Ask @wbbsociety:

How does roommate selection work in the housing application?

Roommate selection can either be random or with a selected roommate. If you know, for sure, that you would like to room with a specific person, you and your friend can request each other through the housing portal. If you do not have a roommate in mind, then the school will do its best to pair you up with someone who has similar interests and living habits. There should be a survey on the housing portal that you can take asking you questions such as: "What time do you wake up? What time do you sleep? What kind of music do you listen to? etc." They will try to match you with someone who has the same housing location preference and has similar interests!

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One of my friends was accepted into the regular Marshall Business Administration program and also the GLP program specifically. She was talking about the school helping those in the GLP program providing internships in Shanghai and Beijing. Are those opportunities available to WBB students as well?

The opportunities to obtain internships in Shanghai and Beijing through GLP is contingent upon the student doing well in that class and are available for GLP students, only. As a WBB student, we are not eligible to take part in the GLP program because we are already traveling to Hong Kong our sophomore year so the school would like us to experience other places and culture. WBB students do have the opportunity to take part in LINC (Learning about International Commerce) classes/trips which take place during the second semester. There are different locations that you can select from and apply to in the beginning of the school year. In terms of the internships in Shanghai and Beijing, WBB students can apply for those through other means, but not through GLP. The Marshall Career Source is the best way that students can look for summer internships, whether they are abroad or in the United States.

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Is it particularly harder for international students to get an internship on their first year? I am from Hong Kong and I want to work for a startup in my freshmen year. Does anyone have similar experience in landing an internship as an international or working for a startup in US?

It is inevitably harder for an international student to get an internship after his/her freshman year. The reason for that is not necessarily only about the legal status since USC can sponsor you some kind of visa for the summer, but the real problem is the lack of family connection that might get you that internship as well as a place to stay. This last one would make the internship experience very expensive and some of us think it's not really worth it.
Having said so, some of us have landed internships as an international, but most of these are unpaid internships, and again, accommodation is very expensive. Some of us have landed internship offers, but chose not to accept the offer in the end.
One student in our cohort, Robert (https://www.facebook.com/robert.tseng.3), has previously worked in a startup. He picked up some technical skills and got a better understanding of what he's interested in. He is not an international student, but feel free to message him if you want to find out more.

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if you chose between webb and parkside what would you choose (weighing in the fact that we're only there for one year)

Again, the answer really depends on your personal preferences. To give you a better idea, we have interviewed two WBB students who live in Parkside and Webb respectively.
Parkside student:
"I like the Parkside cafeteria better than Cafe 84 (Webb cafeteria), especially because Cafe 84 is closed on the weekends. Parkside is a bit closer to the Marshall School of Business, although it doesn't really matter too much if you have a bike or skateboard. As far as I know, both Webb and Parkside are lacking in social life, but I still think Parkside is more conducive to meeting other people because of its suite style."
Webb student:
"I like Webb because it's more comfortable than the Parkside suites. Webb Tower is an apartment, so we have a living space (with couches and coffee tables), a kitchen, and a private bathroom (shared between 2 or 4 people). I also like Webb because it's way quieter compared to the other dorms, and you really get some personal space. In addition, you also get way closer to your suitemates, because you share a living room. Last but not least, Webb is nearer to the Lyon Center (gym, swimming pool, basketball court, and jacuzzi), so if you're into sports, it's really convenient."
Hope this gives you a better idea. If you missed our previous post regarding housing, here's a link to it:
http://ask.fm/wbbsociety/answer/126719792712

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Do you know about Marshall in Manhattan Summer Internship Program(http://goo.gl/7zkYN4)? Are WBB freshmen eligible to apply? And is it for real that they guarantee an internship in Manhattan? What do you think of this program?

WBB freshmen are eligible for Marshall in Manhattan. In fact, one of us have applied and landed an internship. However, he had to decline the offer because the "tuition" fees, on top of housing and transportation, were too expensive.
We're not sure if the program could guarantee, an internship, but we would definitely urge you to still contact the program director because as WBB students we're technically still enrolled at USC (even when we're in Hong Kong and Milan.)
We are also eligible to apply for the Global Summer Internship Program, so you might want to check that out.

