Career Moves: Xuan Huynh ’24 credits success with the support of Student Professional Development Center

Huynh's remarkable journey from a cross-cultural enthusiast with a passion for art to becoming a healthcare corporate banking analyst at Wells Fargo is a testament to the power of the Student Professional Development Center (SPDC).

In the vast tapestry of university life, there are students who excel academically and embrace the opportunities and challenges that come their way.

Xuan Huynh ’24

Xuan Huynh ‘24, a finance and data analytics double major with a women’s, gender and sexuality studies minor, exemplifies this spirit of academic ambition, personal exploration and unwavering determination.

Her remarkable journey from a cross-cultural enthusiast with a passion for art to her position as a health care corporate banking analyst at Wells Fargo is a testament to the power of determination, collaboration and the resources available in Elon’s Student Professional Development Center (SPDC).

When Huynh arrived at Elon, she had plans to major in project management. However, her academic journey took an unexpected turn after taking the “Principles of Finance” course with Associate Professor of Finance and Director of the William Garrard Reed Finance Center Kate Upton.

Upton’s brilliance and mentorship ignited a new passion for finance, and Huynh’s vision for her future evolved.

Within the realm of finance, Huynh was particularly interested in the integration of technology and its impact on data management. Her enthusiasm for international finance and sustainable finance led her to aspire to pursue a career involving cross-cultural exchange and serving disadvantaged groups.

From the beginning of her academic journey, Huynh recognized the importance of proactively managing her professional development. She contacted the SPDC to seek guidance, hone her skills and chart her path to success.

Her engagement with career services included attending appointments, workshops and events organized by the SPDC. Huynh proactively sought support to strengthen her resume, enhance her interview skills and explore her career interests.

She fully used the resources available, such as career counseling with Senior Associate Director of Career Services Cindy Sweeney and participation in case competitions and Love School of Business Data Camps. She notes that, although this guidance was priceless, the support and encouragement from career advisors was her most valuable takeaway.

Huynh’s journey continued with remarkable success in securing internships and job offers. During the summer following her first year, she served as a virtual trainer for TechGirls, an initiative led by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. This experience confirmed her interest in cross-cultural affairs, setting the stage for her future endeavors.

In her sophomore year, Huynh’s proactive networking and engagement with the SPDC helped her secure a retail administration analytics internship with the First National Bank Corporation. Her dedication to professional development and career preparation continued to bear fruit as she accepted an offer for the Corporate Investment Banking 2023 Summer Analyst Program at Wells Fargo.

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Huynh’s journey was not without its challenges. Still, her unwavering determination and support from Sweeney played a crucial role in her success. She overcame her anxieties about writing emails and LinkedIn posts with guidance and assistance from Sweeney. She recommended alumni for her to connect with and forwarded opportunities that matched her interests, helping her overcome these obstacles.

Huynh’s journey was marked by pivotal moments and experiences that led her to seek support from the Porter Family Professional Development Center, a satellite office of the SPDC. During orientation week, her fellow Business Fellows shared their numerous campus involvements, inspiring her to make the most of her time at Elon. She realized the importance of taking advantage of the resources available at the Porter Center when she heard from a panel of older Business Fellows who had secured internships.

Through the support and guidance of the Porter Center, Huynh secured internships and developed skills that extended beyond the workplace. Her achievements and personal growth have had a lasting impact on her career and aspirations.

Huynh’s collaboration with career advisors at the Porter Center not only provided her with valuable guidance but also instilled in her the confidence to navigate the job search process. She emerged from this experience as a more articulate speaker and writer, greatly enhancing her professional growth.

With a position as a health care corporate banking analyst at Wells Fargo awaiting her post-graduation, Huynh’s future is filled with promise. She envisions continuing to thrive professionally by building her network and getting involved in employee resource groups. Her aspirations include developing credit underwriting skills and exploring opportunities to work abroad, aligning with her passion for international and sustainable finance. She is grateful that she made an effort to work with the SPDC as much as possible throughout her time at Elon as it has laid out the stepping stones to this opportunity.

Huynh encourages her fellow students to take their professional development seriously and emphasizes the importance of networking. She reminds students that professional development can be a daunting journey, but everyone has to start somewhere. The key is to work on one’s professional development actively, even starting with something as small as practicing interview questions regularly.

Her story serves as an inspiration to all students navigating their paths to success, reminding them that with dedication and the right support, they can achieve their dreams.