By Carolyn Gray Anderson
Angus Hsu (’16) is a lot like other successful UCLA Anderson students. He has a background in finance and auditing, gaining experience with Wells Fargo even before he earned his B.A. in economics at UC Berkeley in 2007. He led his Applied Management Research team in management consulting for a semiconductor client, recommending and presenting Chinese partnership options to the firm’s senior executive team. And he spent time on a challenging internship in Silicon Valley.
Hsu — who is a licensed Certified Financial Services Auditor, and to whom Wells Fargo awarded its Team Excellence Award in Audit for 2010 — also sets a notable example of volunteerism and community engagement beyond his studies and career aspirations. He shares his success within his undergraduate alumni association and as a tutor to grammar school students and a champion of economic empowerment and affordable housing solutions.
Hsu grew up in the Bay Area. When he was in college, he attended the Asian Pacific Islander Issues Conference, which had a lasting effect on his choices after graduation. “Addressing economic empowerment issues awakened me to the immense needs of marginalized sectors in our community,” says Hsu, whose parents immigrated to the U.S. when he was a baby. What he learned about social justice in sociology classes at Berkeley “fittingly segued into the real world,” Hsu says, and he began organizing events for the nonprofits Taiwanese American Professionals and Upwardly Global, a resource for skilled immigrants seeking career assistance.
He says that serving on the board of Upwardly Global “enriched my experience at Wells Fargo and allowed me to impart what networking is about: sharing information and building relationships based on understanding.” In addition to helping skilled immigrants with their job searches across industries and countries, Hsu mentored individuals and raised funds for the organization. “I more easily related to other immigrants, which made me a better listener to them,” says Hsu. “It was astounding how these very mature people would listen to a 25-year-old me.”
His employer Wells Fargo honored him with its 2011 Volunteer Service Award for his work with Upwardly Global.
While he’s been at Anderson, Hsu has found opportunities for local community engagement in Los Angeles, too. He tutored elementary school kids in Chinatown, including one with autism. “This one was a bit outside my comfort zone,” says Hsu, who trained through the Asian American Tutorial Project, a student-run organization with volunteer tutors from USC, UCLA and Occidental College. But he rose to the challenge and enjoyed it. “They take you from Westwood to Chinatown on a yellow school bus, making you feel like a kid again.”
As commencement approaches, Hsu reflects on what it means to him now to influence — indeed, cultivate — social change that leads to greater economic empowerment. “Driving change means affecting one individual at a time,” he says. “It can be incredibly daunting to set grandiose goals of alleviating poverty; it starts piecemeal at the grassroots level.”