News | Catching up with METRANS Student Worker Namitha Nixon

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by Jacob Wong, USC Master of Public Policy, 2023

Now in her third year as an undergraduate student at USC, METRANS student worker Namitha Nixon is excited for changes ahead both at METRANS and in her own experience as a student. Nixon is pursuing a Business and Cinematic Arts degree, offered by the Marshall School of Business, which gives students the unique opportunity to learn more about the business side of the entertainment industry through avenues such as marketing, distribution, and agency work. 


“Junior year is pretty intense, but I feel like I learned a lot last year and have a better idea of the direction where I’m headed,” said Nixon, adding that she has enjoyed the classes she’s taking this semester so far. 


In addition to her current slate of classes, Nixon also had a chance to learn about life in the entertainment industry this summer as a risk management intern for Disney. A self-proclaimed Marvel fan, Nixon recalls the opportunity to go on the set of a Marvel movie as one of the highlights of her internship experience.


Namitha Nixon, Business of Cinematic Arts, USC


Nixon will be granted another unique opportunity next semester as a participant in a study abroad program at Seoul National University in South Korea. During the semester-long program, Nixon will take a number of business courses at the university related to her degree, and she looks forward to learning and experiencing life in a different culture.


“I’m most excited to experience living in Seoul, eat all the good food, and enjoy living in a new place for a semester,” said Nixon. “Seoul is such a vibrant city, so I’m just so happy to be there”


Nixon, who has traveled to Seoul before, cites its public transit system as one of her favorite parts of the city and a service she looks forward to using during her study abroad program. In comparison to her experiences using public transit in the United States, Nixon appreciates the timeliness, cleanliness, and wide coverage of Seoul’s system.


Coincidentally, Nixon’s appreciation of Seoul’s public transit is what led her to join METRANS. After her last time visiting the city, Nixon wrote a blog post about the system which a METRANS staff member came across, resulting in an offer for Nixon to join the consortium as a student worker. Although she has not taken any transportation-related courses as a student, Nixon shares that she has learned a lot about issues in the transportation field during her time at the consortium.


Nixon has filled a number of different roles during her time at METRANS, working for the newsletter team, toastmasters, and serving as a lead for the K-12 program, a position she holds this semester too. Nixon is excited to continue working with the K-12 team to organize events that help children from local underserved communities gain exposure to the transportation field.


“We put together a lot of grant-funded programs…working with partners such as the Port of Long Beach or Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS),” said Nixon while describing K-12’s events so far this year. “Every single program we’ve done is inspiring and makes you very grateful to be at USC. It’s really cool to be able to work with students and hopefully inspire them to go into transportation or other fields such as engineering.” 


Looking ahead to the rest of the year, Nixon anticipates a number of changes in store for METRANS, specifically citing tweaks to this year’s upcoming K-12 programs as the program lead. “We’ve done [these programs] in the past and have some really great activities and modifications that we’re adding based on those experiences,” said Nixon. As an example, she mentions a modification to an event from last year that had students participate in activities to learn about trade in different countries. This year, students will get to try snacks from different countries as a more interactive way to engage with the topic.


Nixon is also excited for the addition of Jennifer Hong, formerly the program administrator for the USC Price School Master of Urban Planning program, as the new METRANS Associate Director for Administration. “[Jennifer] is such a positive person and so great to work with. She works so hard for us, and I definitely am excited to work with her and see where METRANS will go,” said Nixon.


About the Author:

Jacob is a second-year MPP student at the Price School of Public Policy. He is interested in urban policy and transportation planning issues. As a recent LA transplant, he enjoys exploring the area and the local food scene in his free time.