It feels so good to be back in the swing of things at ‘SC! But I do have to say I had an epic winter break in Japan with my family and wish I were still there! I visited Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, and Kobe, which encompasses western Japan. The food was amazing, to say the least!! From unique side-street vendors (tofu donuts, octopus balls, custard-filled pastries, and all things green tea flavored) to the famous ramen, katsudon, and japanese barbecue dishes, every corner on the streets of Osaka offered a totally new dining experience. I was in foodie heaven.

octopus "takoyaki" balls

It was amazing being able to learn about the history behind each temple and pagoda. They were all so beautiful to look at! My cousins and I also got to ski and snowboard down the slopes of Biwako Valley, which was a first for me! What an experience. I won’t deny it, I was a pretty big klutz! I thought I’d catch on quickly since I have some coordination from dancing ballet, but boy was I wrong.

My family in Nara, Japan

Skiing in Biwako Valley, Japan!

Now that I’m back at USC for my last semester (still can’t believe it), I’ve noticed this spring semester is an interesting one — I’ve got three ISE classes that are lighter in terms of course work but are heavily project-based. That means I get to visit my project client every month to work on process improvement, do lots of research, and be productive with my project teams outside of class time. It’s the most hands-on part of all my years in ISE, and I’m enjoying it a lot.

I’m also taking an ITP (Information Technology Program) class focusing on privacy and security in SAP Enterprise Resource Planning Systems, a class that came highly recommended by a number of USC alumni who I worked with at Deloitte over the summer. You can read more about the security class here.

I’m excited for the rest of the semester to unfold, especially since I’m working on a few exciting projects, like creating a user interface for a nutritional barcoding application and developing a computer simulation of a restaurant queue to reduce bottlenecks. Lots to look forward to!