This semester has been a great one — last semester of college as an undergrad, not too many requirements, and the ability to take classes for fun. As such, I decided to take a class called “building the high tech start-up” … For me this was an amazing opportunity as I have taken many classes about technology during my time as an undergrad (since my major is Electrical Engineering) and some cool business-related classes (since my minor is Marketing), but I have yet to take a class that fuses those two interests together. As such, this class was my first opportunity to combine my engineering and business interests in the classroom.

The class is taught by USC Professor Ashish Soni¬†and perpetual tech entrepreneur and visionary¬†Jay Samit. These two Professors together form a great duo… Ashish from the practicality perspective, giving a more academic approach to the material and balancing out Jay, whom is full of stories from a career chalk full of start-up experiences and lessons learned. The insight I have gained about the technology industry and businesses from this class likely trumps everything I could have learned in 4 years of business school. We have tackled topics from where to start all the way down to what coding language to use to create our businesses, with real-world examples and experiences backing up the way we are doing things. This leads to real-world knowledge about how tech businesses really work.

The class has no prerequisites and allows all majors to join, so it is a quite diverse group of students whose majors vary from engineering to cinema to business to critical studies. This diversity is key as it allows many great ideas and thought processes to be put together in the same room, creating a great setting for innovation. Each student is expected to work in a team to create a final project that is essentially a working model and business plan for a high tech start-up. My partner and
I have been working on a website idea revolving around the ability to learn languages, but that’s about all the detail I can go into for now (since our idea could be a moneymaker someday!)…

Regardless of what engineering major you decide on someday, if you go to USC you should take the opportunity to take some classes outside of engineering. There are many opportunities out there to expand your horizons and try something new, and especially to meet new and interesting people. That is something about USC that cannot be found at other schools and has been an invaluable part of my and the other Viterbi Student Ambassadors’ experiences.