I remember when 4 years ago when I was in your shoes deciding on which college to attend. Choosing a college is a big decision, where it’s not only the next four years of your life, but also choosing lifelong friends. The main factors that went into why I chose USC, and why I continue to love USC, are opportunities available at the school, potential to study abroad, location of school, flexibility of classes, and career opportunities.


USC and Viterbi have a ton of opportunities for students both academically and professionally. I was able to get hands on experience through joining different design teams such as the Rocket Propulsion Lab and the SC Formula Electric Race team! I was also able to do research my freshman year in the Immersive Audio Lab, which was great experience that I believe everyone should try out one time or another.

Study Abroad:

During the summer after my first year on campus, I was able to study abroad in Paris through the Viterbi Summer Abroad program! That was a very important part of me choosing USC because it is so easy to incorporate that into your schedule, compared to other schools where study abroad may not be an option for engineering students. Though the program that I went on is no longer offered for current students, there are a ton of other opportunities that students can take advantage of like maymesters and traditional semester programs. It was by far the most fun I have had in college and would have done it again if it wasn’t for classes going online for Covid. You can hear more about my study abroad Here!

Location of USC:

USC’s location cannot be beaten. Just south of downtown, LA offers plenty of activities for students on the weekend to keep busy. Going to a concert is easy as the Shrine Auditorium is right next door and many concert venues downtown/ in the Hollywood area. A day at the beach in Santa Monica is effortless with the metro right there or by having friends with cars. Being in Southern California also is a huge plus as I rarely check the weather since I know it is going to be sunny and I will be fine wearing shorts if I please. I can’t imagine having to walk to class with snow on the ground or it being freezing outside. Aside from fun, being in LA opens up many avenues for potential internships and full-time positions after graduation.

Flexibility of Classes:

When I applied to college, I had no Idea what career I wanted to pursue. I knew that I was good at math and science so thought I would try out engineering but was not sure that I would like that in the slightest. Being able to take engineering classes your first semester at USC helped me realize that this was the right path for me. Being able to switch majors with ease was also a huge benefit that I took advantage of because I had no issues switching when I realized that I didn’t like my specific major.

One huge plus is there is a good amount of room to fit in fun classes into your schedule! I have been able to fit basketball, surfing, and sailing into my schedule the past couple years. Probably the most USC class you can take!

Career Opportunities:

This past summer I landed an internship at Apple as an engineering program manager for the input devices team and the previous summer I held an internship at Northrop Grumman on the Facilities team. Alumni really go above and beyond to help current students and I am confident that my position at Northrop Grumman came from me being a student at USC. Viterbi has a career fair in the Fall and Spring semesters which helped get me in contact with recruiters and hiring managers to land me the job. Many recruiters are also USC alums and come back to USC to hire fellow trojans, making it a lot easier in interviews since you almost always have similar experiences to talk about. Being located in Los Angeles also helps out with recruiting for many aerospace companies because LA is the hub for aerospace engineering.

These are just a few reasons I chose USC and hopefully they help you choose the right school for you!

Mark Parent

Mark Parent

MAJOR: Mechanical Engineering YEAR: Class of 2022 HOMETOWN: Diamond Bar, California PRONOUNS: he/him/his INSTA: @mvparent On campus, I am part of the National Society of Black Engineers and was a Resident Assistant for the McCarthy Honors College. I have also conducted research in the Immersive Audio Lab and have a Sports Business & Management Minor!