I have always considered myself a blessed individual, but never had I considered myself as blessed as I do now. On June 18th I began my paid internship at Northrop Grumman, one of the biggest contractors for the US Department of Defense.

Last summer, as my time at high school was coming to an end, I visited my middle school counselor who was working closely with a Northrop Grumman Project Manager that enjoyed reaching out to low-income communities to expose Hispanic persons to engineering at a young age. Upon telling her I was going to study Electrical Engineering at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, she forwarded my information to the Northrop Grumman Manager, a USC grad, and he gladly offered to help me. I had not even begun my first semester and already I was experiencing the strength of the Network within the Trojan Family. No matter how fortunate I was to meet him, he made me earn his help to get an interview and recommendation. I had to volunteer many hours to organizations he was a part of and rather than burden me, all the volunteer work helped me grow. Those experiences allowed me to strengthen my network and build great relationships with amazing people who were more than willing to give me guidance in my pursuit to become a better communicator, student, and person.

I am now working in Unmanned Aircraft Systems on developing Radar Software for intelligent Air Vehicles. I am able to integrate concepts of Signal Processing in Electrical Engineering into Software Engineering. If you would have told me I would be doing this a few years back I’d laugh in disbelief; it is truly incredible. I am interacting with people who have been part of the company for decades and I am absorbing their wisdom as well as making realizations of my own. With mentors very eager to help and a great work ethic, I should be able to do a great amount of learning and contributing in the near future. The exposure that I am getting to the professional environment at a company like this is invaluable and I plan to utilize every experience, whether a success or failure, as an opportunity to learn and grow.

Now that I began working I could not be any prouder to be a USC Trojan and Northrop Grumman employee, like many others here are. From applying concepts and skills I learned at USC into my work activities to seeing dozens of USC Viterbi Alumni license plate covers, there is no greater motivation than being part of a University that stays with you while school is in session, while you are in vacation, and for the rest of your life.

Fight On, Fam!

Pedro Lepe

Pedro Lepe

MAJOR: Electrical Engineering YEAR: Class of 2015