Sydney Ahmed

Major: Music Industry

Minor: Legal Studies

Graduation year: 2023

Hometown: Leawood, Kansas

USC Organizations: Trojan Marching Band (Drumline), Gamma Phi Beta, Phi Alpha Delta, 840 West, USC Society of Women in Law

Hashtag to describe yourself: #askmeaboutmydogs

Favorite place on campus: The lawns around Thornton.

Describe your favorite USC Thornton experience so far.

My most memorable Thornton experience was the week in Popular Music Forum when we had legendary singer-songwriter Jackie DeShannon as a guest. Not only was it neat to hear from her and her advice but members of the Popular Music program performed a surprise medley for her at the end, which was so cool to witness their talent and her reaction to it!

What was your favorite USC GE class?

Hip Hop Music and Culture was such a neat class because not only did we learn about the music itself, but also breakdancing, graffiti, skating, and the whole realm that made up the culture of hip hop. The professor, Sean Nye, was very passionate about the subject, and we were able to have some really cool guest speakers in class. Along with this, we dove into popular hip hop artists and their music and really analyzed it, which was so cool to do.

What is your favorite thing about being in Los Angeles?

I love the culture of Los Angeles, and being around so many major performance venues and the entertainment industry and its long history that is in the heart of Los Angeles. I love that there is always something going on, and this city is filled with so many creative people.

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

I wish I knew that not only do you want to be at a school, the schools also want you to be there as well. They are equally looking for new students as much as you are hunting for the perfect college. Don’t feel so stressed out about being the perfect candidate!

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

Not only my class, but every class of students at Thornton is so talented and I have made so many great friends that I love to work with as well as see them express their talents. Even just within the music industry major, getting to connect and collaborate with my peers is such a great experience at Thornton. Not only do we create really neat things together, we have created bonds that will last a long time and I know I will run into these people in the industry in the future!

Why did you choose the Thornton School? 

When I was beginning my college search, I was not sure what I wanted to do or major in, other than I knew that I loved music and wanted to be a part of the fascinating realm that is the business of music. I had thought I would go somewhere with a strong business program and minor in music in order to fulfill both of my interests, however I was pleasantly surprised when I stumbled upon a Billboard article listing the top schools for Music Industry across the nation. When I started doing more research into USC and the Thornton School of Music, I knew it was the place for me. Not only is USC the perfect blend of social and academic experience, it also has a very strong business and music school which combine perfectly to create the B.S. in Music Industry at the Thornton School of Music. The plethora of amazing and experienced professors has allowed me to make real connections with legends in the industry, as well as my ambitious and dedicated peers who inspire me everyday.