Lili Xu

26 | Height: 5’9″

Hometown: Calgary, AB

Lili Xu is a Finance Manager and resourceful young professional continuously conquering new challenges and in doing so inspiring others.

Lili grew up in part in Estonia and 12 other countries and attended University and graduate business school in Canada, attaining a Masters of Global Business from the University of Victoria.

She has also attended the University of New Brunswick for her BA in Business, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Johannes Kepler Universität Linz in Austria, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration (NHH), The Washington Center, and is a candidate at CMA Alberta.

Lili has business experience in three continents and speaks several languages fluently including Estonian, Russian, English, Mandarin, German, and Spanish.

As often as possible, Lili immerses herself in inspirational events and charitable organizations. She is also an avid snowboarder, microlight aircraft pilot, scuba diver, sky diver and enjoys being around tigers, elephants, and her dog Bunny.

Sponsored by: Eye Class Optometry – Dr. Michael Chu, Tech Squad, SOPHIA A65 at Pacific Mall, Ethos Bridal Group, Shoecraze, The JUNGLE Strength & Performance, Gloss Salon & Spa, Love Dental, dk.envy Salon & Spa – Image Visualists, Family and Friends.

Languages spoken fluently (please include your native language if English is not your native language). 

Native Mandarin and Russian speaker. Fluent in English. Basic Estonian, German, and Spanish.

What are your interests and what do you enjoy doing the most?

I like to live my life on the edge: traveling, seeing the unseen, experiencing first-hand diverse cultures, learning languages and traditions, thus, enriching my horizons and building courage and drive to dream big and strive for more. I am particularly interested in connecting with human beings and appreciate diverse perspectives, cultures, and dreams. I also enjoy conversations about life with friends over a warm cup of tea.  I love sunny days and walking in the park with my little niece.

List any special training you have had (music, art, drama, dance, etc.)

Salsa dance
Guzheng, zither (Chinese musical instrument)
Domra (Russian musical instrument)

In what sports, if any, have you participated?

Snowboarding / Skiing
Scuba Diving
Microlight Flying
White water rafting
Horseback riding
Skating / Rollerblading
Go-kart racing

Name one person, other than your parents, who has had the most influence on your life. Why?  

My dear friend and mentor, J.A. Rueda, has a significant influence on my life. Through his encouragement and belief in me, I was able to discover talents that I have not known before. His courage to think out of the box, creating new ideas, ventures and businesses is inspiring me to bring together my resources, focus and realize my ideas into realities. His guidance, friendship and support I have learned to be the strong, courageous and driven young woman that I am today.

What is your proudest personal accomplishment (other than participating in this pageant)?

My mother always has taught me about the importance of education in our lives. As a child, I dreamt about becoming so knowledgeable in something that I would reach a Master’s level. After graduating from university and working full-time, it was not easy to make the decision to go back to school. Nonetheless, studying a Masters degree has remained one of my dreams and, today, I am proud of my new degree, a Master of Global Business with Honours!

What is the most interesting or unique thing that has ever happened to you and/or what is the most interesting thing about you?

The most interesting thing about me, according to friends, is that “I jump into unique things”. If it is a compelling activity, or is it for a good cause, I say “yes”, take courage and take action. In many occasions, I can’t predict what is going to happen next, but it has always brought me to amazing places in life.

What is your career ambition and what are you doing or plan to do to accomplish that goal?

I have two ambitions in my life, which go hand in hand: I want to be a successful business woman and a philanthropist that makes an impact in my generation. I would love to create a team of likeminded people and make ideas worth doing come to life! I want to create meaningfully! Create value, create new designs, create new ways for people to find what they desire and I want to help people find their purpose and take action.

What would be your “dream job” in life?

My dream job is to help people pursue life dreams. My grandfather used one word to describe me when I was four years old: Ren. This is a Chinese word (仁 ) describing one of the Confucian virtues: kind. This truly defines me. I love supporting people and helping others, my dream would be doing what I love and help encourage people to pursue their dreams.

Are you currently a student?


Are you currently employed?


If yes, what is your occupation?

Finance Manager

Describe where you were raised and what your childhood was like.  

My childhood was very fulfilling and meaningful for me. At very young age I was brought by my parents to Russia. I am fortunate and blessed to live and experience 13 different countries (Russia, Estonia, Lithuania, Austria, Norway, Sweden, Poland, Ukraine, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Canada, and the USA). Growing up I had to learn how to adapt to new environments, learn languages and make new friends. Although, moving every two years was challenging at times because I did not want to let go of my friends, I am happy with the fascinating experiences that I have accumulated, my friends around the World and a place that I call home – Canada.

List any interesting or unusual jobs you may have had.

Interpreter in a business context (since I was four and a half)

Marketing Assistant (since age 12)

Purchaser (since age 16)

Warehouse / Retail Manager (since age 17)

Research Assistant

English Teacher

Accountant / Office Manager

Bridal Consultant

List any volunteering you have done.

Cool Capital – Washington, DC

4th of July Parade – Washington, DC

Terry Fox Marathon – Beijing, China

Student Union – Saint John, NB

Canadian Cancer Society – Victoria, BC

SOS Children Villages – Calgary, AB

Island ECC – Hong Kong

TEDxYouth – Hong Kong

Caring for my grandmother after she got cancer – Changchun, China

What is your most unusual talent?

I have been told that I have a talent for inspiring people through my own actions. Communication is beyond words and somehow I can communicate meaningful purposes by my actions rather than words.

Where is the most interesting place you have been to? 

The most breathtaking place that I have seen was in Thailand, the Emerald Cave. This cave is so small that boats cannot enter. After swimming in total darkness for 85 meters, a whole New World opens in front of you. There is a large sandy beach, tropical trees, birds singing, you can even see the sky inside the cave. A true paradise! Pirates definitely knew where to hide their treasures!

What do you hope to be doing in ten years? 

There are five sides to my ten year plan.

1. Career. Professionally, I want to have a successful mature business in fashion. I want to share my process of finding my self-identity, inspiring young girls to follow their dreams and teaching lessons that I have got from my experiences through publishing books and giving motivational speeches.

2. Giving back is essential to me. I want to have Lili Xu Foundation to honour the relationship between mothers and daughters around the world. The focus of my foundation will be building and managing creative retirement centres. The population is aging and the need for care centers is growing by the hour. It will ensure that the elder generation receives the proper care while they are being active, engaged and still part of society through art and social activities such as workshops and exhibitions of their creative work.

3. On a personal side, I hope that I will have a family and be a mother of two children.

4. Interests. I would love to continue doing what I love – salsa dancing, horseback riding, scuba-diving and extreme sports.

5. Travel. By ten years, I may have traveled quite a lot on the 6 continents, I would love to explore 7th one – Antarctica.

Is there anything you would like to add that we haven’t asked?

I would like to add that my experience in Miss Asia helped me understand how a pageant can help inspire people, build confidence and new skills, develop lasting friendships, and contribute to society.  I am honoured and delighted for the opportunity to be part of Miss Universe Canada.