Price Student Q&A: Aria Catano

Aria Catano

Hometown: Mountain View, CA
Major: Public Policy & Law

Q. What inspired you to choose your major?

A. I came into USC very undecided as to what I wanted to study; all I knew was that I loved learning about and helping people. After taking a policy class as a GE, I realized how perfectly the major aligned with my passions. Not only has it given me the opportunity to learn about society and social justice issues, but it has also given me the skills I need to address the problems we need to face most.

Q. What opportunities has Price afforded you?

A. Price has allowed me to connect with amazing students (undergraduate and graduate), as well as stellar professors who all inspire me on a daily basis. To me, the people in Price are the school’s greatest asset.

Q. What skills have you developed in your time at Price?

A. I’ve gained the ability to explain everyday observations about society with proven theories and data. This has completely reshaped how I think about my world on a daily basis.

Q. Tell us about your internship experience.

A. I’ve had the opportunity to work at Eric Garcetti’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, as well as at a public affairs firm, Cerrell Associates. In my time at the Office of Immigrant Affairs, I was able to research various programs such as TPS and DACA. At Cerrell, I’ve had the chance to write numerous memos for clients in diverse industries across LA, and have been able to familiarize myself with local and state politics.

Q. What class have you enjoyed most at Price and why?

A. PPD 300: Social Justice for Public Policy and PPD 410: Comparative Urban Development have been my favorite classes because they’ve allowed me to study social issues in a critical, in-depth setting. At the same time, they’ve also made me more aware of potential solutions that I can apply moving forward.

Q. What are your future career plans?

A. I plan on continuing into Graduate or Law school, and to ultimately focus on education and immigration policy.

Q. What is the best advice anyone has given to you regarding your education?

A. Take initiative! During my time at USC, I’ve been able to build solid relationships with my professors and have landed some great internships. While I’m still guilty of not following up on every opportunity presented to me, everything counts, and even a small amount of extra effort can go a long way.