This past weekend was the Viterbi Student Expo, which was a chance for prospective students to come check out Viterbi and see what the school is like. As a VSA, my job was to lead groups on tours of various student labs.
I answered countless questions throughout the day about my life as an engineering student at USC, so here are the answers to some of the most common ones I got:
Q: How do you get involved with research?
A: Working in a research lab as an undergrad at USC is actually super easy! I joined my robotics lab the first semester of my freshman year and have been working there ever since. All it takes is finding a professor working on an interesting project, sending them an email to see if they have an opening, and then meeting with them about how you can contribute.
Q: How difficult are classes? Is it a lot more than high school?
A: Classes are definitely tough and a step up from high school. They take a huge amount of time and focus, and you really do have to stay on top of everything at all times. However, if you stay organized and dedicate enough time to studying, they are completely manageable and will not take over your entire life.
Q: If classes are so hard, do you have time for anything else?
A: Absolutely! Having a balance is incredibly important, and just because I’m an engineer doesn’t mean I can’t do other things. On top of my full course load, I work in a research lab, am a VSA, co-teach a freshman academy class, am an RA, am in a fraternity, and I still go to all of the football games and take trips out of the city. Organization is key, but you can do a lot more than just study.
Q: Why did you choose USC?
A: USC had the best balance of everything that I wanted in a school. It has great academics, career support services, a social scene and big sports culture, is large enough to stay exciting, and has small class sizes to keep me focused. The engineering program also seemed like more fun
Q: Why did you choose mechanical?
A: I really enjoy designing things that I can see and visually problem solve, and mechanical engineering is the most broad engineering major that lets me get my hands dirty.
Hopefully those answered most of your questions too, now check out the Tips To Apply page and start your application!