2021 Best & Brightest Business Major: Brianna Jordan, University of Illinois (Gies)

Brianna Jordan

Gies College of Business, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

“A music-loving coffee enthusiast who loves to travel and can quote too many romantic comedies.”

Fun fact about yourself: In November 2019, I won a contest to be an extra in a music video for the band Lawrence!

Hometown: Naperville, IL

High School: Waubonsie Valley High School

Major: Supply Chain Management, Marketing

Minor: Criminology, Law, and Society

Favorite Business Course: BADM 378 (Logistics Management)

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work, and Leadership Roles:

  • Phi Chi Theta Professional Business Fraternity (Pledge Class President, Family Chair, Co-Philanthropy Chair, and Co-Senior Board Head)
  • No Comment Co-Ed A Cappella (Business Manager)
  • Illinois Business Consulting
  • Business 101 Section Leader
  • Supply Chain Management Program Student Advisor
  • Gies Scholars Program (Recruitment Assistant)
  • Student Mentor for Gies Scholars Program and Campus Honors Program

Awards and Honors:

  • Gies Scholars Program
  • Campus Honors Program
  • Dean’s List (Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020)
  • President’s Award
  • James Scholar

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • Entertainment Cruises | Chicago, IL, Summer 2018- Sales Support Team/Sales and Guest Services Intern
  • Cambridge Educational Services | Des Plaines, IL, Summer 2019- School Relations Intern
  • Aetna, a CVS Health Company | Chicago, IL, Summer 2020- GMCIP/LMO North Central Territory Intern

Where will you be working after graduation? After graduation, I will be going to law school to pursue a JD (school TBD).

Who is your favorite professor? My favorite professor is Nehemiah Scott. I have had Professor Scott for two classes in the Supply Chain Management program, which he directs. We have a close relationship with him, and he clearly shows that he cares about all of his students. I also work with Professor Scott as a student advisor for the Supply Chain Management program, and he is always open to new ideas from us about feedback and suggestions for the program. Professor Scott is extremely personable and caring, and he has a true passion for supply chain that translates to the classroom and makes all of his students want to do well and learn. He is also fully supportive of all his students and their goals, and he has been an incredible resource for me during the application process for law school. He makes sure to let me know he is invested in my success.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? The biggest lesson I gained from studying business at Gies is that it is imperative to always be intentional in what you do and understand your purpose. At Gies, our brand promise is “Business on Purpose” because the faculty tries to instill that sense of intentionality in students every day. Whether it be through conversations in class, leadership seminars, or visits from companies and networking events in the Business Instructional Facility, the Gies administration has done an incredible job of ensuring that every student understands why they are studying business and what they want their purpose and legacy in life to be even after they graduate and move into their professional careers.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? A pleasant surprise about being a business major at Gies is how supportive the students are of each other. As we are in a very competitive field, I feel it would be very easy to be focused on your own success and engage in minimal interaction. However, I am happy to say that my experience at Gies has been the complete opposite. Every time you walk in the Business Instructional Facility, you can see students sitting together laughing, talking, and working together to achieve their goals. The students work together instead of against each other and praise each other’s successes. It has been an incredible experience to be a student in Gies, and I could not have asked for a better academic environment for my business education.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? One thing I would do differently in business school is utilize the resources for professional and career development earlier. The team at Gies is incredibly supportive of all students and their paths both at Gies and beyond and have proven to be very helpful during my time as a student. While the first couple of semesters at college can be overwhelming and busy, it is important to start investing in yourself early and find areas of improvement to focus on before getting involved in leadership. This will make all the difference!

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I am most proud of serving as a Section Leader for the Business 101 course (Professional Responsibility and Business) at Gies. When I applied for the position as a freshman (while I was a student in the course), I did not think I had the necessary qualifications to help facilitate the course. I was pleasantly surprised to be granted the opportunity to serve as a Section Leader and was able to have 3 incredible classes of students to help lead through their first year in the college. From preparing lesson plans, to dealing with technical difficulties, to handling conflicts with students, I have experienced great personal growth during my time in this position, all of which has made me a more well-rounded person. I am extremely thankful for the chance to work with the Business 101 team, as well as the opportunity to give back to Gies while I was still a student.

Which classmate do you most admire? The classmate I most admire is Michael Mitchell. As a fellow member of the Gies Scholars Program, as well as pursuing the same majors as me, I have been fortunate to call Michael a close friend during my time in Gies. Michael is not only incredibly smart, but he is extremely supportive and always goes the extra mile to help someone in need. He never shies away from going after his dreams and has pushed me to do the same while we are in school. I feel lucky to have gone through the last four years with him as a peer and look forward to a strong friendship long after we graduate.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I would like to thank my mom the most for my success. Whether it be a personal, professional, or academic goal, my mom has taught me to reach for the stars and to believe in myself. This, along with the passion for education she instilled in me at a young age as an educator, helped guide all of my choices in my life thus far. My mom is by far my biggest fan and confidant, and words cannot express how thankful I am for all the support she has given me in all of my endeavors.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? I want to be partner of a law firm and serve as a Supreme Court Justice.

What are your hobbies? I love cooking and baking, reading, listening to music, singing, going to concerts, traveling, binge-watching shows and movies on all streaming platforms, and hanging out with friends!

What made Brianna Jordan such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2021? What makes Brianna so special?

“Simply stated, Brianna Jordan is a remarkable student and person. I first met Brianna when she was a junior taking her first supply chain management course at Gies. Since then, I have had the pleasure of having Brianna in two of my supply chain classes – Supply Chain Management Basics and Logistics Management. One characteristic that stands out about Brianna is her optimism. In fact, she is one of the most consistently optimistic students I have ever met, and she has a consistent bright smile to match. Not even the impacts of a pandemic would change that, which is extremely encouraging and refreshing to see!

Brianna is the epitome of a leader amongst her peers. In class, her leadership was put on display through her active engagement and participation, professionalism, respect for others, and articulation of thought-provoking questions, all of which truly enhanced the quality of the educational environment for everyone. Outside of class, her leadership is on display in multiple ways, including serving as a Supply Chain Management Student Advisor. Typically, advisors are selected based on professionalism, responsibility, initiative, approachability, interpersonal skills, excellent grades in SCM core courses and demonstration of leadership capability, all of which Brianna has in abundance. During my time advising and working with her, she has helped the program make important decisions for more effective student engagement amid COVID-19. During such interactions, her passion for helping her classmates and making the program better was evident.

At Gies, we are extremely proud of our students, and Brianna represents a perfect example of why we have so much to be proud of. I’m excited for her as she explores the next chapter in her life and equally excited to continue supporting her along her journey. I have no doubt that she will continue pursuing excellence and achieving her goals.”

Nehemiah Scott, Ph.D.
Teaching Assistant Professor & Director, Supply Chain Management Program 
Department of Business Administration, Gies College of Business



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