Last year I wrote all about how the Associated Students of Biomedical Engineering is my favorite student involvement, so this year I’d like to mix it up a little (but I don’t love ASBME any less!).
If you don’t know already, freshman academy is a cool class that every freshman engineer gets to take when they come to Viterbi. It’s a class where students from every engineering major (including undecided!) get together with two upperclassmen mentors (coaches) and a faculty member who usually doesn’t teach intro-level classes but who is excited for the opportunity. The classes cover a wide range of topics, from engineers in society to design problems, to presentation skills. Read more about it at the official Viterbi site
The coaches are here to help students out in any way possible. Most students end up not needing very much “help” per say, but we’re a great resource if you have a quick question about which clubs to join, where to go to dinner, or how to get academic help for classes. We know every resource Viterbi has to offer (and there’s a LOT of them), and we’re always happy to answer questions in class or whenever you see us around campus.
We also plan events around Los Angeles to expose students to the awesome city that we live in. It’s something I really appreciated as a freshman, after coming here from Wisconsin and being a little intimidated by LA. Past and planned activities for just my academy include:
- Ramen in Little Tokyo
- Los Angeles Science Center and IMAX
- All Academy Infiltration
- USC Volleyball Games
- Potluck Game Nights
- Midnight Broomball Tournaments
Other academy coaches have taken their students to places including (but not limited to!)
- Scavenger hunts at Universal City Walk
- Hollywood Sign Hikes
- Farmers Market and Grove Trips
- Beach Bonfires
- A Capella Concerts
- King’s Games
- Natural History Museum
- Westwood Invasions
As you can see, coaches and students alike get to participate in AWESOME activities (sponsored by the school!).
In addition, freshman academy students get to attend exclusive lectures from CEO’s and other influential figures in industry. This year Steven Chen, one of the founders of Youtube, will be coming to speak, but we have also heard from the man who invented the Na’Vi language in Avatar and the man who started the XPrize foundation. The only way to attend these lectures as an upperclassman is to be a coach, so it’s a nice perk 😀
I really love coaching because it’s a ton of fun AND it gives me a chance to meet and work with a ton of amazing new students each year. Viterbi’s incoming classes are always full of interesting and talented students, and I like to be one additional resource to help them reach their full potential. Now that I’ve coached four semesters, I see students from every year of school other than my own who I coached, and many of them have become fellow student org leaders or classmates.