One commitment of the Viterbi School of Engineering that resonates with me is its achievement of gender parity. Across the courses I have taken, spanning math, computer science, and electrical engineering, I have found a diverse community of Trojans. I feel empowered to engage in my classes, and USC’s collaborative culture makes it an easy place to build friendships and study groups amongst classmates.
The supportive community of women pursuing engineering can also be found outside of classes through student organizations such as Women in Engineering and Society of Women Engineers.
Throughout the year, Women in Engineering (WIE) hosts numerous social and professional events for female engineering students and engineers to meet and network with one another. Last year, I attended numerous WIE events where I had the chance to meet fellow engineering students and chat with engineers in the field. At a Meta Fireside Chat hosted by WIE, I heard from a range of female Meta employees who shared about their experience at Meta, gave us advice, and answered our questions in an open panel discussion. In addition to my excitement of Meta swag and a delicious dinner, I enjoyed the opportunity to speak with USC alumni who had shared experiences during their time at USC.
The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) is a student organization that hosts weekly general meetings in addition to larger professional events. Through the weekly general meetings, students can meet with peers and engage in a variety of opportunities such as resume workshops and study nights. SWE also hosts larger events such Fall Evening with Industry (FEWI) and Spring Evening with Industry (SEWI). Last semester, I attended Spring Evening with Industry where I had the chance to network with USC alumni who work as engineers in a variety of engineering sectors. As we enjoyed our dinners at the USC hotel, we learned about the alumni’s experiences, positions, and open roles at their companies. It was an incredible opportunity for me to not only meet fellow classmates, but also speak with female engineers openly about fields I am interested in pursuing.
The two aforementioned student organizations also offer mentorship programs where underclassmen can connect with upperclassmen mentors. Through these mentorships, underclassmen have an opportunity to learn more about what their future college career could look like, and gain insight into navigating their major and experience at USC as a female engineering student.
From professional networking to social events, there are numerous ways to get involved and find community, especially as a woman studying engineering here at USC.