Skip to main content

This summer, I traveled across California, starting in my hometown of Los Angeles and ending up in the northern city of Santa Cruz.

In the first half of my summer, I reconnected with family, spent time in my hometown, and completed a summer math course. I enrolled in the math course through a local community college whose course credits transfer to USC. For those looking to transfer credits, USC accepts credits for pre-major requirement courses taken at local community colleges as well as universities. The math class was condensed and fast-paced, but I enjoyed a balanced schedule with classes in the morning and time in the afternoon to stroll through the trails in my neighborhood. Taking a summer course can be a great way to fulfill a portion of the numerous credits required of an engineering major.

Although I didn’t take summer courses at USC, I traveled back to campus on a frequent basis to work on a research project with the Laboratory for Design of Medical and Analytical Devices. Currently, I am developing an app for a potentiometric reader. The app connects a user’s mobile device to the biosensor through a Bluetooth connection and represents the collected data through graphs.

Research at the Laboratory for Design of Medical and Analytical Devices

After I finished my summer course, I traveled up north to Santa Cruz where I worked as a teaching assistant for an engineering course. I learned about the job opportunity through one of the many job postings that my major’s advising department shares with students in the major. In addition to job postings, each department shares major-specific opportunities such as research positions and upcoming events throughout the school year. 

Bridge Designs at the Santa Cruz Summer Program

As a teaching assistant in the summer program, I supported students in learning physics and in designing projects that spanned the various branches of engineering. The course was a great opportunity to learn more about the various fields of engineering and to support the students in understanding engineering topics. Living in Santa Cruz was also an incredible opportunity for me to explore the city and its surrounding area. On the weekends, I traveled with my coworkers to find the best ice cream flavors across town, watch the iconic Barbie and Oppenheimer movies, and explore the city of San Francisco.

As my eventful summer drew to a close, I was happy to have spent the sunny months across California, engaged in multiple fulfilling opportunities. These experiences left me feeling well-prepared and enthusiastic for the start of my sophomore year!


Ashly Lam

MAJOR: Electrical and Computer Engineering YEAR: Class of 2026 HOMETOWN: La Canada, California PRONOUNS: she/her/hers On campus, I am involved with Women in Computing and Illumin Magazine. I also conduct research in the Laboratory for Design of Medical and Analytical Devices. Outside of Viterbi, I am a member of the Society of Women Engineers' WE Local Advisory Board.