There were 4 main things I was looking for in my college experience.
The first was that I wanted to go to a school with a rigorous engineering program because that was my intended study, but also had a good reputation for other academic programs like business and arts and sciences just in case I decided after getting to college that I didn’t want to pursue engineering.
Viterbi has a very well ranked program, as does USC Marshall School of Business, and all of our other schools which was relieving that if I decided to not do engineering, that I wouldn’t feel bad about switching my major.
Learning MiniTab in statistics today! #ViterbiClass pic.twitter.com/JZeIoiQaZ5
— Ally Reister (@AllyReister) March 24, 2015
The second was location. I knew that I never wanted to be bored at college or unsure of what to do on a weekend so I was interested in going to a large city. That being said, I also love the outdoors so I also so nature nearby was a must.
Los Angeles offers all of that. The view out of my window is Downtown Los Angeles and besides that, Disneyland, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and Pasadena are just a metro ride away. Even better, Manhattan Beach, Malibu, Palos Verdes, Angeles National Park, and Runyon Canyon are all less than an hour away and Big Bear, Mammoth, and Joshua Tree are close enough for weekend trips too so there is never a dull weekend. In addition, Los Angeles is a hotbed for start ups, innovation, and celebrities so almost all speaker series and concert tours have stops in LA which makes learning and getting the most out of Los Angeles super easy.
#USC looking real nice tonight pic.twitter.com/GCwZFszZm3
— Ally Reister (@AllyReister) March 26, 2015
3. Study Abroad and Minor and Graduate
The third thing I was looking for was the ability to study abroad and pick up a minor, while all graduating in 4 years. Each of those things individually is hard for an engineering major to do and I wanted all three.
At USC all of that is possible. I am majoring in Industrial and Systems Engineering, concentrating in Computer Science, minoring in Business Economics, and studying abroad next semester in Australia ALL IN FOUR YEARS. Viterbi has a ton of study abroad opportunities so I got to choose between a semester, a summer, or just a couple weeks to accommodate everyone interested in studying abroad and that was a really big pulling point for me. In addition, the nature of USC is interdisciplinary learning so they specifically make minoring a possibility. I knew I wanted to get the most out of college which for me meant being able to study abroad and minor, but I didn’t want to sacrifice having to stay in college longer than 4 years so the graduation rate was very important to me.
“All happy companies are different; competition is for losers.” –@peterthiel #USC #ViterbiLife pic.twitter.com/8CD4ugD3za
— Ally Reister (@AllyReister) January 23, 2015
Overall though, the most important thing to me was that I would be happy and that I would find friends that shared my interests and that my school would feel like home.
I can very proudly say that I have found happiness at USC. I have a great group of friends that are passionate about learning but know how to have fun. School is hard but interesting and when I look back at everything I have learned, I am amazed at myself. I have great relationships with my professors and feel that they genuinely want me to succeed. LA is fantastic and it’s going to be terribly hard leaving this perfect weather at the end of 4 years. The communities at USC are incredibly strong and I have found my SC Racing family, Dance Marathon family, Ultimate Frisbee family, Design for America family, Viterbi Student Ambassador family, Marks Tower 7th floor family, Sophomore Industrial Engineering family, Bay Area down to LA family, and my Computer Science Lab family, which all comes together to make up the entire Trojan Family, which I couldn’t be happier to be a part of.
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Awesome time at @sxsw with @USCHellions before our ultimate tournament tomorrow! pic.twitter.com/aJLJcwGbIu
— Ally Reister (@AllyReister) March 21, 2015