Elliott Herbst

Major: Composition

Graduation year: 2023

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

USC Organizations: Kazan Taiko

Hashtag to describe yourself: #CalvinandHobbes

Favorite place on campus: When you want to relax, you can set up a hammock between the trees at McCarthy Quad, which is nice. For a studious time, I’m one of the few people who likes Leavey Library, which is a study library. I’m a fan of its minimalist design and how expansive it is. Just come really early in the morning to land a seat during midterms or finals.

Describe your favorite USC Thornton experience so far.

It’s difficult to choose a favorite, so here is something that I really liked. Jon Burlingame, the professor who teaches the film music history class is also a professional film and music reporter. Because people in the industry know and like him, we got to listen to him interview several of the greats in a few of the classes. Sometimes we got to ask them questions ourselves!

What was your favorite USC GE class?

LING 275, Language and the Mind wins as I’m answering this, but competition is close. The first half of the class covers the building blocks of language, and the second half focuses on the social part of language, which was especially neat.

What is your favorite thing about being in Los Angeles?

As an LA native, occasionally I can point people to experiences they might enjoy that they otherwise might not know about… especially if they’re into Italian delis.

What is something you wish you knew when you were applying to college?

A marked-up wall calendar would have been so helpful with deadlines. Everything I needed to do was done on time, but I use a wall calendar now, and it’s pretty helpful.

What is your favorite thing about being a student at the Thornton School?

The bagels (not really, though bagels are nice). One of my favorite things about USC Thornton is that the faculty are really, really passionate about helping students, and they all like what they teach.

Why did you choose the Thornton School? 

In addition to the strength of the program, the USC Thornton alumni network shines because it’s fairly concentrated. Since Los Angeles is home to a huge arts scene, Thornton alumni are likely to make careers here instead of spreading out all over the country/world. Since I plan on working in Hollywood, the relationships I begin at this school have the potential to continue until after I retire. Plus, after I shadowed the freshman composition class of the year, I called my parents and told them that I was enrolling immediately. So, there’s that.