"Finding My Place" a Transfer Experience

October 16, 2019
• by
Caitlin Ciano

As a transfer student, when I first came to USC, I was motivated to find a student organization that I was both passionate in and felt like I belonged. To do this, I attended the Involvement Fair the first week of classes. This two-day fair showcases over 1,000 student organizations that are active on campus. Every organization has a booth with representatives eager to talk to potential members as they walk by. While making my way down the bustling and chaotic Trousdale Parkway, I stumbled upon Marshall Women’s Leadership Board (MWLB). I was able to learn about this organization from the Vice President of Administration that allowed me to get a true insight of what this club entails. MWLB represents ambitious and empowered women in all schools of USC. It is a chance for a group of women to come together to learn about each other’s experiences, build connections with members from different backgrounds, and connect with industry professionals. The mission of this organization inspired me to apply and hopefully have the opportunity to be a part of this community. 

After turning in an application and completing an interview, I was able to be named a member of MWLB. The organization consists of 50 women, allowing for an intimate and tightknit community. We have a meeting once a week, in which we host an industry professional that speaks on behalf of their company. Many of these speakers are women that serve as role models for all members. MWLB features speakers from all industries, giving a glimpse of different career paths. Some companies that I was fortunate to hear from are: FTI Consulting, Disney, WeWork, and Alvarez and Marsal. After hearing background about the speaker and their role in the company, members are able to ask questions that give us a deeper look into the industry. Apart from weekly speakers, MWLB also hosts networking events such as coffee talks with featured companies such as Halo Top and ManiMe. Having access to talk to recruiters and employees from these top companies is extremely invaluable.

Not only does this organization provide me with irreplaceable networking opportunities, but with wonderful friendship as well. During our weekly meetings, I get a chance to connect with different people each time. Having the opportunity to talk with people from different majors, internship experiences, and upbringings, opens my eyes to the endless paths that USC paves for us. As a transfer student, I was intimidated coming into a new environment halfway through my college career, however, I was able to find my community that inspires me connect with people every day.