Travelers EDGE: Professional Development Institute Recap

In early January our Travelers EDGE cohort took an annual trip to Hartford, Connecticut for Professional Development Institute (PDI). Travelers EDGE is funded by Travelers Insurance, with the goals to 1) increase the pipeline of underrepresented students to college, 2) help underrepresented students graduate from college and 3) build awareness of career opportunities in insurance and financial services.

PDI kicked off with an inspiring and motivational speech from Carlos Ojeda Jr. from CoolSpeak. Many students could resonate with his story about growing up in a low-income family and being the first in his family to attend college. His speech set the tone for the rest of PDI tasking Scholars to seek out the answer to “What’s your EDGE?”

PDI included a networking dinner where Scholars from Minnesota and Connecticut, along with Travelers employees had the opportunity to network and connect over appetizers. Being in a networking space was intimidating for some Scholars, but they all agreed that it was a great skill to practice and improve.

Augsburg University’s very own Pang Dao Xiong was selected as the Senior Keynote Speaker during the networking dinner. She completed three summer internships at Travelers Insurance and have accepted a full-time position with Travelers upon graduation. Congratulations Pang Dao!

girl posing for camera

Hello everyone! My name is Pang Dao Xiong, a senior studying marketing at Augsburg. As a Travelers EDGE scholar, this program has presented rich experiences and life-changing opportunities to prepare me for my career, on top of the close support for my academic success. This Winter Break, my EDGE cohort went to Hartford, Connecticut, for a Professional Development Institute (PDI) with Travelers Insurance with the intention of developing professional skills and connections with other scholars and Travelers professionals. For three days, we did team building and personal growth activities, sat through educational presentations from the Travelers professionals, and received an EDGE Alumni panel. For this PDI trip, I was selected to speak as the Senior Keynote Speaker during our Networking Dinner. I spoke on my academic journey as a First-Generation student and how the Travelers EDGE program has supported me, as well as the opportunities it has provided. I shared some words of encouragement to all the scholars, whom I have seen and worked with throughout my activity in the program as I concluded my speech. I am thankful for Travelers EDGE and the amount of work that they invest in undergraduate students like me will go a long way.

“Getting to connect with each other is a powerful tool because we have so much to offer to each other..”

Pang Dao Xiong, Senior Keynote Speaker
By Ma Xiong-Nguyen
Ma Xiong-Nguyen Career Services Program Manager