Some reflections on Ph.D. Preview Day

Posted: March 6, 2017, 2:10pm

Last week, I had the opportunity to sit in on the campus preview day for prospective students. This is a day when college seniors descend on Los Angeles to visit campus, meet faculty, tour some labs, and ultimately decide whether they want to attend USC to get their Ph.D. It’s a helpful day for that difficult decision. Talking to some of the students made me reflect on my past five years here and remember how far I’ve come since making that fateful decision to become part of the Trojan family.

A few things stick out to me when talking to a prospective student. I always want to ask them why they want to do a Ph.D. I listen to their responses and try to gauge their determination level. I’ve written previously about the determination required to start, persevere, and finish a PhD, and I think it’s good to prepare the mind of a prospective student to face the challenge head on, because it’s a worthy challenge to complete!

I also try to give a picture of how USC is different than other universities. I think one prominent difference (there are many to choose from) is the level of investment that USC brings to the future of education. Look around the city and see how many various campuses are taking the name of USC to realize how transformative this school is on this city. From the raising of the USC sign on top of AT&T center in downtown LA, to the campuses of ISI or HSC, we can easily see that USC isn’t easily contained in its focus and impact. I tried to list the buildings that were built since I’ve been here in 2011.

These are only the buildings on main campus, and subject to my poor memory! Come to a school that is making major investments in the future of education. Come to USC! Fight on!

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