Hope you are all having a fabulous week! I sure know I am- it’s spring break! I just got back home to Jackson Hole, Wyoming this evening where I’ll be for a few days…then on down to Salt Lake City to hang with a few buds, then down to Las Vegas for St. Patty’s Day (with some Irish friends of course….so this will be interesting!)
At any rate, I imagine that each and every one of you guys (rightfully so, given your achievements) have been receiving letter after of acceptance from those universities you applied to. Congrats! It’s quite an accomplishment, and one well deserved for all your hard work throughout high school. I remember being in your shoes, and well….it’s a cool feeling!
What I wish I had known more about was why a person at a particular school chose to go to that school. So, I’m going to share with you some of the reasons I chose USC. For tabs, I’ll go ahead and list them roughly in order of priority for me.
- The challenge and rigor of the academic programs. In a nutshell, I was looking for a place where I would have an engaging college experience and an active educational experience. Between my time double-majoring in aerospace engineering and economics, building planes (below, left- my freshman year & and below, right, my senior year), and being a commercial pilot outside of school, USC (and LA at large) has been a great place for me to unleash my intellectual curiosity and to simply explore. On that note, my classes have challenged me, and as a result I’ve grown as both an engineer, economist, and person at large.
- On a related note to being challenged, an important part of my college search focused around being rewarded for taking on diversity in both studies and involvement across campus. Let me tell you about what I’ve found on that front. USC has two programs called the Renaissance Scholars and Global Scholars programs which are recognitions (and even some $$) for graduating seniors. Those who double major or major/minor in two sufficiently diverse fields are eligible to apply for the Renaissance Scholars program; whereas those who have studied abroad for more than 10 weeks are eligible to apply for the Global Scholars program. Check out these links for more info! I sure as heck know I’ll be applying for both when I graduate next year! I think back on my time here at USC as the best time of my life, both inside and outside of the classroom. That said, I think that a lot of what I have taken away from my college experience is having so much international interaction and
- Similarly, career prospects in graduating from a particular university are something that maybe I wasn’t thinking about as much when I was a freshman, but certainly am now as a junior/senior. I can go on and on about all the valuable networking and information sessions that top-tier firms host here on campus, but I’ll just share with you my experience as to how I’ve secured an Investment Banking internship at Wells Fargo between my sophomore and junior year and now a job in Aerodynamic Performance and Sales Development at The Boeing Company starting this summer! Works for me!!!!! Check out both the university wide career center and the Viterbi Career Center (specialized career center only for Viterbi Students) at these sites:
- One of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had during my college career is growing in to the Trojan family. The people you meet that are here at USC, and those who have graduated before you really do make up a tremendously amazing group of people! Society 53 is the Student Ambassadorial program under the USC Alumni Association, and trust me- it’s always busy with them as Trojan alums are so active even after they graduate. Several times, while I was abroad, I would chance to walk upon someone who was wearing a USC sweater or piece of clothing- and it is just such a great feeling to share a “fight on!” with that other person….it feels like you’ve already met the person though you really haven’t! You need only come to a few football games here at USC to share the spirit!
- A little side-note that I want to share with you is that both my parents actually went to USC and met on campus! At any rate, that’s relevant to my point because all throughout my high school career, I made frequent trips out to LA to go to Trojan football games! It was such a blast walking around and seeing everybody getting pumped for the game and to walk around and observe the spirit and pride that everyone had- it was just amazing, and well…that built on me year after year till when it came time to choose a school, USC seemed like a natural choice!
- Related to that- family! Both of my grandparents live here, as well as several aunts and uncles. Granted it was like 5/6 items on my list….but trust me….being away from home and all…particularly in your first year, it sure is nice to have some family around to cook you up a nice dinner (and did someone say do a load of laundry??)
- The weather and the environment at large rounded out my decision to go to USC over other schools I was considering. Not too many other places you can go skiing and surfing in the same day. You can make it all the way to Phoenix or Vegas in one afternoon’s drive for a mini-vacation, or in my case, fly around SoCal to places like Catalina Island for a day-trip.
“Don’t I ski well???”