ELFA - Equipment Leasing and Finance Association - Equipping Business for Success

Women's Spotlight

This Q&A series is brought to you by the ELFA Women’s Council

Camtu Vo

Manager of Product Development - North America, Food & Agriculture

Women's Spotlight - Camtu Vo

How did you start your career in the Leasing Industry?

Six years ago, I was working at an insurance company and out of the blue received a message from a DLL Recruiter. I started googling DLL in the Dallas area and couldn’t find a DLL location. So, at first, I thought it was spam! It turns out that DLL was setting up a new location in Dallas and had I not followed up with the recruiter, I would have missed out on an opportunity to be a part of the ground floor of the DLL Dallas location. The rest is history! Six years in and I’ve been on a wonderful career journey at DLL.

If you could give your younger self a piece of advice, what would it be?

I would tell my younger self to always be a little (or a lot) uncomfortable, which always pushes me to never be completely content. An example of putting this advice into action is to apply and accept a new position, even if you are not 100% sure you understand it at the time. Even if you think you only understand 50% of the job that you are applying to, I truly believe if you get outside of your comfort zone, you’ll not only learn the role, but will flourish beyond it. There’s always more to learn, more to do, and more to experience so embrace being a bit uncomfortable.

What is the best decision you made for your career (and yourself)?

The best decision I made for myself is to get involved in as many different projects and build connections early in my career as possible. This gave me the ability to get exposure at DLL and to learn the finance industry from different perspectives. All the different positions and projects that I took on led me to my current role as the Manager of Product Development at DLL. If I hadn’t exposed myself to so many different departments and projects, I certainly wouldn’t be where I am today.

Where do you envision your future self?

What a fun (and hard) question! I envision myself owning my own business- it could be in equipment finance, or it could be opening a coffee shop. I definitely have an entrepreneurial spirit but am still on the lookout for the idea that will inspire me to open my own company. My goal for my future self is to make sure I’m doing what I’m passionate about as cheesy as that sounds.

What’s your mantra and why?

My mantra, “Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming,” comes from the classic Pixar movie Finding Nemo. This mantra reminds me that to achieve any goal, I must always keep trying (even if it takes multiple attempts) to get the results that I want. When I graduated NYU with an Art History degree, I was naïve to think it prepared me for a job outside of academia. However, in the last decade, I really found my stride by sticking true to my mantra of “just keep swimming” to find the career that fits me best in Product Management. This also reminds me to also keep it fun as I’m learning about work, life, and myself.

What extracurricular activities do you take part in?

My favorite extracurricular activities are hiking, dancing, traveling, and finding new places to explore. I love being part of and exploring nature, visiting coffee shops, and trying new experiences. I am also part of a troupe in the local Dallas area called Zaara Belly Dance Fusion. I grew up doing gymnastics and dancing. After a long break, I felt as though I really needed to keep using the creative part of my brain through dance. Being a part of the dance troupe is a lot of fun, challenging and rewarding. We have practice two times a week and have local performances throughout the year, especially for the holidays.

Do you have a favorite line from a movie/ book?

My favorite line from a book is from J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Fellowship of the Ring.” This line has stuck with me for most of my life since I first heard it: “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” This line is very humbling to think about. We all have choices in life. Choice is what defines us as humans. When circumstances are out of our control, how we react to certain situations impacts our lives. We get to decide what our life is and how we live it. Time is precious, and I truly believe that we should all use our time wisely- in our personal lives and in our careers.

What is on your bucket list?

My number one bucket list item is to visit as many countries as I can. Most recently, I visited and explored Iceland. My next trip is a cruise that will give me the opportunity to visit many countries on one trip: Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Turks & Caicos. My goal is to travel internationally at least once a year to expose myself to different cultures. This goal goes back to my Art History degree- I feel it is important to see other cultures and take in the different insights of the people of the global community. My domestic bucket list item is to buy a DIY camper van or RV so that I can travel the continental United States. My final bucket list item is to write a book, possibly one about my personal experiences and how I see the world at large.

Where’s your favorite place in the world?

My imagination. There are so many physical places that mean a lot to me, but my favorite place is where my thoughts take me. It’s my imagination that wonders about with thoughts creating stories, fun experiences, connections, and visualizations.

Interview and editing by: Leigh Fagan, SVP & Controller at McKinley Scientific, LLC
Visit the Women’s Leadership page for additional resources from the ELFA Women’s Council.