When I try to think of one word to describe USC and Viterbi in particular, the most prominent thing that comes to mind is that my education and experience at USC has been global. When I was visiting engineering schools as a high school senior, I heard a lot of “no’s.” You can’t minor, you can’t study abroad if you want to major in engineering. USC was really the only school that told me I could do exactly what I wanted to do: minor and study abroad. When I graduate this may (where did the time go??), I will be leaving USC having studied abroad twice, having completed my theatre minor, and if all goes well, I will be graduating as a Global and Renaissance Scholar.
In my four years at USC, I’ve gotten the opportunity to study abroad twice. Two summers ago, I went to Rome with the Viterbi Summer Overseas Program. This was a fantastic experience, in which I actually got ahead in my studies by taking USC classes taught by engineering professors. The following fall semester, I studied at the University of Edinburgh for a semester. This was a completely different but just as rewarding experience because I got to intertact with students from all over the world who were studying at the University of Edinburgh. Viterbi not only allows students to study abroad, but encourages this global experience as a part of a complete college education.
Besides encouraging students to study abroad, Viterbi simply has a global mindset. As engineering becomes more and more of a global discipline, engineers must be able to interact on the international level and Viterbi supports this through programs such as the Ipodia class or summer research opportunities in Asia.
In fact right now, I am reaping the benefits of USC’s global reach. For the past five days, I’ve been in London for the National Academy of Engineering Global Grand Challenges Summit. The point of the summit has been to discuss innovative ways to tackle the 14 grand challenges, which include tasks such as engineering better medecine, providing access to clean water, making solar energy economical, and securing cyberspace. This has been an amazing opportunity to meet and interact with engineers from across the world who are performing ground breaking research and doing selfless work to better the developing world. The summit has allowed me to network with current engineering students who will certainly be leaders in their fields of study. Check out a few tweets from the summit below:
— William McGarey (@WJMcGarey) March 12, 2013
— Yannis C. Yortsos (@DeanYortsos) March 13, 2013
USC’s global focus has allowed me to leave college with a broader perspective on global engineering issues the world is facing. I’m looking forward to how this experience will shape my future career!
Until next time,