Having been at USC for two years now, I can honestly say that choosing SC was probably one of the best decisions of my life. As a senior in high school I applied to four schools: The University of Illinois, The University of Michigan, The University of Colorado, and The University of Southern California. I knew I wanted to study engineering, and I knew I wanted a big sports school with a spirited environment. All of these schools fit my short checklist, but as I did more and more research and actually visited each campus, USC immediately stood out to me as my dream school.
Having known I wanted to study Environmental Engineering while applying, Viterbi initially stood out to me because of its renowned reputation as a research university. Undergraduate Professors are working on the most incredible research from renewable energy to cutting-edge robotics technology. The fact that I am already participating in research as an undergrad, let alone a sophomore is a huge privilege and incredible learning experience. I am working with a senior student and professor on microbial fuel cell research. We are basically using the bacteria in wastewater to generate a voltage! In all of my Viterbi classes, the professors have been so approachable and always willing to meet with students and talk about there research, that it is so easy to get involved as an undergrad.
What excited me even further, however, were all the opportunities to get involved in clubs that allow students to work together on projects and expand on their interests outside the classroom such as Engineers without Boarders, Society of Women Engineers, and the ALIVE sustainability club. Aside from academics, USC had the big school atmosphere I was looking for and a community feel that is incomparable to any university I’ve visited. I loved the idea of meeting students from all different parts of the world and being part of a family with such an extensive variety of interests and talents. Finally, the fact that I would be moving to Southern California was a huge factor for me. Living in Los Angeles offered incredible opportunities for research, internships, and networking events and connections.
I am an extremely active and outdoorsy person and also wanted to head west so I could explore the geography around Southern California. Having access to the ocean and mountains has allowed me to pursue snowboarding, hiking, and surfing in my spare time. Being under the sun almost 365 days out of the year has been incredible and truly makes for the happiest people, (goodbye Chicago winters)!!! As a member of the ski and snowboarding club, I have even been able head up to Mammoth and get a taste of snow whenever I have a free weekend!!
USC has had such a positive impact on me after just one and a half years and I want to share that impact with all of you!! Please feel free to contact me about classes, extra curriculars, social scene, being away from home, food, really anything at all…I would love to chat!! Hope to see you on campus next year, FIGHT ON!!!