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Finding Your Passion at USC

Some kids come into college with a life plan. They know exactly what they’ll study in school, what they’ll do post-graduation, where they’ll live, and every other detail of their next 60 years. Good for them.


For the rest of us, figuring out all of those plans is exactly what college is for. There is no better place to do that than USC. The University offers an unbelievable number of opportunities and organizations to enable students to learn about what most interests them. Athletically, academically, professionally–you name it. There are hundreds of ways for Trojans to get involved in campus organizations that not only allow them to give back to the University and contribute to something larger than themselves, but also learn about something new, explore a hobby or career path, and make progress towards the ultimate goal of finding their passion.


For me, SC has done this in multiple ways:


1. Chinese. I started my freshman year with the intent to study Chinese and see if it was really for me. A language as difficult as Mandarin, especially at the college level, was pretty intimidating at first. But since my first class with Yang Lao Shi in August, my passion for the language and culture of China has grown exponentially. I’ve enjoyed every minute of class, improved my language skills dramatically, and discovered a newfound passion for all things international. Since beginning my studies, I’ve declared a double major with Chinese and have refocused my career objectives to international finance.


2. Career Options. As a student in the business school, so much of your four years in Marshall is dedicated towards deciding which avenue of Business you want to head down. Marketing, finance, real estate, consulting–the options are plenty, each with its own culture and set of norms, and each very different. Marshall, and the University as a whole does a fantastic job of offering classes, clubs, and job opportunities to facilitate experience with as many sectors as possible, giving students the chance to dabble in each of their interests and find the one they most want to pursue. For me, this has manifested in clubs like the Trojan Investing Society and classes that focus on the science of consulting, as well as summer internship opportunities that allow me to experience real corporate life.


3. Balance. While every Trojan is academically driven and career-oriented, we also know how to strike a perfect balance in our busy college lives. This equilibrium between work and play proves very healthy, and gives students the courage to constantly try new things. Whether it be a new class in a subject completely foreign to you and your major (one of my floor mates studying CompSci is currently enrolled in a ballroom dancing course), a brand new club that will give you the chance to try a new sport or activity (I’m looking at you, Quidditch Team), or a new job opportunity that allows you to test the waters of a new career path you hadn’t previously considered–there are so many opportunities to maintain your vision and work towards your long term goals while also sustaining a sense of balance.


Whether you’ve found your passion already or you’re still looking, USC is the perfect place to spend your formative college years. Take the opportunity to try new things and experience something new–you never know what will come of it. Just ask the seniors graduating from the Marshall School of Business and heading to Wall Street who started their college careers studying Biology or the Classics, and I’m sure they’ll agree that there’s no better place to ‘figure it out’ than Marshall and USC.


Posted on January 29, 2016 by Jack Strauss


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