Growing up with a dad who is a Mechanical Engineer, I always looked at the work he did and thought it was very interesting.  When I got to high school, I realized I loved math and science, and I wanted to study those subjects further in high school.  However, I also wanted to be creative.  To me, Engineering is a creative application of technical skills, as it requires a high level of imagination.  It therefore extends beyond the basic skills needed for math and science by combining them with innovation.

I was a bit concerned about coming into college as an Engineer, because I had heard about the demanding curriculum.  Since coming to USC, I have been pleasantly surprised by my experience with the coursework.  Being an Engineer is challenging, but not impossible.  I have found that the level of effort I put into a class matches my grade.  If I work really hard, I am able to improve, and to do well.

Part of my success has come from using the resources available at Viterbi.  I have had free peer tutoring sessions at the Viterbi Academic Resource Center (VARC).  I have also formed study groups with the friends I have made in my classes.  If I need additional help, I have also found that going to my professors’ office hours is extremely helpful!

So far, my favorite class was AME101.  This was the first Engineering course I took at USC.  I loved it because it was a preview for what I would be learning for the next 3 and a half years.  There was also a lab section of the class, in which I was able to work on SolidWorks, a 3D Computer Design software.  I really enjoyed the opportunity to design parts, and apply my knowledge of physics to an actual product.

This summer, I am thrilled to be returning to Walt Disney World for another Engineering Internship.  While last summer, I worked in the Environmental Engineering Department, this summer, I will be working in the Mechanical Engineering Department.  I am really looking forward to getting industry experience in my discipline.  I think it will be really helpful in determining what I want to do after graduation.

Being a woman in Engineering is a really powerful thing.  I have learned a ton, and I am only halfway through my coursework!  Beyond that, I am so proud to be a part of the network of women that belong to the even greater network of Viterbi.


Samantha Kaplan-2015

Samantha Kaplan-2015

Mechanical Engineering, Class of 2015, Learn more on her profile here!