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Hey everyone! I’m Nick, a junior studying astronautical engineering at USC. It’s the last week of the semester and things are coming to an end. Classes are concluding their lectures, design team and projects are wrapping up, and orgs are celebrating their year in review. As I close out my third year at USC, I want to take the time to share why USC was the best choice for me.

I chose USC Viterbi because it was a top engineering school that was going to provide me the best opportunity to succeed. USC Viterbi has tons of design teams/student orgs that are extremely successful and welcoming. Students are able to join with no experience and get lots of hands on experience. I joined a student run research lab, the Advanced Spacecraft Propulsion and Energy Lab (ASPEN), within my first few weeks of being a student! Viterbi also host Trojan Talks as well as their own career fair just for engineering students so that we can connect with companies and get internships and full-time positions. On top of that, there’s the Viterbi Career Services office which offers professional development help like resume reviews, workshops, and mock interviews so that we are prepared on game-day(when we talk to industry professionals). USC Viterbi has prepared me well and I got an offer to work at Boeing this summer up in Washington!

All that being said that’s not what’s most important to me about USC. It’s the people. I have found a community here that make me feel at home. I feel supported by the people I’ve met and the friends I’ve made. Not just just in my communities but in classes and student orgs. Everyone I have met in my classes aren’t praying on my downfall to lower the curve or get an offer. Students form study groups, collaborate and work together. Its incentivized from the top down where professors encourage student to work together and help each other out. Across classes, student orgs, research team, and random people at an event, I’ve made friends that make me better. I truly don’t think there is a place out there where I would be happier than I am here.

Nicholas Espalin-Pardo

MAJOR: Astronautical Engineering YEAR: Class of 2024 HOMETOWN: San Francisco, California PRONOUNS: he/him/his INSTA: @nicholaspardo I’m involved in the Advanced Spacecraft Propulsion and Energy Lab, conducting research in modeling a solid-core nuclear thermal rocket engine. I serve as the V.P. Of Membership for the Society of Hispanic Professional engineers as well as Activities Director for The Trojan Knights.