Commencement Spotlight: Christian Reyes

Christian Reyes is a Class of 2021 Trojan—who after starting college on a pre-med track—is now graduating with a B.S. in pharmacology and drug development from USC Mann. Here, he talks about joining the Trojan Marching Band, why he’s pursuing a progressive master’s in regulatory science and the power of the USC alumni network.

What originally attracted you to your field?  

I have to give a shout-out to Dr. Eunjoo Pacifici from the school’s Department of Regulatory and Quality Sciences. When I first came to USC, I was set on the pre-med track and a biological sciences major, both of which did not really click with me. However, when I took Dr. Pacifici’s class on biomedical globalization during my sophomore year, I learned all about the field of regulatory science and drug development. The opportunity to work in international regulation and marketing especially piqued my interest, as learning about different cultures and regions and working with international partners is something I could envision myself doing in the future. I changed my major to pharmacology and drug development, am working on a masters in regulatory science, and have not looked back since!

How did you come to the decision to pursue your degree at USC? 

A large part of the decision to attend USC was what I could do outside of the classroom. Being in band in high school, I was extremely excited to join the Trojan Marching Band and be a part of game days and other events. Another factor in my decision was being a California native. It just felt natural to me to continue my education in the sunshine.

Now that your time at USC is coming to an end, what is one of your favorite memories of your time here? How do you feel your experiences at USC have prepared you for this next chapter in your life?  

One of my favorite memories is my first game day as part of the Trojan Marching Band. As we started to play outside of Heritage Hall, I could see my parents smiling and waving as they wiped their tears. It was at that moment that I really felt like a part of USC, like a Trojan. I think that my experiences at USC have prepared me to embrace new experiences and change. That confidence stems from my courses, extracurriculars, and network of colleagues and professors (and everything in between).

Can you tell us about your post-graduation plans? What are you most looking forward to? 

My post-graduation plans are to finish my progressive master’s degree in regulatory science and begin working. I am most looking forward to beginning my career and putting all of this knowledge into practice. All of the accomplished professors in the regulatory science program have shown me that the opportunities and possibilities in this field are limitless.

Do you have any advice to the students who are following in your footsteps? Is there anything else you’d like to share?

The Trojan Family is a real thing! To me, when I first came to USC, it sounded cliché—like something you would hear anywhere else. However, after all my time here, I can definitely say that the alumni network is amazing. All of my classes have had alumni come back to give presentations and showcase their work and careers. So, if you meet a professor or colleague whose work really interests you, let them know and form a relationship with them. They may just help you find your career path and invite you back years later to speak to new students—something I want to do for sure!