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South Carolina Honors College

Kara Jones

Ask me about … international business, foreign languages, internships, religious organizations and making USC feel like home!

From Suwanee, GA, I came to my parent’s alma mater to take part in the greatness at USC that brought them together. I am studying international business and economics and two languages: French and Chinese. In the future, I want to use my degree to become a business strategist. With a consulting firm, I will assist businesses to make good economic decisions — which foreign markets to enter, how to compete, and how to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. Plan B would be continuing to get my Master's in Economics to pursue economic public policy. Whatever the Lord holds for me!

My favorite things: Purple, penguins, good choral harmonies, escargot, birthday cake oreos and running.

What makes me laugh: Friends, Winnie the Pooh, my family, The Middle, Christian pick-up lines (“Baby, you’re just like water, except Jesus turned you in FINE!), everything after 2 a.m., and my little sister’s New York accent.

My favorite movie: Pirates of the Caribbean because of Captain Jack Sparrow. He’s clever, he’s funny, he manages to get himself out of the toughest situations, he still does what’s right even though he faces death and he asks the tough questions: But why is the rum gone?

My secret: I’m addicted to K-Pop. It all started my freshman year of high school when I had my best friend’s playlist and heard A-Cha by 슈퍼주니어 (Super Junior). Since then my collection has steadily grown — Beast, 2NE1, BIGBANG, Sistar, EXO, SALTNPAPER, Girl’s Day, Fromm, 보드카 레인 (Vodka Rain) — the list goes on. Music brings people together, even across different languages.

Something I will never do: Understand South Carolina Weather.

My advice to prospective students: Take your time. There is no rush for you to make a decision. You won’t end up with the worst dorm or the worst classes just because you took time to think about this decision.

My advice to current students: Classes and grades are not everything. The Honors College offers so many opportunities that are unique and tailored specifically to Honors Students — take advantage of them.

My favorite Honors College experience: In Spring 2016, I was one of the 15 honors college students in the South Carolina Semester Program. This Honors Program included a paid internship with a South Carolina government agency and a weekly seminar on South Carolina State Government. I interned at the South Carolina Department of Commerce, which recruits businesses and helps existing businesses grow. This internship was my first opportunity to apply what I had learned in the classroom, so I dove into topics like international economic development and public policy issues, such as healthcare and economic incentives, and ultimately proposed solutions to improve South Carolina. I chased down leads for prospective businesses to create more jobs, provided support for the entrepreneurs, and completed an analysis on healthcare initiatives in South Carolina.

Why I chose SCHC: Because when I wrote USC on one piece of paper, and I wrote another school on another piece of paper, and I crumpled the pieces and threw them in the air, only one piece of paper landed in my hand. It said USC! Now granted, this was not my only reason for choosing SCHC. I had an exhaustive list of pros and cons for both schools. SCHC had small classes, #1 ranking, my #1 international business major, unique and different classes, countless opportunities outside of the classroom, plus all of the benefits of going to huge SEC state-school. To be honest, the other school never had a chance, because when I threw those pieces of paper into the air, I heard myself chanting “USC! USC! USC!” I knew what I would choose before it ever landed in my hand.