Name: Leah Shamouni
Expected graduation: December 2017
Hometown: Los Angeles, California
Why did you choose to attend Annenberg?
I truly believe that communication skills are crucial to have no matter what career path you’re pursuing so when considering different programs, Annenberg was a no brainer! I noticed that Annenberg sets itself apart from other programs because it maintains a forward-thinking perspective that prioritizes educating students on the newest industry trends and technologies within journalism, communication, and PR.
Tell us about a great experience or opportunity you've had here at Annenberg.
I was a member of the 2016 Bay Area Maymester, which was the first ever of its kind. Along with 16 other students, I spent 12 days in San Francisco visiting a variety of technology focused companies that exposed me to the intersection of communication, media, business, and technology. This was definitely an “aha” moment for me because it was then that I found my passion for innovation and had the opportunity to speak to top communication professionals from companies such as Google, Facebook/Instagram, Intel, and Pixar. The Bay Area Maymester gave me all the necessary tools I need in my entrepreneurial tool box and is an experience that can only be found at Annenberg!
What makes Annenberg special?
What a question! First, Annenberg has one of the most diverse student bodies ever. Students come from all over the world, which brings a fresh perspective to every classroom. Annenberg also invests in the success of their students by offering frequent networking events, classes at the Digital Lounge (I took their Photoshop class!), lunch and learns, career advisement, and more. Most importantly, the Annenberg Trojan Network is a family that will be there for you no matter what stage you are in your academic or professional life!
What's one thing at USC that no student should miss?
Studying abroad! On ICS, I totally expanded my horizons and went out of my comfort zone. Being on a different side of the world not only teaches you about other cultures, but teaches you so much about yourself. Annenberg has various study abroad opportunities that fit any major, semester, or budget…so there’s something for everyone!
Tell us about an experience you’ve had outside of class.
This past summer, I studied abroad with USC Annenberg on their International Communication Program. This program was multi-citied, so I traveled across Europe to London, Paris, Madrid, Berlin, and Prague in the span of 5 weeks! Not only did we tour each city, but we also visited media companies and saw how overseas businesses are utilizing technology to stay competitive in their foreign markets.
What's your favorite spot on campus and why?
My favorite spot on campus is the Wallis Annenberg Hall lobby where I can grab a coffee from The Café and watch the news on the big screen. It’s also a great place to wire in and do my work!
What have you learned that's made a difference to you?
I’ve learned to never stop learning. Staying curious is key to self-growth and although I’m graduating, education is something I’ll always value!
What advice do you have for incoming students?
Get involved! USC celebrates a lifestyle where students can simultaneously do what they love while they excel academically and professionally. Don’t be afraid to join groups, go to info sessions, take non-major elective courses, or attend networking events. You’ll surprise yourself, I promise!