It’s pretty common to hear that “It’s impossible to get an internship as a freshman in college!” In my experience, that’s definitely not the case at Viterbi! Coming into college, I had minimal experience with networking, and I never had the chance to talk to industry representatives before. But, after joining several organizations and looking into the resources that Viterbi provides its students, I gained so much experience that will be very helpful in helping me develop professionally.
Earlier this semester, I participated in the Boeing Freshman Design Challenge, and at this challenge, there were about 10 current Boeing engineers who were all USC graduates! The great part of this experience was that as our team was working on the design challenge, we were able to speak with the engineers and get their opinions on our progress. Afterwards, we were given the opportunity to talk to these Boeing representatives and hear them talk about their experiences on how to secure a job at a huge company such as Boeing. It was so interesting to get advice from people who have gone through the journey of studying engineering at USC. Also, if you’re interested in what this design challenge entailed, here is the presentation we were given! Our team ended up placing 3rd too!
2015 MASTER Design Challenge Document
I’ve found that the connections at Viterbi are extremely far reaching, which is exemplified by the Society of Women Engineers’ Fall Evening With Industry and Spring Evening With Industry events. At each of these events, I was able to network with industry representatives from Boeing, Qualcomm, Intel, Microsoft, and so many more! These events were excellent for learning more about these companies and what these engineers do currently. Interestingly, I’ve found that many of the representatives are recent USC grads!
Beyond events, USC Viterbi provides many services for students, thanks to Viterbi Career Services. Students are able to create appointments or walk-in to get advice on how to improve their resumes. In addition, Viterbi has a website called Viterbi Career Gateway, which lists hundreds of internship and job opportunities! Personally, thanks to the opportunities Viterbi has given me, I was able to secure an internship at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory for this summer! Anything is possible at Viterbi, even as a freshman!
I’ve found that USC Viterbi really cares about its students, and that includes helping us develop our careers as much as possible early on. The Trojan Family is out there, and it’s real!