One of the things that concerned me the most about going to engineering school is that I would eventually turn into a robot. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I have always really enjoyed math, chemistry, and biology, but there is more to life than finding the design specifications of a two-staged flash process to separate a hydrocarbon feed. I was worried that pursuing engineering in college would force me to steer away from my other interests and passions, such as humanities and arts. Now that I am a senior and am graduating in less than 8 months, I can confidently say that couldn’t be further away from what my USC experience was actually like.

USC prides itself on its focus on interdisciplinary learning, and that comes in many forms; you will find many students who have interdisciplinary majors, such as our very Computer Science + Business Administration joint degree, where you complete your major in both our Viterbi School of Engineering, as well as the Marshall School of Business. For me, I got to explore my different passions through different classes every semester. The way that USC’s curriculum works allows students to generally take one to two classes outside of your field every semester, and they range from General Education requirements to just random classes you can take based on your own interest!

My sophomore year I got to take USC’s infamous CTPR 422: Makeup for Motion Pictures, offered by our very own School of Cinematic Arts. As an engineering student who was juggling Calculus, Numerical Methods, and Thermodynamics, this was the perfect way for me to destress and allow my creativity to flow. This class is taught by a professor that has experience working as a makeup artist in Hollywood with very famous artists, and we got to learn how to do special effects make up! We learned to create bruises, burns, and frostbite effects!

Based on my experience, I am beyond grateful to have some of my classes serve as creative outlets; attending lectures that are so thought provoking are what motivate me throughout my semesters. Of course all my technical skills that I learn through my engineering curriculum is beyond important for my professional development, but taking these classes allows for you to develop your creative thinking skills that are also vital for engineers.

Don’t be scared to add that extra 2 unit class to take something you’re genuinely interested in. I promise you won’t regret it!

Gus Lanser

Gus Lanser

MAJOR: Chemical Engineering YEAR: Class of 2022 HOMETOWN: Florianópolis, Brazil PRONOUNS: he/him/his INSTA: @guslanser I am involved in community outreach through USC's American Institute of Chemical Engineer's K-12 Outreach initiative and the Engineers Without Borders international project in Bolivia. Beyond Viterbi, I am the President of the Brazilian Student Association, a Supplemental Instructor for MATH 226, and a Resident Assistant @ McCarthy Honors College.