Meet Vanessa

Chemical Engineering
Class of ’19


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Hi! I’m Vanessa, I’m a junior studying Chemical Engineering from Santiago, Chile. On campus, I am involved in the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), a social sorority, Gamma Phi Beta, and I do research in a nanofabrication lab. Last summer I interned at Ausenco, a mining consulting company, where I was a process engineering intern and this summer I traveled to Rome with the Viterbi Oversees program. In my free time, you can find me napping, attending concerts around LA or facetiming my dog. Thanks for checking out my page!




My Favorite Places in LA

Involvements

SHPE is a student organization dedicated to the advancement of Hispanic people in STEM fields. We host professional, academic and leadership development events as well as several outreach and social events. Last year I was a membership director and now I am the Vice President of Public Relations!
I am the Assistant Scholarship Chair for my sorority, Gamma Phi Beta. This means I organize study hours and help plan the semesterly Scholarship Dinner where we invite professors to our home and thank them for everything they do as well as recognize our high achieving sisters. I love being in Greek life because it has given me a home away from home.
I work in Dr. Wu’s research group. The project I am currently working on is about the fabrication of collapsible nanofingers made for chemical sensing and photocatalysis. Last year I also worked on a project where I was computer modelling nanobubble dynamics using MATLAB which I had just learned to code in CHE 205.

My Major at USC: Chemical Engineering


My Favorite Classes
This class focuses on, you guessed it, separation processes. Everything from distillation columns to nanoselective membranes to absorbers and strippers. Our final project was modeling an entire 30 stage distillation column in MATLAB under several conditions. I really enjoyed it because I came in knowing nothing about separations and I now feel like I know the ins and outs of some very important chemical engineering processes.
This is probably my favorite GE because I learned so much about how LA came to be. I thought it was important to learn more about the city I had just moved to and this class provided just that. The professor was great. She focused on providing information through several mediums so besides historical accounts, we also read a nonfiction book about an immigrant family and watched the movie Crash in class.
Chemical Engineering Blogs
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Viterbi Students in CHE

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Fun Facts

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My Tips for You

Application Essays

Get multiple people to read over your essays. I had everyone including family, friends and teachers read over my essays to make sure I was getting my points across as I intended.

Extracurriculars

Write about what you truly enjoy doing outside of class, even if you think it doesn't make you a perfect applicant or an ideal engineering student. Passion is more important than perfection.

See other tips

Two Truths and a Lie

Can you guess which of these are true or false?
True! My family moved around a lot when I was growing up and I had never lived in the US until I came to USC.
True! I’ve sprained each ankle 2 times so at least they’re evenly dysfunctional.
False! A lot of people think I am because that’s where my family lives but I only lived there 2 years.

My Favorite Shows

  • I love this show because it reminds me so much of my family. The storyline is very over the top but the characters are very #relatable. I also saw Gina Rodriguez who plays Jane speak at USC about Latinos in media!

  • I binge watched all 10 seasons one summer and it was probably one of the best decisions I’ve made. I didn’t realize there was a storyline until I watched it in full because I had only seen a couple random episodes here and there.