When applying to colleges, I knew belonged in engineering; however, I was a bit unsure about exactly which type of engineering was right for me. I ended up deciding on mechanical engineering because of my love of physics, and after four years here at USC, I can definitely say that I made the right decision.
Over the past few years, I have gotten to take some extremely interesting classes that expanded my knowledge and provided me with practical skills that I could use throughout my future as an engineer. One of the most useful was Computer Aided Design of Mechanical Systems, a class I took this past fall that focused on using SolidWorks (a 3D modeling program) to build and analyze parts using FEA. We actually take a class our junior year that uses the same program, but is more focused on part building rather than analysis. The knowledge I gained from these two classes significantly helped me at my internship last summer, where I worked with 3D modeling programs to design aircraft interior parts. In addition to the SolidWorks classes, I am currently in a class called Energy and Propulsion. The class focuses on the performance and analysis of reciprocating, jet, rocket engines, and hybrid systems, along with inlets, compressors, combustors, turbines, nozzles and engine systems. It is an extremely practical class, especially for someone like me who is interested in possibly working in a related field. In fact, I recently applied to a UTSR Gas Turbine Industrial Fellowship, and referenced the class as one of my qualifications for the program.
Outside of the classroom, I am involved in Pi Tau Sigma – the mechanical engineering honor society. Being a member of the society has allowed me to network with and get to know other mechanical engineers both in my graduating class and in others. Additionally, Pi Tau Sigma provides us with opportunities to network with companies through on-campus presentations and on-site visits.
All in all, being a mechanical engineer at USC over the past four years has been a great experience. I have made some brilliant friends and learned an incredible amount, and can definitely say that I am prepared to face whatever is in store for me next in the working world.