2017 Best & Brightest: Angela Zhou, USC (Marshall)

Angela Zhou

University of Southern California, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and Bocconi University (World Bachelor in Business Program)

“Living out Condé Nast Traveler guides when I’m not busy making bucket lists on Pinterest.”

Fun fact about yourself: My first time eating guacamole was when I was 15. I’ve since become an evangelist for a good chip and guac dish.

Hometown: Orange County, CA

High School: Troy High School

Major: World Bachelor in Business Program (triple-degree program between three universities)

Favorite Business Courses: Founder’s Dilemmas (USC), European Economic Policy (Bocconi), Technology and the Environment (HKUST)

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:


  • Google Singapore, Women Techmakers Program
  • Huffington Post, Campus Editor-At-Large
  • The Women’s Foundation HK, Women Speaker Series
  • Clinton Global Initiative University, Representative & Delegate
  • UN Shot@Life Foundation, Global Youth Champion
  • HKUST, WBB Student Ambassador
  • USC OWN IT, Executive Board Speakers Director
  • USC Board of Trustees, Undergraduate Representative
  • USC Marshall, WBB Student Ambassador
  • USC Marshall School of Business, Research Assistant
  • Campaign for a Presidential Youth Council, Coalitions Director
  • California State Senate, Young Senators Program
  • Youth Leadership America, Board Director and Advisor

Awards / Recognition:

  • Al Jazeera TV, “Girls Taking the Lead” Segment
  • Raytheon Undergraduate Scholarship
  • State Farm Youth Advisory Board Scholarship
  • USC, WBB Scholarship
  • USC, Town & Gown Scholarship
  • USC, Town & Gown Junior Auxiliary Scholarship
  • USC, Alumni Club of Orange County Scholarship
  • USC, Trojan Guild of Orange County Scholarship
  • USC, Society of Trojan Women Scholarship
  • Running Start, “Women to Watch” Emerging Young Leader
  • Keds/Seventeen/Girls Leadership Institute, Brave Life Summit Scholarship
  • UN Shot@Life Foundation, Summit Scholarship
  • TOMS Tribe, Community Leader

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • Hillary for America, Digital Organizing Fellow – USA
  • IBM, Business Development Intern – USA
  • Microsoft, Nuvola Rosa Program – Italy
  • State Farm, Youth Advisory Board – USA
  • Target, Executive Management Intern – USA
  • Cosmopolitan Magazine, Sales and Marketing Program – USA/Hong Kong
  • Marie Claire Magazine, Sales and Marketing Program – USA/Hong Kong
  • Bank of America, Student Leaders Intern – USA
  • Nordstrom, Fashion Advisory Board – USA

Describe your dream Job: My dream job would be to work in the field of technology to improve the livelihoods of women and children through education.

Who is your favorite professor? My favorite professor was Professor Biblarz, my GE sociology instructor from freshman year. He was a residential professor in the residence hall I lived in and made USC feel like a more connected community between students and faculty by inviting many students to dinners at his apartment.

Which executive or entrepreneur do you most admire? I admire Shonda Rhimes because she outgrew the status quo by placing personable female leads and current events into her shows. When faced with challenges, I hope to turn on my record player like Olivia Pope and dance it out like Meredith Grey.

What did you enjoy most about majoring in a business-related field? Because I never planned on studying business, I am most thankful for learning the global components of a business education that most students don’t have the chance to receive.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? The biggest lesson I’ve learned from studying business is that anyone can get into business at any time of their lives!

Where would you like to work after graduation? I would like to eventually return to a university as a professor teaching business to help young women overcome the institutional challenges they might face in the field. During my undergraduate studies, I would have loved to take classes that help women navigate corporate and startup settings. Unfortunately, practically no classes on this topic exist.

What are your long-term professional goals? I hope to further my education and return to academia as an educator, myself, after gaining work experience in both a corporate and entrepreneurial environment.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Business majors have the fortune of having fewer pre-requisites, so I recommend prospective business majors to use this opportunity to travel and learn about the world.

“I knew I wanted to major in business when…I was admitted into USC’s WBB Program to spend each year studying business in a different country.”

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be…a teacher or a fiction writer.”

“Before I entered business school, I wish I had known…how difficult it is to obtain a work visa abroad.”

What was the happiest moment of your life? Traveling to Bali alone and making it back to Hong Kong without contracting dengue fever. It was all thanks to 45% DEET spray from Target.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I am most proud of presenting my nonprofit initiative with the organization, International Princess Project, to the Clintons at the Clinton Global Initiative University Conference.

What animal would you choose to represent your professional brand? I would probably choose to be Judy Hopps from Zootopia because I’m a very headstrong and fast-paced person. I also would never feel satisfied selling metaphorical carrots all my life.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I want to thank my teachers for putting up with my excessive in-class participation and office-hour visits, my scholarship organizations for allowing me to graduate debt-free, and my parents for always supporting my wild ideas.

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? They probably envision me continuing to be a ‘crazy feminist’ violating the posting-etiquette rules of Instagram.

Favorite book: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Favorite movie: Blue Jasmine

Favorite musical performer: Norah Jones on a rainy day or Taylor Swift alone in the car

Favorite vacation spot: Some place I’ve never been before.

What are your hobbies? Fulfilling the Rory Gilmore book challenge.

What made Angela such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2017?

“Angela is a top-tier performer among her colleagues, who are themselves elite students chosen for the World Bachelor in Business program. But Angela stands out: she is highly intelligent, goal-oriented and self-motivated. She shows strong leadership skills and excels in teamwork. I highly endorse Angela Zhou for this Poets & Quants distinction.”

Gerry Giaquinta
Professor of Marketing and Academic Director of the World Bachelor in Business Program
University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business




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