The road less traveled

Kassandra Solsrud is taking the academic road less traveled in her quest to earn a degree in international business en route to medical school.

Then again, the sophomore from Atlanta hasn’t exactly set her sights on a traditional career in medicine.

“My goal now is to get into a joint MBA/MD program upon finishing at Carolina,” Solsrud says. “I really want to focus on implementing viable health care infrastructures and bringing health care to impoverished nations, perhaps through organizations such as UNICEF or Doctors Without Borders.”

But first things first — Solsrud is studying in Hong Kong this semester, enrolled in the International Business Chinese Enterprise program in the Moore School of Business. The opportunity was appealing because she had lived abroad with her family and traveled extensively and wanted to achieve fluency in Mandarin, a language she was exposed to while growing up with a Chinese nanny.

“When I was interviewing with the IBCE program, the only downside was that it seemed to conflict with my lifelong desire of becoming a doctor,” Solsrud says. “I asked if it was possible to do them both — business and medicine. Dr. [David] Hudgens, the director of the program, assured me that it could be worked out.”

Solsrud is doing her part in that process. Along with taking science prerequisites for medical school, she has toured Hong Kong hospitals, shadowed several doctors there and volunteered at health checks for minority citizens. Those experiences and her international business education could help her application get noticed when she applies for medical school in a couple of years, she says.

Choosing Carolina was simple, Solsrud adds. The reputations of the Moore School’s international business program and the Honors College were attractive, and her actual experiences as a student have proven to be everything she hoped for.

“The international business program and the business school overall has dedicated professors and interesting and fruitful classes. And the support, community and activities offered by the Honors College are unparalleled,” she says. “I have made so many great friends and connections that I would not have made without it.”

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