Undergraduate Student Spotlights

Han Jiang

Hometown: Chengdu, China

Year in School: Senior

Interests/Hobbies: Photography, Kendo

Where is your favorite place on campus and why?

Lakeside table on 2nd/3rd floor College Library. The view is perfect in summer. It has everything: a quiet study room, plugs, and a big table. Plus, it is next to the memorial union so that you could get a lot of choices for a meal.

What has been your most memorable UW-Madison experience so far?

Skating on Lake Mendota! You might have similar study experience in other universities but trust me that the only chance to stand on such a huge lake is only available in Madison.

What has been your favorite Econ course?

In fact, Econ 301 is really interesting. It covers almost all topics of higher-level econ courses, for you to have a preliminary view. The most interesting one, I would say Econ 521 Game Theory. It is kind of intense, of course, but also interesting to learn what the games indicate to our real-life issues.

If you have any other majors or certificates in addition to econ, how did you decide to add econ or add another major/certificate?

Double majors/certificates are all good choices depending on what you plan for your future. For example, you’re interested in data science and economic issues, then a double major in statistics might sound awesome. If you are a computer expert, then a double major in computer science sounds alright. I have a certificate in PEPP (political economy, politics, philosophy) because I’m interested in its curriculum, which is similar to the Oxford PPE major.

For international students, like me, please notice that there is a difference between STEM majors and other majors. If you decide to seek career opportunities in the U.S., it is better to do your homework studying what kind of majors/skills are valued. Again, it all depends on what you plan for your future. So, plan early, plan bravely.

What additional advice do you have for other Econ majors?

Choose courses not only by following major requirements but also by your interest and motivation. Many people, including me, used to try to maximize our time to improve GPA/doubling-majors/internship/etc. These are all good choices. But we are also here to be educated, not just learning professional skills. Economists are more than master of optimizing utility with constraints; rather, they are the ones who know what is best for themselves, in both short-term and long-term.

Also, talk. Talk about yourself, your future plan, and your passion to as many people as possible—professors, TAs, advisors, people you look up to, or, anyone who is open to talking. Communicating makes it easy to accumulate advice, friendship, and information. That can be a valuable asset throughout your undergrad year.