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Hey everyone! I’m Nick, a senior studying astronautical engineering at USC. I’m in my last semester of my last year of undergrad and as I reflect on my time here, I want to share some of the reasons why USC was the perfect college for me.


The number one thing that defines what USC is to me, is the people. I’ve found a home here. Huge shout out all the amazing people I’ve met in my classes and orgs, especially the Society of Hispanics Professional Engineers (SHPE) and Trojan Knights. Personally, I’ve found that the community is full of people who genuinely care and support each other. USC Viterbi’s culture emphasizes collaboration over competition. In classes, students form study groups, collaborate, and work together. Professors actively encourage students to work with one another, fostering a collaborative learning environment. Just sitting down with anyone you’ll learn about any of the crazy amazing things they’re doing or have done. Whether in student orgs, research teams, or random events, I’ve made friends who inspire and challenge me to be better.

Career Support

After this year I will be working at Boeing part time as I finish my masters and will then go on to work with them full time after graduation. Much of my success career-wise has been a result of all the preparation and opportunities provided at USC. I have gotten to have my resume reviewed by industry professionals and career advisors through SHPE(and many other organizations have similar events). The coursework is a good mix of theoretical and hands-on work, so I have both the knowledge and the experience when working in the industry. The Viterbi Career Services office is also a major help. From resume reviews to workshops and mock interviews, they ensure that we are well-prepared for interactions with industry professionals.


Last is the unbeatable vibes and perks of living in Los Angeles. Living in LA for the past 3 years has been awesome. For me the best part of LA is definitely the food. LA is one of the most diverse populations in the US and one of the great benefits of this is there are so many different and delicious food options throughout the city. From food trucks to Michelin star restaurants LA has it. One of my favorite things to do is explore the different parts of the city and try new food spots. Another great part of LA is that the weather is great 95%  of the year (the 5% is when it rains; some people like that but I am NOT a fan). While the city is a big part of LA, there are also a ton of outdoorsy things to do! I love going to the beach which is between 15 and 45 mins away depending on what beach. There’s also great mountains to hike in Topanga and Griffith Park, and if you go 1.5 hours to Big Bear you can go snowboarding!

If you have the chance I would highly recommend you visit USC and explore LA while you’re here to see if it’s the right fit for you.


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.