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Hi everyone! Today we are highlighting industrial and systems engineering majors at Viterbi. Read on to find more info about what it’s like to study, work, and live life as an industrial and systems engineer.

Today’s responses are from:

Shelby Wu:

Hi, I’m Shelby Wu, a Junior studying Industrial and Systems Engineering with an Applied Analytics Minor and Engineering Management PDP. Currently on campus, I’m involved in an Engineering Professional Society, Theta Tau, am a Learner’s Assistant/Course Producer for ITP115 (Programming in Python), and am a member of USC’s Product Management Club, Product@SC. Outside of school, I enjoy reading, playing/listening to music, painting, spending time with friends, and thrifting!

Amber Patel:

Hi I’m Amber Patel and I’m a junior studying industrial and systems engineering with a minor in sports business and management.

Luc Yansouni:

Hi! My name is Luc Yansouni, and I am a Junior from Palo Alto, CA. I’m studying Industrial and Systems Engineering on the Information Systems track, and I am pursuing a minor in finance as well. I also speak french fluently!

How I describe my major
(and emphasis if applicable):

Shelby Wu: Industrial and Systems engineering is taking any system or process and finding ways to make that process more efficient whether it’s cutting waste, lessening cost, and being quicker, but also, giving up the least amount of opportunity cost. There are two tracks for Industrial and Systems Engineering which are the operations track that focuses on process production and facilities design and the information systems track that focuses on database applications and analysis. This field is very applicable in a variety of fields such as product management, operations, manufacturing, consulting, or industrial engineering as is, which is why it’s so cool!

Amber Patel: Industrial engineering is a field where we improve and optimize complex systems and business processes. In this major, we learn how to think in a systematic way to solve problems. 

Luc Yansouni: Industrial and Systems Engineering is the least known out of the engineering, and to those who haven’t heard of it before I describe it as applied mathematics to increase efficiency in systems. The original theory behind Industrial Engineering started during the Industrial Revolution when companies were looking to optimize their factory lines. Like other engineers, I’ve taken classes in physics, chemistry, and mathematics, but my major-specific classes focus more on probability, statistics, and operations,  What I love about the information systems track is that it has provided me the opportunity to see how data analytics can be used throughout the field, and I’ve gotten to learn a variety of industry-relevant technical tools. 

How I chose my major:

Shelby Wu: Throughout high school, I was the captain of a robotics team and from that experience, I enjoyed the facets of engineering. It combines creativity in solving worldly problems with the technical aspects of employing math and science. When I got to USC, I was initially a Mechanical Engineering Major because it was the broadest engineering major I was aware of and I didn’t specifically know which engineering major was right for me. After learning about Industrial and Systems engineering from my Engineering Freshman Academy Class and Coach, I realized that Industrial and Systems Engineering combined my interpersonal skills with a technical background. Therefore, I switched into Industrial and Systems Engineering on the Operations Track (which was an easy process) and have loved it ever since!

Amber Patel: I chose to major in industrial and systems engineering because it allows me to learn about both the business and technical sides of operations and processes that we see and use everyday. 

Luc Yansouni: I chose industrial engineering because of the wide variety of careers it can prepare you for. Those include manufacturing, consulting, transportation, among others. I chose my emphasis in Information Systems because I was also really interested in data analytics. 

How I got involved at USC:

Shelby Wu: Due to COVID-19 and starting my Freshman Year virtually, it was definitely a challenge finding involvement at USC. However, my Engineering Freshman Academy Class really helped give insight on how to find different involvement on campus and find interests outside of school. I was able to learn about an Engineering Professional Organization, Theta Tau, and find a community of people who focus on professional, social, and service aspects. Through the Center for Undergraduate Research in Viterbi Engineering (CURVE) Program, I was able to get involved with research on campus where I co-wrote a manuscript on the World Health Organization’s impact on COVID-19 using an Accimap Analysis Framework. On campus now, there are involvement fairs at the beginning of each semester and from those fairs, I have joined other organizations like Product@SC that assist with developing product management skills.

Amber Patel: Sports have always been a huge part of my life, so my freshman year I joined the USC Sports Business Association to learn about how I can combine my engineering background with my love for sports in the future. I am also involved in greek life, and I am currently holding an executive position in my sorority. I’ve gained a ton of leadership experience from this, and I’ve met some of my best friends through greek life. I also got involved in Viterbi through the CURVE research program last year.

Luc Yansouni: The first club I joined was the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers, where I gained exposure to a variety of industries from USC ISE graduates. I also recently joined Product@SC, where I’m learning about product frameworks, design, and lifecycle. I’m also a member of intramural soccer and basketball teams.

How I found community at USC:

Shelby Wu: I found my community at USC through my Engineering Professional Organization, Theta Tau. Theta Tau has gifted me a group of like-minded individuals who support each other and provide the resources needed to help you succeed and achieve your goals. I’ve found some of my lifelong friends from Theta Tau who have pushed me to leave the house and have the college experience of living in the moment. Furthermore, I have made so many friends in other majors by doing activities outside of engineering and meeting people around USC housing. For anyone looking for a community in college, don’t be afraid to join different organizations and put yourself out there because USC is filled with a welcoming atmosphere that will have a space for you that feels like home!

Amber Patel:

I’ve found my community through USC through my sorority. I’ve met so many friends of all different majors that I normally wouldn’t have classes with, and it’s so fun to hear about all the other cool things others are doing around campus. If I ever need anything, I know I have a whole house of people who I can count on.

Luc Yansouni: I found my community by making a constant effort to be as outgoing and open to new friendships as possible. Even though my freshman year was online, I made friends by messaging them on the Zoom chat and creating study groups for each of the classes I was in. Some of my closest friends at USC are the ones I made online and in my first couple weeks in person.

How I spend my free time at USC:

Shelby Wu: When I’m able to find free time during school, I spend time either recharging my social battery or hanging out with friends. Personally, my social battery can drain pretty quickly in very social settings so when I have the time, I’ll either read, play music, paint, or watch shows/movies to nurture my personal health and well-being. A lot of times, I’ll spend time doing work with friends and when we want a break, we’ll go out around LA and explore. Some LA activities can include thrifting, eating at nice places, going to the beach, and visiting museums. A core memory of mine was when my friends and I were working in the village and one friend goes, “It’s a nice day outside. We should go to Griffith Observatory.” So we all looked at each other, simultaneously packed our bags, got in the car, and spent the day spontaneously going to Griffith!

Amber Patel: I can always be found at every single football and basketball game on the weekends and during the week. USC is so close to Dodger Stadium, so it makes it really easy to go to games. I normally go to a lot of baseball games throughout the season because of this. If I’m not watching sports, my friends and I also love to go to The Grove to shop, eat, and hang out outside of South Central. 

Luc Yansouni: I spend most of my free time with my friends. I love going to the USC sports games, especially football and basketball (Fight on!). I also love exploring the variety of things LA offers, including the warm beaches, cool restaurants, and incredible concerts.

Viterbi Voices