Meet My Best Friend, Alec Pourmoghadam

Meet Alec Pourmoghadam. Not only is he my best friend, but he is also an advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, women’s rights and racial equality. Learn more about him and his transition into life at Carolina.

Instagram: @apourmoghadam

Her Campus South Carolina: What drew you to USC?

Alec Pourmoghadam: Who wouldn’t want to be a Gamecock? But, no really, I love the campus and how there is so much opportunity for new experiences. I can tell the administration really cares about their students and is willing to do anything to help them get the most out of their college experience. I also like how diverse the students are. I was not exposed to as many different types of people and ideas back at my high school in Charleston, and this has helped me learn and understand them better.

HCSC: How have you gotten adjusted to college life?

AP: I knew I needed to get as involved as possible right away so I could meet people with common interests and make this big campus seem a little smaller. I ran for the Green Quad senator position for the UofSC Residence Hall Association and ended up winning! I really enjoy being able to have a voice in improving Green Quad and the opportunity to plan fun events for the residents. Once I heard about Dance Marathon I knew I had to join. I get to raise money for the children at the Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital in a really fun way, and I love knowing that I have made a positive impact on a kid’s life. After I spent about a month on campus, I realized how easy it is to become a stereotypical broke college student. So, I decided to get a job as a university housing SPUR. All of these organizations have helped me learn more about campus and discover new ways to get involved with things that I am passionate about.

HCSC: Sounds like you are a VIF (Very Involved Freshman)! Is this new or did it carry over from high school?

AP: It definitely carried over, I was super involved all four years of high school. I went to a small, audition-only arts school called Charleston County School of the Arts (SOA) for vocal, so I spent a lot of my time at rehearsals, on trips and preparing for concerts and auditions. I was elected to student council all four years and even became student body president my senior year. Because of this, I was on the student senate committee for my school district as well. Along with student government, I was also president of the SOA LGBTQ+ Spectrum Club and vice president of the Feminist Club. I am super passionate about all of these clubs and I am really grateful to go to a university that offers similar things.

HCSC: How does going to an art school as SOA compare to going to a big state school like USC?

AP: Because I went to such a small school, there weren’t nearly as many opportunities as there are at USC. It is much easier to make connections with the right people and get involved on campus. At SOA, it was basically a bunch of artsy fartsy kids that looked the same and generally had all the same views. At USC, it is interesting to meet new people with different views and talk to them about it instead of hearing the same old thing.

HCSC: What is something that someone wouldn’t know about you when they first meet you?

AP: Just by looking at me and having a brief conversation, you would never know that my dad is an immigrant from Iran, that I am gay, a strong supporter for women’s rights and trying to live as sustainable as possible. However, you would know that I have a 14-year-old, half blind, chihuahua named Lolita May Bright because she is the light of my life, and I constantly post her on my Snapchat story.

HCSC: What is one piece of advice you would give to your 10-year-old self?

AP: As corny as it sounds, I would tell myself that even if life gets hard, the sun will always come up tomorrow. I would also tell myself a quote from my U101 professor Laura Lavender, “Do your own thing, because no one really cares about anything but themselves. At the end of the day, do what you love.” These are mottos that I live by.

HCSC: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

AP: I have two completely opposite paths that I hope to achieve. The first one is to be a financial manager for a nonprofit that preferably focuses on either LGBTQ+ rights, arts education, or sustainability. The second one is to be a stay at home PTA dad for my set of twins. But for right now I am happy where I am and I can’t wait to see not only what my future at USC holds, but also what my future in life is.