Jovana Subasic, a recent Carson College of Business graduate originally from Serbia, has more than a few milestones under her belt.
When she arrived at WSU, she knew very little English. She overcame that hurdle by constantly reading and receiving help from professors and fellow students.
Well aware of the challenges incoming international student-athletes can face, Subasic, then a redshirt sophomore, spearheaded the first welcoming dinner for WSU international student-athletes as part of the athletic department’s Week of Welcome events in August 2018.
“I wanted to bring them together,” Subasic says, explaining the dinner’s purpose. “If I am a freshman and come to the dinner, chances are I am going to meet somebody from another team who is from my country. Maybe that person can help me manage everyday things.”
“I expected 30 to 40 people to show up,” she says, laughing. “We had 80 people attend. There were not enough chairs in the room.”
The feedback Subasic received was overwhelmingly positive.
“People texted me saying they met somebody they didn’t know,” she says. “It was a lot of fun.”
Seizing Opportunities for Growth
The International Welcome Dinner was just one of many opportunities Subasic embraced as a WSU student-athlete, and she took advantage of future opportunities presented to her.
“I did a lot,” she says. “I am a curious person.”
“The thing that screamed out of every pore of Jovana is that she is completely and totally invested in what she does,” says Kamie Ethridge, WSU women’s basketball coach. “She loves this University. She loved being a student-athlete. She appreciated the opportunity of being a student-athlete at this level and being a Coug.”
In addition to being a member of the women’s basketball team, Subasic, who carried a 3.97 GPA, accomplished a series of “firsts” during her academic career. She was the vice president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). She worked for the WSU International Center during the summer and double majored in international business and finance in the Carson College of Business, as well as pursued a minor in political science.
“I took finance as a second major because I really wanted to understand how corporations and companies work, especially in the United States, because it’s one of the major countries for business in the world,” Subasic says. “I wanted to learn international business so I can apply the finances I learn in other countries as well.”
“Globalization is real, and it’s not going to stop,” Subasic adds. “Being an international business major helped me understand it better.”
“International business graduates increasingly benefit from having a global perspective on business,” said Chip Hunter, Carson College of Business dean. “It makes good sense to couple an international business degree with another one because it increases employment opportunities. Whereas there are accountants or financial consultants, ‘international businessperson’ is not a job title.”
Hunter is a big fan of WSU women’s basketball and was impressed with Subasic’s drive.
“She was focused,” Hunter says. “She had a great perspective on academics, athletics, and life after college. She asked great questions about what comes next. She has the qualities that will make her successful well beyond WSU.”
Subasic, who started playing basketball at the age of seven, says the competitive drive she had in her academic pursuits carried over to the court.
“I’m a competitive person in everything,” she says. “What I love about basketball is the excitement of a win.”
Proud to be a Coug
Hunter not only loved Subasic’s game on the court, but the opportunities she took off the court, as well.
“Our mission statement for the Carson College of Business includes that we create opportunity, but you still have to be able to take the opportunity,” added Hunter, who said the job placement rate for Carson College graduates is 90 percent.
“In my heart I will always be a Coug. I absolutely loved all of my business professors and will always be grateful for everything they taught me,” says Subasic. “I will carry it with me wherever I go!”