and fun. Apart from these activities, all Acadmey Seminar sections come together for a series of 3 lectures given by important people of the industry. When I was a Freshman, I had a speaker who was involved in the graphics of Avatar– it was one of the best talks I’ve ever heard at USC.
This class is also just a great way to meet other Freshman who are engineers. I am personally satisfied with my job as a Coach, I hope that I have helped out some Freshmen adjust to the college environment this year. Check out my profile here as well as all the other coaches! Here is a little more information about the course!