Convocation ‘20: Xuan Xu

Studying economics to learn about human behaviour

Erik Einsiedel - 18 November 2020

Originally from China, Xuan Xu is graduating this year with an unusual double major pairing: Art & Design, and Economics.

While her studies in Art & Design fed her passion for creativity and expression, she saw the study of Economics as a tool to understand the world and human behaviour through a different lens one of international trade and profit maximization.

Xuan  credits the skills and insights she learned in both programs for giving her an edge in the workforce. After a seemingly impossible job search amidst fewer postings and heightened competition during COVID-19 times, her hard work eventually paid off, and Xuan managed to secure a position as a financial analyst.

What drew you to the area of your study, and why are you passionate about it?

Economics was the first major that I declared. I thought it was cool to learn something that was related to the world economy, and it helped me understand the world from a different perspective. Economics is a great tool to understand human behavior, through concepts like international trade, profit maximization, and more. After I started working, I found that the skills I learned in the Faculty of Arts helped me a lot.

What is the most remarkable thing you learned while you were a student?

Planning is the most important thing as a student. Just doing what we need to do is not enough.  Always learn to plan for the future, and work hard towards your goals.

Did you face any significant challenges, and if so, how did you deal with it?

It was hard to find a job after the COVID-19 pandemic, because there were fewer job postings and a higher level of competition. But I didn’t give up, and I checked job postings on different websites frequently. Finally, I got a job in late May.

How did you manage the challenges of navigating student life under COVID-19 restrictions and remote learning?

Time management was crucial under remote learning. Without daily in-person lectures, it was easy to lose track of all the work. In order to avoid this, I added all the important due dates to my calendar to make sure I wouldn’t miss any deadlines. Also, setting up a To Do list every week was a handy tool to manage my time effectively.

What piece of advice do you wish someone had given you when you started?

Do a part-time job or an internship as early as possible.

What is next for you?

Working hard and applying for permanent residence in the future!