I am eternally grateful for the opportunity I had to attend USC. My four years as an undergraduate student were an incredible experience, and my membership into the Trojan Family community is an exceptional privilege. This university means so much to me, and I remain honored by the opportunity to now represent my alma mater as a member of the Office of Undergraduate Admission.
The responsibility of discussing USC and the path to admission with prospective students and their families is one that continually fills me with joy – a feeling that helps motivate me through the long days on the road visiting high schools in the fall, or those days in the winter and spring spent reviewing applications and making some very difficult decisions.
Of all the things I love about my job as an admission counselor, though, one clearly rises to the top – the opportunity to advocate for students.
The fact that USC does not employ any GPA or standardized test score minimums in our admission process allows me the chance to make the case for students who don’t fit the traditional academic mold of a strong applicant, but whose story is so compelling as to make up for it. Often, these are students from disadvantaged backgrounds who have proven a great deal by their ability to be successful in a difficult environment. Other times, these are students who have overcome trauma with a level of resolve and maturity that resonates strongly with me.
The common thread between these students is that, within their application, they told their story. If you are a prospective student reading this, one of the best pieces of advice I can give you in applying to USC (or any school, really) is to be honest and open about your story; find an example of a formative experience of your life, and own it. I promise – we will notice.
The Trojan Family, to me, means that we’re here for each other. Everyone faces challenges in their life, even those who come from backgrounds not typically associated with overcoming adversity. That we’re all faced with the challenge, one day at a time, of motivating ourselves and others to continue fighting when we’re knocked down, of maintaining our self-belief when faced with obstacles both internal and external, is what defines the human experience. It brings us all, regardless of our differences and varied life experiences, together.
The USC community is comprised of so many types of individuals. The connections between us are truly a beautiful sight to behold – both on a large scale, like when we congregate to cheer on the Trojan football team in droves of Cardinal and Gold, or on a smaller scale, like when a student is simply there to support one of their peers in a time of need. And it’s happening all around you, all the time. It creates an amazing vibe on campus that needs to be experienced to be fully appreciated, as with every moment at USC, one can be constantly assured that somewhere nearby, in a library or dorm or hammock cocoon on McCarthy Quad, someone special is receiving the love and support to keep fighting on.
And that’s what the Trojan Family means to me.