Michelle Xu, senior accounting administer, joined Speakers’ Spotlight in 2007. She is a graduate from Seneca College Accounting Program and has prior customer service experiences in the retail industry. We’re thrilled to shine our spotlight on Michelle today:
Did you always want to work in the accounting side of the speaking industry? If not, what other careers did you consider?
I didn’t even know the speaking industry existed before joining Speakers’ Spotlight. Growing up, I’ve always wanted to become a nurse as I love helping people. Somehow, my aunt talked me out of it (she is a nurse, by the way). So, after high school, I decided to change my career path and dove into accounting. I’m glad that I chose this profession as I love what I do!
Any advice for people getting started in accounting and in the speaking industry?
Accuracy and efficiency is the key. A fast turnaround is crucial when it comes to both paying speakers and invoicing clients. Double-check every transaction and provide assistance as soon as possible when asked. Planning an event takes a lot of effort for both speakers and clients, and you need to go above and beyond to make their job easier. I love that Speakers’ Spotlight is always looking for new ways to improve our services.
Do you have any great stories featuring Speakers’ Spotlight speakers?
I love when speakers come to our office to meet with the staff and update us on their recent topics or simply have a chat. My most memorable one would be when Simon Sinek visited and told us about his experiences and philosophies. It was so touching that he brought people to tears. Everyone left the meeting feeling inspired and filled with purpose!
What is your favourite thing about working with our speakers? With clients?
Speakers: We have such a wide range of talented speakers and I know that on any given day, I would be able to find someone from our speakers roster and get inspired, motivated, or entertained by their talk or performance. I love to be fascinated by their stories and ideas, to watch them in action on stage and see how they influence the audience, and to connect with them on a personal basis and get to know their personalities and interests.
Clients: I love the diversity of our client base, and yet they all come to us with the common purpose to make a positive change. I worked in customer service before joining Speakers’ Spotlight and have always enjoyed helping clients to make their job easier or make their day better. Our clients’ enthusiasm and energy rubs off on everyone around them and it’s always nice to hear that their event was a success.
Best subject in school?
Math and chemistry.
Which Canadian city is your favourite?
I need to travel to more Canadian cities to decide. There are so many beautiful places in Canada and every place has its own uniqueness.
Desert island album?
I like a mixture of different music, so there is not a single album that I could listen to over and over again. Maybe I’ll make a giant album with all the #1 hit songs in the last two decades and bring that with me.
Last book you read?
The Velveteen Rabbit. It was intended for my kids but I ended up reading it for myself. It is a beautiful story.
Last film you saw?
I blame my son’s music teacher for this one. It was Frozen. She told all the kids that Frozen has the best songs EVER so even my two boys wanted to watch it. That reminds me, I need to have a talk with her…or maybe I’ll just “Let it go”.
What person would you love to hear speak?
Chris Hadfield. He is just an amazing human being.