At the annual Staff Recognition and Excellence Awards in November, the University Staff Council announced the launch of its Monthly Commitment to Excellence Award, which seeks to honor the achievements and commitment of staff members to the University and its mission on a monthly basis.
The recipient of the inaugural award was Vivian Xu, a senior financial analyst with the financial budgeting team.
“It means a lot,” Xu says about receiving the award. “Somebody sees you’re doing the work, and then they give you confirmation that you’re doing a great job. They know what you are doing, and they appreciate it.”
Xu has held her position since 2008, but her Loyola roots lie deeper than that. After receiving her undergraduate degree in her home country of China, Xu came to Loyola for her graduate schooling in 2004 where she received her masters in business and accounting. Upon graduating in 2008, she joined the budgeting team.
One of the main reasons Xu says she decided to come to Loyola is because Chicago is a big city that offers a lot of opportunities after graduation, and that prophecy held true for her as she was offered this position with the budgeting team.
As a senior financial analyst, Xu manages the budgeting for the University’s faculty and staff salaries and compensations. Any payroll actions for staff and budget transfers must be approved by Xu before they can be finalized.
When asked what part of her job is the most demanding, Xu says the amount of patience it requires and how detail-oriented it is.
“In terms of payment stuff, people are sensitive,” she says. “It trains your patience and your skills to interact with people.”
Xu says the rest of her budgeting team has been instrumental in her success. As the youngest one in the department, Xu says all her co-workers have helped her learn and grow in the field.
“They are treating me very well and with patience. They care about your work and how you feel about your work. They really care about you as a person,” Xu says.
Going beyond her immediate budgeting team, Xu says that the Loyola community as a whole helps to foster this idea of commitment to work and helping others succeed. She says she especially feels a pull to give back because the University gave so much to her in terms of her education.
“Everybody is committed to what they are doing. I think in a Jesuit school, people are more willing to help others,” Xu says. “I feel like I should do something for the good of Loyola because it helped me a lot.”