One of the biggest reasons why I chose USC over the other schools I was looking at in high school was because I could get an engineering degree in 4 years. While, some of the other schools did offer Industrial and Systems Engineering, their engineering program took 5 years to get a degree.
Even though I live in Colorado, I do not like the cold, so I knew that I wanted to go to school someplace that was warm. Now I’m not saying that it is always sunny and hot, it does rain in LA, but you can’t beat being able to wear flip flops and shorts even in the middle of January.
I actually went to two different high schools; a large public school and a small private school. These two schools were very different and I though that the positives and negatives of each were very applicable to my college search. One thing I noticed about the smaller school was that it didn’t offer as many options in class subjects or rigor as my larger higher had. I knew I wanted to go to a big university because I felt that bigger universities just had so much more to offer its students in terms of classes, studying abroad, and extra curriculars.
Although I was probably the only high school student worried about getting a job after I graduated, the career services center was another important factor in my school choice. In addition to all the resources that USC’s Career Center offers, Viterbi’s Career Services (VCS) offers engineering students their own resources. We have a career fair just for engineers each semester and this is one of the most popular ways for students to get jobs or internships. VCS also offers workshops in resume writing, mock interviews, and informational sessions. After meeting several USC alumni at these networking events, I’ve found that they are always eager to relive their Trojan days and willing to give advice on your academic future and career opportunities.
Going into engineering, I knew that it would be hard and I was very worried that I wouldn’t be able to stay on top of all my classes. However, Viterbi offers great resources to help students out with their academics like free tutoring at the Viterbi Academic Resource Center (VARC). I’ve gone to VARC for math, science, and my ISE classes and have found the students there very helpful with getting me to understanding concepts that I don’t get in class. Sometimes I have class during my professor’s office hours, so the other advantage to VARC is that you can make an appointment that better fits into your schedule.