By Rachel Krusenoski, B.S. USC Price School Urban Studies and Planning
From January 19 to January 21, 2018, students representing the USC Chapter of the Institute of Transportation Engineers attended the 5th annual 2018 ITE Western Leadership Summit at Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR. The summit gave students from universities from across the western district the opportunity to collaborate, meet leading professionals in the field, and further develop their leadership skills.
The USC representatives represented both engineers and planners. The group included the current Student chapter President, Maya Bouchet; incoming President and Urban Studies and Planning student at Sol Price School of Public Policy, Rachel Krusenoski; Treasurer and Industrial and Systems Engineering student at Viterbi School of Engineering Lei Lily Tam; incoming Secretary and Communications and Urban Studies and Planning student at Lilly Nei, and incoming Vice President of Recruitment, Transportation Engineering student at Viterbi School of Engineering, Priyanka Ramasamy. The group was accompanied by the chapter advisor, Professor Eric Shen, and former chapter member and USC alumnus, Griffin Kantz (Urban Studies and Planning student, Sol Price School of Public Policy 2017).
From left to right, Prof. Eric Shen, Rachel Krusenoski, Priyanka Ramasamy, Lei Lily Tam, Lilly Nie, Griffin Kantz and Maya Bouchet
Photo by Eric Shen
The summit’s agenda featured workshops, presentations, and a student competition, where students worked in teams to create presentations on leadership, professional development, and ways to improve their own ITE chapters. Two members of the USC delegation, Nie and Krusenoski, were members of the winning team. Their presentation, titled “You Deserve Your Best Shot,” discussed how mentorship, collaboration, communication, networking, and leadership are essential for students to develop into successful young professionals.
Winning team Krusenoski and Nie in the winning team with Randy McCourt, the ITE International Vice President Candidate
Photo by Eric Shen
“It was empowering in an unexpected way—I felt like I belonged, even if I didn’t have the technical expertise of a civil engineering student or the wisdom of an upperclassmen,” said Nie. “The ITE community is truly one that builds every member up, and I appreciated that value in my experience”.
Students were also afforded the opportunity to participate in a speed interview and resume workshop where students worked one-on-one with the professionals who attended the conference. Kimley-Horn, DKS, and Oregon’s Department of Transportation were among the many companies that met with students.
“It was really helpful to be able to network with all of the companies that were at the summit,” said Tam. “They gave us a lot of insight into what it would be like to work in this field.”
The summit left the USC delegates with excitement and energy that they are looking forward to putting back into the chapter.
“I’m excited for the direction ITE is heading. It’s great to see a mix of engineers and planners in the organizations, as well as having members that range from freshman to second year graduate students. Everyone is driven to make the club successful,” said Bouchet.
About the Author： Rachel Krusenoski
Rachel Krusenoski is a junior, pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Urban Studies and Planning with a track in Environmental Policy and Planning at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. She also has a minor in Environmental Studies. Rachel is now the ITE Chapter president, and will serve from February 2018 to February 2019. She is interested in pursuing a career in environmental or transportation planning. She can be reached at email@example.com.