Energy Expert. Rugby Player. Spanish Speaker. Mechanical Engineer!

Zach G., Mechanical Engineering, Class of 2014

Hey! I’m Zach, a senior studying Mechanical Engineering with a Spanish minor from St. Louis, Missouri. As much as I love my hometown, during my college search I knew that I wanted to leave Missouri and experience a different part of the country. I wanted a college that would give me the experience of a new setting as well as a strong academic background. Initially, I didn’t know much about USC, but after visiting I knew that it was the place for me.


What I liked most about USC was the balance between academic life and extracurricular activities. Not only am I able to get a world-class education, but I am also able to have a traditional college experience with a legitimate athletics program, the social life of the Greek system, and a multitude of varying clubs that I can join. At USC, my main problem is actually deciding between which extracurricular organizations I want join. Although my classes are extremely intellectually stimulating, I feel that I learn the most about engineering through my extracurricular activities such as Engineers Without Borders and my Merit Research projects. It is one thing to learn the theories and subject material of different engineering classes, but it is an entirely different challenge to apply this information and have hands on experiences through extracurricular activities. Additionally, the many different extracurricular activities allow me to interact with peers that have similar professional ambitions and are as interested in non-class related subjects as I am.

The one aspect of Viterbi that cannot be stressed enough is the significant amount of opportunities that undergraduates can become involved in. As a freshman, you can become involved with research or step into leadership roles in different clubs. The enthusiasm and balanced nature of Viterbi students is consistent among all of the engineering students.

Having already switched majors in Viterbi and being involved in a diverse range of activities at USC, feel free to ask me any questions via Twitter (@ZTakeo) or click on the email icon to reach me via email. Also, be sure to check out the other valuable resources that Viterbi Voices has to offer! Good luck with your college decision and fight on!


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Research Involvement

I’ve conducted research regarding the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, Solar Energy Conversions using Novel Hybrid Nanostructures, a solar energy project at the USC Wrigley Institute on Catalina, and am currently a member of the USC Smart Grid Research Team.

Study Abroad Experience
I studied abroad in Argentina through the USC Department of Spanish and Portuguese.

Why I Love LA
Being able to wear shorts everyday is a major plus. Having the option every weekend of going
to the beach, the mountains, a game at the Staples Center or a restaurant in Little Tokyo doesn’t
hurt either. 

Hobbies & Interests
Snowboarding, reading, rugby, running, hiking, surfing, traveling, renewable energy, concerts!