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How many free credits do you guys have when you are in USC? How many extra classes can you take with those free credits?

You'll have two free units each semester. This means you can take one 2-unit class, or two 1-unit classes.
Alternatively, you can also pay for more units. It costs $1602.00 for each extra unit.
You can also take summer classes to free up units for your core requirements.
(NOTE: With the new GE system, you'll get more opportunity with IB/AP credits. This MIGHT mean that you'll have more free units, depending on the subjects you took in high school.)

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What are the advantages/disadvantages of an internship in a program that moves around so much? I was planning on working on a startup, but how would that compare to getting an internship?

It depends on the firm. Of course it'll be harder to build a relationship with local firms because we're moving, but global companies are highly receptive to WBB. It is definitely an advantage to talk about your travelling experiences in interviews.
How do you want to compare the start up and internship? Most start ups need manpower, and they give you real experience a lot of the time, but they're not top notch for networking or resume-building purposes. If you have a really solid idea and an excellent team the startup could be great for professional development. Startups are also great for picking up basic skills, such as Microsoft Excel and Powerpoint.
Internships are primarily to build relations with companies and set you up to get a job offer after graduation. An internship with an established company is huge to build your own credibility. The options are not mutually exclusive. As a freshman it's really a matter of choice. Later on (Junior, Senior year), you definitely want to look for internships.
If you have time, you can consider doing both! Again, they serve very different purposes. Hope this answers your question.

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How did you find an internship as a WBB freshman? How to use the degree as an advantage? Thanks!

It is not easy to find an internship as a freshman, but there are several ways which you can do it:
1. Family connections
2. Positions posted on the career center
3. Cold-emailing
4. Networking
Most firms that are recruiting through the university are looking for Juniors and Seniors, and MAYBE Sophomores. Most internships at this stage will be attained through individual means. However, you can use the degree as an advantage, especially when you're networking with professionals, or if you're in an interview. A well-written WBB resume will likely land you a few interviews through the career center. From that, it's really up to you to research the industry/company you are applying to. You can also use the resources provided in the career center, they could be quite helpful.
As an example, one of us (an international student) landed an internship in New York by applying for the YMA fashion scholarship fund award--it was the first time in history that they allowed a freshman to apply, and they made this exception just for WBB. Fortunately, our fellow classmate won the scholarship and was flown to New York to attend an awards event. At the event, she met a representative of a company, and managed to impress once again by talking about WBB. They gave her an interview on the spot, and they, too, didn't usually take freshman. WBB played a huge role in her getting the internship.
To add on, we, as WBB students, definitely have an advantage over regular business students. In an interview/networking event, we would recommend you to stress on
1. What you've done so far and what got you into WBB
2. What you plan to do after graduation (Employers like ambitious students), and
3. Your plans/experience in the three different continents
We must emphasize that networking events are really important, and you must be extra proactive to find an internship. (Especially if you're an international student) The WBB Society is currently working on sharing and expanding our connections; hopefully this would help you and your peers in the future. Hope this answers your question.

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Is there any way at all to take some data science/ comp science classes while in USC. Also, is there anybody who will be informed enough to just comment on how easy it'd be for someone from the WBB to chalk up enough credits to qualify for a masters in anything other than business?

There are definitely some ways to take CS classes while in USC. Some of the students in our cohort (the 2018 cohort) have taken/are currently taking 2-unit CS classes, including Introduction to Java Programming, Introduction to Python, and Introduction to C++. If you are very passionate CS, you can also pay for extra units, or try to fulfill some GE/core requirements by applying to summer school. If not, the 2-unit classes are quite interesting as well.
As for qualifying for a masters, we'll get back to you on this question. (We have tried asking our Academic Advisor, Russ, but he didn't get back to us yet.) If you have other academic-related questions in the future, we would strongly advise you to talk to him!

