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Billy M. Xiong ’04

 

Billy M. Xiong ’04

billy xiong2Billy M. Xiong ’04 (Classical High School) graduated from Rhode Island College in 2010 with a B.A. in Accounting. His initial choice for a major was Secondary Mathematics, but at the end of his sophomore year he changed paths. “I made a big decision to switch majors and go into the accounting/finance field,” he says, “largely because of my interest in the application of mathematics within the business world. It was a tough choice, since I could have graduated within four years by not switching. Although it took me longer to get my degree, the journey has been rewarding.”

Billy currently works at CVS Corporate Headquarters as an Assistant Category Manager for skincare products. His role plays an integral part in maximizing sales and margin goals through promotional driven strategies, ad hoc reporting and analysis, supply and demand chain coordination, and competitive measures. “I would have never guessed that my decision in college would lead me to where I am today,” he says. “Being able to make business critical decisions and seeing the impact of my choices is a rewarding experience that has been good not only for the growth of the company but for my own personal growth. It has and is still helping me every day to grow into the professional I hope to be.”

When he looks back on college, Billy recognizes how valuable it was. “I can honestly say that it changed me for the better,” he says. “It may not have been glorious and filled with unforgettable moments, but it helped to develop and prepare me for who I need to be today. Because I was in school longer than most, friends came and went, and it often felt like college would never end. Getting to my last semester during senior year was the best experience – being able to finally see the big picture of all my hard work and years as an undergraduate come to closure.”

Receiving a College Crusade scholarship helped him make it through. “I was a freshman with an uncertain direction,” he says. “The College Crusade scholarship made all the difference for me to remain committed and resilient during my years in college. The financial assistance put me at ease and gave me the room to explore my career possibilities. I struggled as a student early on and debated about dropping out, a.k.a. “taking a break” from college, but turned myself around after realizing my path and the opportunity I had with this scholarship.”

Billy is grateful for his experience as a Crusader. “Through middle and high school, the Crusade was always there for me whether I realized it or not at the time,” he says. “From afterschool to college-prep programs, they were always interested in me and my fellow students’ growth. The in-school Crusade staff members were friendly and helpful, never turning down a request or a silly question. I do regret not utilizing the program to the fullest,” he adds, “but feel that I have benefited a great deal from it. So, word of advice: don’t take it for granted!”

Billy has a busy life. “I spend most of my free time with my wife and our new son, Bradley,” he says. “I enjoy volleyball when I can and still try to squeeze in a few minutes of video games here and there. Although my career is full of challenges and long hours, it’s important for me to wind down and also be a family man. It is an adventure both at work and at home.”

Here is Billy’s thoughtful advice to high school Crusaders starting college in the fall: “It’s easy to lose track of your goals given all the distractions in the world, especially as a young adult,” he says. “The one thing to remember is to find a balance within those things. You are your own investment. In order to get the most out of yourself and college, it is important to realize your growth opportunities. Also, do not be afraid to fail. Believe in your capabilities and strive to be better. Even if you do not see the results immediately, the long term results are in effect.”

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