Last week was super exciting for me because I finally declared my major!  I have been looking forward to finally declaring since orientation my freshman year.  I am now officially an Industrial and Systems (Information Systems) Engineer on the Computers Track!

I came to Viterbi as an undeclared engineer, and with no clue what type of engineering I wanted to major in.  My only help in deciding my major prior to stepping on campus as an admitted student was what I found on the Internet about the different types of engineering.  It was helpful, but didn’t compare to the help I would receive when I got to USC.

As I began to think about the different majors, I decided the best way to pick a major would be to eliminate the ones I knew I didn’t like. I pulled out the Viterbi Undergraduate Handbook, and flipped from page to page narrowing down my choices based on subjects I enjoyed and didn’t enjoy.  By orientation, I had it narrowed down to Mechanical (ME), Electrical (EE), Computer Science (CS), and Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE).

At orientation, I was advised to take the intro class for one of the four choices I had narrowed it down to because that would help me decide.  I chose CS, and registered for freshman year CS courses.  As school began to approach, I took some online “What type of engineer are you?” quizzes and decided to switch to EE.  With the help of the advisement office, I was able to easily change all my classes to the first semester EE classes in one day over the phone and online. This became switch number one.

As classes began, I noticed I wasn’t as passionate as my classmates were about the subject matter of my EE classes.  I began to talk to other engineers, professors, and advisors.  Many students were more than willing to share with me why they chose their engineering major and even offer me advice as to what I would enjoy.  I also distinctly remember two one-on-ones with professors that really helped me understand the different majors.  These conversations ended up greatly influencing my major choice, and after a week of talking to people, I decided that I should try ISE.  Switch number two came two weeks into the semester, again with great help from advisors.

The third week of school, I started my first day in my intro to ISE class, and it was amazing!  I really loved it! The following semester I continued on with ISE courses, and really enjoy them as well! In addition to ISE courses, one of the required courses was a programming class, and it ended up being one of my favorite classes last semester.  As a result, I switched yet again, my third and final switch, and I added the Computers Track within ISE.

Three switches later, I am so happy to be an ISE on the Computers Track and am grateful for all the students, professors, and advisors at USC who helped me along the way!

Until next week,

Lauren H.



Industrial & Systems Engineering, Class of 2016, Learn more on her profile here!