We interviewed Eesen Sivapalan, who is a college student at the USC Marshall School of Business, to discuss his on-campus experience. In this student interview learn how Eesen shines online, his best tips for getting accepted into your dream school, and how he became an outstanding student.
Student Interview Key Takeaways
- Be yourself and have fun on social media, just don’t post anything that you wouldn’t want your parents to see.
- College is a way to transition from being a high school student to being an adult.
- Leadership activities are very valuable because it shows that you’re someone who is willing to face challenges head-on.
What are you studying and what is your background?
I’m pursuing a dual degree in Business Administration and Accounting in the Marshall School of Business and the Leventhal School of Accounting. I’m also pursuing a minor in Media Economics and Entrepreneurship through the Annenberg School of Communication. I transferred in the fall of 2014 from the University of Alabama Huntsville. I’m about wrapping up my degrees here. So far the experience at USC has been phenomenal. It’s been much more than I expected. There’s so much opportunity and so much to do here. There’s so much to be involved and get yourself engaged in. I am involved in a few different activities and organizations here on campus.
How can students make the most of their college experience?
The best way to make the most of your experience here is to thrive on busyness. I have a work-study job at the Marshall School of Business in the Undergraduate Programs Office. I’m a lead student intern there. On Tuesday nights, I help facilitate the Marshall core review sessions which is a peer tutoring program that Marshall holds. I’m also the president of the Hindu Student Organization. I also joined the Founding Board for Health Guardians. I’m on board as the Vice President of Health Education.
How would you suggest high schoolers behave online?
I am very active on social media, especially Facebook. I don’t post anything vile. I do not get involved in those types of activities to begin with. The pictures you’ll find of me, are pictures of celebrating an activity. For example as a part of the Hindu Student Organization, we hosted about 400 students for our Diwali event. You’ll find pictures of me celebrating that event and maybe speaking at that event. It’s good to be yourself. High school is a really fun time. Be yourself. Have fun, but don’t post anything that you wouldn’t want your parents to see. I think that’s a real good rule of thumb to go by. While you think it’s reserved to just you and your friends, pretty much anything on the internet can be accessed by anyone.
What do you want to do after USC?
The past summer, I worked at a company called Workday up in the Bay Area in Pleasanton, CA. They were kind enough to give me a return offer to join the next summer for an internship in consulting. I’ll be doing that next summer and we’ll see where life takes me after that. I would love to be a part of Workday full-time, but you never know how life goes with time.
What can students do online to improve their chances of getting accepted to their dream school?
When you apply to this college you’ll be given the chance to talk about why you want to apply to USC. There are lots of opportunities through your application where you can talk about your passion. If you’re interested in communication, and you have a website where you post things related to that subject, you can link to that website on your application. Better yet, you can even reach out to some of the professors on campus and then you can bring that up in your college application. There are all kinds of ways to be creative to make yourself stand out amongst the crowd and have a really good shot at getting in. It’s hard to get into USC but once you get in, it’ll be worth it in the end.
What advice do you have for high school and middle school kids?
Colleges like to see that you’re involved outside of the classroom. When you’re on campus, college is a way for you to transition from a high school student to an adult. There are lots of opportunities to get involved outside of the classroom here on campus. They want to see that high school students are involved in other things besides school. If you have leadership activities; community service volunteer, sports clubs, those are ways to show that you are interested in things outside of class. Getting involved outside of the classroom is a good way to show that you’re passionate about different things. Leadership activities are very valuable because it shows that you’re someone who is willing to to face challenges head-on. You’re not a robot pretty much.