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What is the best type of housing to apply to?

The answer depends on your preferences. If you want to meet a lot of people, the dorms are your best option. New north as you may know is the most social dorm but is also the loudest and least clean, although for dorms the rooms are bigger than Pardee, Marks, or Trojan. The business floor on Pardee was a popular option for WBB students this year. Birnkrant is a popular option for students with scholarship. If you want more privacy and more personal space, then the suites in Fluor or Parkside, or the apartments in Cardinal Gardens and Webb, are likely a better option. In the apartments, you will get a living area with sofas and a kitchen. Rules are enforced differently by each RA, but new north is generally more relaxed. Parkside is pretty far from the other freshman dorms but has better food than EVK (new north, Pardee, Marks, Trojan). Flour and Webb are right next to the gym and have a pretty good dining hall (Cafe84, closed on weekends), although they are also a little isolated. If you want a cheaper meal plan, you can choose to live off-campus. Off-campus housing is generally cheaper, but you’ll have to spend time commuting everyday, and you might miss out on part of the freshman experience. Ultimately, the decision is up to you.

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What is student life and culture like at HKUST? This page is so helpful thanks!!

You're welcome, we're glad that the page helps! At HKUST, you're part of an incredibly diverse and ambitious student body. From classes to career advancement opportunities, you always have a chance to challenge yourself and grow both as a person and as a young professional. On top of that, you can join sports teams and activities - the campus is located right by the water, and offers top-notch facilities. The campus locations give students a break from HK Island's chaos, with hiking paths and hidden beaches just around the corner. And if you're craving skyscrapers and crowds, they're less than 20 minutes away! For those who have never lived in Asia, you will shortly feel overwhelmed by how many beautiful places are just a few hours away, so it will be another challenge to balance your school work with extensive traveling. Hope this answers your question!

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Pardon me if this question seems naive, but I was really wondering if there are any tips as to where we could find and mingle with people with ideas (start-up, initiatives) because I really would love such exposure early in USC, given that we're only spending 1 year there!

This is not a naïve question at all! At USC, there are plenty of opportunities to mingle with future entrepreneurs. Here are a few tips:
- There are plenty of student organizations that recruit these types of people. Some examples are Lavalab (a student-run incubator), SparkSC, and the USC Entrepreneur Club. You can search up these organizations if you want more information
- People who are specifically interested in computer science/tech can join Hack Nights and/or HackSC.
- If you are extremely passionate about start-ups/entrepreneurship, we will strongly recommend you to take a 2-unit class. Your academic advisor, Russ, will point you towards some classes that you can take
- If you want to explore and discover more about start-ups, there are some short programs/conferences that you can attend. As an example, Startup Equinox organizes a kickoff event every year, where you can hear students pitch their innovative ideas
- If you are looking for an internship or some work experience, we have multiple start-up career fairs throughout the year. However, to our knowledge, most of these start-ups are looking to hire sophomores and juniors, and a lot of them seem to prefer engineering majors to business majors.
- Getting involved with entrepreneurship has a lot to do with personal initiatives. You can get involved even without joining any of these organizations. In general, USC has a pretty strong entrepreneurial spirit, and we’re sure you’ll find something here. Hope this answers your question!

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how would you define USC's college life?

This is a very broad question, but in short, college life in USC is what you make of it. Every WBB student has a very different experience as far as academics and clubs go. There are plenty of extracurricular activities and you have a lot of control over your experience. As an example, some are involved in academic organizations (investment groups, trading groups, consulting clubs etc.) some in societies (dance societies, intramural sports clubs, student government), and some are part of Greek life. Some students choose to focus mainly on academics, while others focus on their professional development. There are many opportunities for us to network with USC alumni. It is also important to note that there is a prevalent social culture in USC. USC isn't just a place to grow academically and professionally, but also in a self-discovery sense an exploration through a variety of social opportunities/niches.

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