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Inside University of Southern California

My name is Selene Klasner. I’m a tutor and teacher at A-List, and also a USC Trojan, Class of 2018. I started at USC as a Biology major but finished with my B.A. in Public Relations and minor in Theatre (more on that later). I was president of my a cappella group, the Troy Tones, interned at 7 different companies, performed in 8 theatrical productions, and gave hundreds of tours as a Tour Guide. Here are the top 3 things I think prospective students (and families) should know about USC:

The city of Los Angeles is at your fingertips

I grew up in a small suburb in upstate New York, so the prospect of living and learning in Los Angeles was a huge draw for me in choosing USC. As a Trojan, LA often felt like an extension of campus, and its immediate proximity affects every facet of student life. I took an amazing class my senior year called “The Rhetoric of Los Angeles,” in which we studied how Los Angeles had been communicated in media and popular culture. I’ll carry what I learned in that class with me always, but my favorite day was when Roy Choi visited and brought us Kogi BBQ Kimchi quesadillas. Delicious!

Professionally, USC’s location affords a wealth of opportunities. Many of my classes were taught by adjunct professors, who offered invaluable knowledge, connections, and experience in their respective fields, yet were still incredibly accessible. I was also able to intern at companies like NBCUniversal and DreamWorks while taking a full load of classes.

There’s something for everyone

USC is a large research institution in a major city that also boasts amazing programs in the fine arts, over 1000 clubs and organizations, a vibrant athletics department, and one of the most diverse student bodies in the country. I left USC feeling like I could redo my undergraduate experience a hundred times over and still not have covered everything!

I entered USC as a pre-med Biology major and Theatre minor. After my freshman year, however, I had been exposed to so many new options and career paths that I made a huge switch to the Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism as a Public Relations major, a discipline I hadn’t even heard of before I got to USC. This is one of the reasons I’m so grateful I attended USC. I had no idea I would change my major before I entered college, let alone to something so drastically different! But USC turned out to be the perfect place to make that change — I had tons of flexibility in choosing my new major and felt confident knowing no matter what I chose, I would still be getting a world-class education. In fact, Annenberg consistently ranks in the top 3 universities in the world in the communication and media studies category.

Your classmates will be your biggest inspiration

USC students are a special breed. My classmates amazed me the minute I stepped foot on campus. Everyone seemed to know where they were going in life and how to get there. If you’ve ever attended or watched a USC football game, you’d know that the spirit and passion students (and alumni) have for the Trojan Family is palpable.

It was intimidating! I learned quickly that most people, like me, were still figuring it out, and this put me at ease. But they knew that in some way, they were going to make positive change in this world. They carved out academic and professional paths for themselves; even as undergraduate students they weren’t afraid to voice their ideas to a room full of professionals. This kind of confidence was magnetic. I quickly followed suit, and it paid off. I did things I never thought I could do: leading 90-minute long campus tours, becoming president of my a cappella group, and even switching my major were things I never thought I was capable of. But watching my fellow Trojans pursue their dreams so fervently inspired me to do the same. I’m so grateful for my time at USC. Fight On!

Interested in learning more about USC? Check out my video on the A-List YouTube channel.


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