Faithful, scholarly, skillful, courageous and ambitious: These are the five traits that embody the spirit of a Trojan. For Katherine Berry, a senior majoring in business administration, being a Trojan does not stop at these five traits. To Berry, the identity of a Trojan also means community, empowerment and
contributing to the Trojan family.
Like many other students, Berry found her niche on campus early in her USC career through her extracurricular activities and organizations, such as the Spirit of Troy, Society 53 and working as an admissions center tour guide. Although Berry has an impossibly full plate of activities, she manages her time effectively through prioritization.
On top of her already hectic daily schedule, Berry still finds time to create videos for her college lifestyle YouTube channel, Katherout, which has over 90,000 subscribers.
During the summer between eighth and ninth grade, Berry
began her internet career out of boredom and UGG boots. As any sensible buyer would, Berry looked up photos of the UGG boots she wanted to buy. However, no matter how hard she looked, there just weren’t very many photos of them online — until she came across a YouTube haul video of a 13 year-old girl who was showcasing her UGG boots.
“I was just so entranced that she was showing everything she had bought at the mall and that I was watching it for 12 minutes and was fully entertained,” Berry said.
Before this, Berry had never really watched or used YouTube frequently.
Fascinated by an online interest in haul videos, Berry felt she could do the same.
“I was like, ‘I could totally do this,’” Berry said. “I just started making videos on topics I knew. It could be just advice. It could be my morning routine of how I get ready for school. I did a lot of academically oriented videos.”
Just like that, her YouTube channel, Katherout, was born. Katherout soon grew in fame from Berry’s vlogs of college life, advice from personal experiences and taboo topics unheard of in college.
“College was really where the identity of my channel was shaped and formed, and I grew a lot because people really don’t know what college is like,” Berry said.
Berry values her ability to give an accurate lens of the college experience to help high school students decide what they are looking for in a school. Each video is sparked by a demand for videos that don’t already exist on YouTube.
“The main goal is to create content that I would need, so I’m always looking to make videos that I have searched for before but have never shown up,” Berry said.
Throughout her experience at USC, Berry acknowledged that her YouTube channel has been the differentiating experience that sets her apart from other Trojans. Not only has Berry’s channel been a conversation starter, but it has also been a platform for her to recruit future Trojans who don’t have the opportunity to experience campus for themselves.
“I think YouTube has made me feel more fulfilled in college because I’m able to make the most of my time here,” Berry said.
Though Katherout has made her feel like a celebrity on campus, Berry never forgets that her education always comes before YouTube. She values YouTube as her necessary creative outlet and way to express herself beyond her academics.
“I’m not a YouTuber in college. I’m a college YouTuber because college comes first and YouTube comes second,” Berry said.
Outside of academics, Berry has been involved with the Spirit of Troy all three years of her college career. She knew that she definitely wanted to continue music in college.
She was instantly drawn to the marching band when watching them perform at an ExploreSC event and knew that she would join. After years of performing with the band at gigs and football games all over the country, Berry ended her last game in the best way possible: the Rose Bowl.
“Going from the Rose parade to the Rose Bowl was a lot of emotion,” Berry said. “But ultimately, [it was] the most rewarding experience because it was the culmination of all the hours I put into marching band. [It was] worth it because we obviously ended up winning.”
Berry, who graduates this semester, offered her advice to freshmen: Never be intimidated. She believes that students can only truly acclimate to classes and the environment by having communities of people within clubs and organizations on campus.
After graduation, in addition to working for Adobe in San Francisco, Berry hopes to continue creating content for her YouTube channel but is also looking forward to challenging herself to create a podcast interviewing successful women in the Bay Area about their failures.
For her bittersweet weeks left before graduation, Berry is looking forward to soaking up all the sunshine she can, especially in a hammock in McCarthy Quad. Even after leaving USC, Katherine Berry knows she will be a Trojan for life.