Allison Zubeck: ISE Graduating Student Q&A

| May 3, 2021

Graduating senior, Zubeck was an Eboard member of Robogals USC and will now go on to a role in the Los Angeles office of consulting firm Protiviti.

Allison Zubeck

Allison Zubeck

Allison Zubeck
Seattle, Washington
B.S. Industrial & Systems Engineering – Information Systems Track

What first inspired you to study engineering?

The immense satisfaction I got out of programming LEGO Mindstorms Robots for FIRST Lego League competitions in middle school first made me consider a career in engineering, instead of a career as a librarian! I grew up in a family with a variety of engineers, so I knew there were many disciplines to choose from. My mom also influenced me from a young age as she incorporated design thinking and engineering skills from her own engineering background into educating my brother and I.

What was a highlight of your time at USC Viterbi?

Spending ten hours collecting data at Starbucks to develop a mathematical simulation model for a class in discrete systems simulation was one of the most interesting projects in ISE. The simulation model was a highly collaborative effort and the process showed both the power and limitations of making mathematical predictions about real life.

Are there any extracurricular activities or organizations you have been part of during your studies?

Being a volunteer and Eboard member of Robogals USC was one of the most rewarding aspects of my first two years at USC. I loved developing engineering workshops and introducing local elementary school kids to engineering with the small successes that first piqued my interest in engineering. It also challenged me to wear new ‘hats’ and made me realize how much organizational energy it takes to keep a small club going (I’d compare it to a start-up)!

Tell us about a project you took part in during your studies that made an impact on you.

Tackling the task of actually implementing a database and sales forecast for a local manufacturer during senior design project demanded that our team members dig deep into our brains to integrate tools from different classes – forecasting, database design, and project management. One of my favorite parts was interviewing the client and trying to visualize all their business processes in a massive flowchart, and figure out exactly how our proposed additions would be integrated. The elation when we finally delivered a working database and entry forms was wonderful, and I have even more respect for career project managers than I did previously.

What are your plans after graduation?

I will be joining the Los Angeles office of Protiviti, a consulting firm, in their Technology Consulting practice.

What is something you’ll miss most about USC?

I already miss getting to walk around campus between classes to meet up with a friend or find a quiet nook to study!

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