Catalyst: an agent that provokes or speeds significant change or action.

It took me literally hours and hours of thinking and mulling over ideas in order to come up with one word to describe USC for me. I think it took so long because there were so many words, sentences, and paragraphs that came to mind when I first sat down to write this blog. When I tried for something that was one word yet all encompassing of my emotions here at USC I landed on the word catalyst.

A catalyst is simply something that lowers the activation energy of a reaction and thus enables it to happen faster and usually more favorably. At least that is the definition that first comes to my biomedical engineering mind. But looking at the definition in a broader sense, really as something that provokes significant change seems to do my experiences at USC complete justice.

Coming from Boston the journey has been a growth experience right from the start. USC took me in with open arms and allowed me to feel comfortable enough to grow in my academics and social life. Each person I have met along the journey has taught me something a long the way and has pushed me to be a better person in my academics, leadership, and even personal aspects of life.


Academics: The students at USC are highly motivated and super bright. I have had the pleasure to work with some of the most amazing students over the past three years at USC. They have shown me a greater work ethic, taught me much about perseverance, and have challenged me to be better and do better. Being surrounded by such a motivated and collaborative student body has helped me to succeed in engineering and get the most out of my education. Plus the networking I am doing inside of the classroom is invaluable because I know all of my friends will be immensely successful in all their endeavors.

Leadership: The amount of student involvement at USC is absolutely incredible. I can’t think of one of my friends that is not involved in something outside of the classroom. A great thing about USC and especially Viterbi is that learning doesn’t stop outside of the classroom. Students are always getting involved in extra-curriculars, taking leadership positions, and learning how to manage people through out there USC experience.


Trojan Family: Instantly coming into USC I knew I was a part of something bigger. One of the great things about USC is that the alumni are still very close and connected with the school. And what is even better is that they want to give back to the student body. With the support of the trailblazers before me, getting funding for local USC projects as well as landing jobs and internships has never been easier.

Careers: I touched on it a bit above but with the alumni connects, awesome help of Vierbi Career Services, and bright student body, Fortunate 500 companies are reaching out to USC in order to recruit on campus. They understand that the student body is composed of highly motivated, smart, critical thinking, and outgoing students and are here year after year recruiting. I have found it very easy to get interviews for competitive positions because of the resources that USC has offered and the environment that USC fosters for its students.

314901_10151025443411611_773501289_nThe Value of a Degree:  I didn’t think about this particular topic when I applied to colleges but I am definitely thinking about it all the time now. I am confident in my USC degree because I see all the growth and change within USC over the past three years. For a start there have been at least five new buildings built on campus in the past three years with dozens of buildings remodeled. In addition the Campaign to raise 6 billion dollars for the University was started during my Freshman year and has already raised a significant portion of the money. Also, the new University Village project is going to be amazing! I don’t see USC’s growth stopping in the future. I am investing in my future with my college degree and I know that the value will only keep rising over the next fourty years.

So back to the word I chose again, catalyst. I chose this because USC itself is a catalyst for me. It lowers the barriers in front of me in so many aspects.

  • By giving ample opportunities to get involved I have honed my leadership and communication skills.
  • By allowing me to be surrounded by bright and inquisitive students USC has allowed me to take my learning to a deeper level rather than just a superficial understanding of the material.
  • By fostering an inclusive environment USC stimulates a sense of family, Trojan Family, where everyone takes care of each other. I have found that when you are part of something bigger than yourself it becomes easy to succeed.
  • By maintaining a pride in the University, always looking for ways to expand, and investing in the success of its students I have no doubt that my degree will continue to increase in value over time.

Now Playing: We Could Run Away by NEEDTOBREATHE with Good People by John Mayer on deck.