Parting thoughts

Woohoo I graduated! Sadly, this means my time as a Viterbi blogger has come to an end. I’d like to take a moment to thank…oops, wrong speech. That’s for the Oscars, which I have no plans of ever receiving and I’m completely okay with that. Seriously, though, my time at USC and my time as a blogger has been an amazing ride. Thank you to everyone who gave me opportunities and supported me!

Don’t worry, soon you’ll be graduating too and will look as happy as I do in the photo above!
In the meantime, here are some parting thoughts:

  • Shamelessly ask questions – if there’s one thing I learned in graduate school, it was not to worry about how ignorant I look. Once I ask the question, I’ll learn something and I won’t be as ignorant as I was before. Plus, nobody expects me to know everything. That’s why I’m paying the hefty tuition – to learn! I asked my TA’s, my friends, and sometimes the professor as many questions as it took to understand the material. Of course, I first tried reading the book, watching lecture videos or looking online, but instead of struggling to understand it on my own, I became comfortable asking for help.
  • Go outside your comfort zone – USC has over 600 student organizations. Surely you can make time to be part of at least one or two? I’ve heard many conversations with graduate students that revolved around exam stress or concern about finding a job/internship. Yes, those things are extremely important and necessary but you’re also here for an education. Going outside your comfort zone of classes, research, and usual circles of friends means that you will meet new people, learn more about what’s going on at USC or in LA and broaden your perspective. Most importantly, you’ll have a better network of people you can reach out to if you ever need help, for example with job hunting! The most valuable part of grad school is the passionate people you meet.
  • Get involved in research or some hands-on project – USC offers amazing, best-in-class, interdisciplinary research labs and opportunities especially within Biomedical Engineering. It can be hard to find but again, reach out to your network of friends, advisors, professors and be persistent and proactive. It will bring results. Besides research, there is HTE@USC, 3D4E, Hack for Health and many, many other great opportunities for hands-on project work. Research was my second love (design was my first) and I highly recommend you conduct research yourself or do hands-on projects. If you’ve read my blogs, you may have noticed a glaring lack of posts about research at USC or research I’ve done. This is simply because it takes a lot of time and background research to do justice to a research lab or topic. How to distill the information into the short length of a blog in a way that’s informative, interesting, original, and accurate? If I can’t do proper justice to a research lab, I would rather not write about it at all.
Lastly, remember the words of Megan Smith, the 2017 Viterbi Master’s Commencement Speaker and third Chief Technology Officer of the United States (not quoted exactly): if we take our school spirit as Trojans and work together with other Trojans and passionate people, there’s no limit to what we can do…Engineers also have a responsibility to take innovative technology and apply it towards solving the big social problems of the present and of the future.
All I have left to say is Fight On…to a better world!