2018 Best & Brightest: Aisha Counts, USC (Marshall)

Aisha Counts

USC, Marshall School of Business

“Faking it until I eventually make it.”

Fun fact about yourself: Currently attempting to watch all 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.

Hometown: San Antonio, TX

High School: Johnson High School

Major: B.S. Business Administration, B.A. Philosophy

Favorite Business Course: Global Strategy, International Business Law

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:


  • Society 53 – Student Alumni Society
  • Executive Board – Alpha Omega Campus Ministry
  • Peer Consulting Advisor – Marshall School of Business
  • Legal Advisor – Downbeat Entertainment
  • Academy Fellow – Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study
  • Levan Scholar – Levan Institute for Humanities and Ethics
  • Student Advisory Committee – Dornsife Office of Communications


  • Presidential Merit Scholar
  • Thematic Option Honors Program
  • Marshall Global Leadership Program
  • USC Associates Endowed Scholarship
  • Youth Foundation Hadden Scholar
  • Black Alumni Association Scholar
  • Florence B. Watt Memorial Scholarship
  • Shigemura Family Scholarship
  • Douglas E. and Virginia E. Stewart Foundation Award

Where have you interned during your college career? 

  • Ernst & Young, Portland, OR: Strategy Consulting Intern
  • Ernst & Young, Los Angeles, CA: Risk Advisory Intern
  • Ernst & Young, Los Angeles, CA: Financial Services Intern
  • Bet Tzedek, Los Angeles, CA: Client Screening Intern

Where will you be working after graduation? Ernst & Young, in their Los Angeles office as a Consultant.

Who is your favorite professor? Dr. Sharon Lloyd of the Philosophy department, who guided me through writing my philosophy thesis on Inheritance Taxation.

What did you enjoy most about your business school? The broad range of study and grounding in both the quantitative and qualitative aspects of business; and the application of this knowledge through global excursions and client work.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? Business is all about relationships: people do business with people they like.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Take the practical application of a business-related field and integrate it with another discipline; develop an interdisciplinary course of study.

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be majoring in or studying…English Literature, I love storytelling and writing literary criticism.”

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? The network it has enabled me to build, from knowing zero professionals within my fields of interest to building relationships across the spectrum.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? Holding my own in a one-on-one meeting with the Ernst & Young Global Chairman and CEO Mark Weinberger. It represented the culmination of my development as a business professional, that went from never having heard of EY prior to college, to maintaining contact with the CEO.

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the business school? Decrease the number of required courses to allow students to take more electives.

Which classmate do you most admire? Sarah Lawson, for her incredible work ethic and discipline.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My parents, who continuously emphasized the importance of education in attaining opportunity.

What would your theme song be? “Run The World” by Beyoncé—it’s the ultimate empowerment anthem.

What are the top two items on your bucket list? Travel to 35 countries and go skydiving.

Favorite book: Paradise Lost, John Milton

Favorite movie: The Lord of The Rings: The Return of the King

Favorite vacation spot: Anywhere on the beach

What are your hobbies? Music (guitar/vocals)

What made Aisha such an invaluable member of the Class of 2018?

“In a roomful of very smart, driven students, Aisha is a clear standout. From the moment I met her, it was obvious she had that something extra. She is not only highly capable academically, but she always takes it to the next level. She is poised. She is observant. She is two steps ahead of everyone else and without deliberation. That she excelled in her business classes as well as her philosophy classes should tell you something about her abilities, intellect, and character. That she will be an excellent consultant is obvious to every professional who meets her. I am particularly proud to know Aisha, and I look forward to following her career and future. She is destined for great things.”

Tiffiani Frye
Director of UG Admissions
USC Marshall School of Business



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