Jordan Chen is part of the superb staff team that supports the Department of Economics. You can find her in the front office helping students, especially undergraduate students, and faculty navigate the administrative requirements of classes and degrees in Economics!
What was your undergraduate major, and why did you choose it?
JC: I majored in graphic design. Art had always been my favorite subject growing up and my dad, wisely, nudged me to do something that combined art AND computer knowledge, so I chose graphic design. I loved all my courses (except, unfortunately, web design…)! It was interesting to me to find out the deeper reasons why certain things were appealing or eye-catching and learn how to incorporate certain principles into things I created.
What was your favorite class and why?
JC: By far, my favorite class was Typography. Our professor was highly recommended on ratemyprofessor.com, which was why I – willingly! – took that 7:40am MWF class. I figured I wouldn’t mind getting up early for a course in my major with a great professor – and I was right! He was equal parts knowledgeable and snarky, which kept us all on our toes. To this day, if I see a certain typeface he was not a fan of, I laugh to myself and mentally nod in agreement. That class taught us how to choose fonts that would enhance the look of our projects, based on readability and the personality of certain fonts. Talk to me about Comic Sans (and its constant misuses) sometime!
What is your favorite little-known fact about the Department of Economics?
JC: It might sound silly, but it often does feel like a little-known fact that we’re on the 4th floor of Fronczak hall… I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told people where our department is located and they say, “Oh, I thought that was the Physics building…” While mostly true, we’re here, too! We have the WHOLE fourth floor (where THREE centrally-scheduled classrooms are), plus some offices on the second floor, too!
What is your top piece of advice for students in the economics major?
JC: Though this might elicit some groans: familiarize yourself with your Academic Advisement Report! You don’t want to be in the middle of your final semester and find out that you actually still need to complete one more class in order to graduate! I’ve seen it happen and the stress it causes can be avoided – just make an appointment with our Undergraduate Advisor and make sure you’re on track with course planning. Your future self will thank you! Take the opportunity to be responsible for how your college career will turn out. On that note (and barring any special circumstances), you don’t need to have your parents call the school on your behalf – you’re the one that knows your experience best. Our faculty and staff are here to help and we want to see you succeed, but your academic journey begins with you!
What is one thing that you recommend students do while at UB?
JC: Take time to explore Buffalo! We’re more than just snowy winters! I grew up close to North Campus because my dad was a professor at UB. That being said, the only times we ventured into the city (when I was a kid) was for trips to the Buffalo Science Museum or some Buffalo Bisons baseball games in the summer. I love that we have the Olmsted park system here. I explored more of those this summer and it was great! If you’re getting overwhelmed with your studies, get to a park somewhere and walk around in the fresh air. I guarantee you’ll feel better!