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Gamecock Tennis Player Earns Acceptance to International Business Program

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Her eyes widened in her South Carolina dorm room as she read the email. Her father in Russia on the other end of a Skype video call wasn't sure what to think.

"What happened??" he said, sounding worried.

"I got in!" she screamed.  

Thousands of miles away the father started celebrating along with his daughter, Katerina Popova, a sophomore women's tennis player at the University of South Carolina.

Popova had just learned she had been accepted into the prestigious International Business degree program at South Carolina, the No. 1-ranked program in the country for that field of study.  

Admission to the program is extremely competitive and limited to just a small number of students each year. Popova's perfect 4.0 GPA as a freshman earned her a spot on the SEC Freshmen Academic Honor Roll and in prime position to be accepted to the program that requires a minimum 3.50 GPA and several business courses as pre-requisites. The International Business major also requires students to select a second major within the Moore School of Business; Popova chose Economics.

WTN-12 Katerina Popova Furman.jpeg"I want to do something that I will be interested in...every single day will be something different," said Popova. "I like Economics because it depends on the situation, like how the markets are today.  You just try to build your business depending on the situation in the markets and I think it's stressful but it's interesting."

Already proficient in her native Russian (she's from Moscow) as well as English, Popova chose to study Chinese to fulfill the foreign language requirement of the IB program.

"My brother lives in China and I was always interested in Asia," said Popova. "I just felt like it was something cool and interesting and then I saw online that they offer a Chinese minor and I was like okay, I'll try that."

All IB students participate in a period of study outside the United States. Many Gamecock fans are familiar with this part of the program as All-American pitcher and IB major Michael Roth famously jetted off to Spain just a few days after winning the College World Series for his study abroad program in summer 2011. Similar to Roth, Popova will aim to fulfill this requirement during a summer term after her junior year.

"On one hand I want to go to China since I'm learning Chinese," said Popova. "But on the other hand I would love to go to Australia!"

Popova shared that she knew she was interested in International Business before she came to South Carolina, but didn't make the decision to actually apply to the program until after being so successful academically her freshman year. She says balancing academics with being a student-athlete is a challenge (she even had five exams in one week a few weeks ago!), she finds a way to get everything done, as evidenced by her GPA and strong performance on the court. Katerina has played primarily at the No. 4 singles spot this season and in various pairings in the No. 3 doubles slot. Individually she is 13-8 overall and 7-3 in dual match play. The team as a whole is also 7-3 in dual play, with two more SEC matches this weekend, Friday vs. Kentucky at 3:00 p.m. and Sunday vs. Vanderbilt at 1:00 p.m.

While Katerina and her father celebrated the big news via Skype, she said she was amused by her mom's much calmer, very motherly response:

"Well, didn't you expect you would get in?"


For more information on the Gamecock Women's Tennis team, click here.

For more information on the International Business program, click here.

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