On my way returning from an academic year abroad in China, a young woman shared her story to financial freedom while we were waiting at the boarding terminal at Beijing airport. She was just two years older than me, she told me she bootstrapped (her parents were humanity professors, therefore, she received no financial support) her way up to her present norm: traveling to different countries per month. Upon graduating college studying foreign languages, she immediately created her own international trades start-up company in Shenzhen and after several years (4+ years) of diligent effort, countless overtime hours, and other personal sacrifices, as a result, she grew her company to a medium-size enterprise (100+ employees).
Her story was extremely astounding and mind blowing! I knew I wanted to be in her shoes. Recently, I had another pleasure and a great privilege to have a conversation with another passionate, gifted, and strong-willed woman. To be frank, I have been very blessed with meeting strong, independent, and awe-inspiring woman these days. I am extremely fortunate.
The immigrant life is tough. Although I personally never immigrated to any foreign country, I have many travel experience in Asia, the longest being in China, where I underwent an academic study abroad attending university in Nanjing and interning in Shenzhen. For me, that one year was extremely challenging. Now, she has been living, studying, and working in America for approximately a bit over 4 years. Previously, part of her story begins in the East, employed at one of the biggest education in China (新东方) for 7+ years, moreover, within those years she maintained the position as a supervisor for roughly half of her time there.
As 2012 came around, she enrolled in HULTs MBA program (insert link) concentrating on Social Entrepreneurship. Upon graduation, she was recruited by a tech company in the Bay Area to play the role as a Business Development Director. In addition, in the events that followed, she conceived a child. Indeed, this was great news for her as she always wanted to become a mother. In an ideal world, the position she was in, possessing a relatively lucrative and high-position career while joyfully expecting a new member in the family, would merit the rites for celebration and praise.
Unfortunately, to her surprise and unbelief, the company indirectly signaled her to resign due to her pregnancy. Initially, she pursued several litigations as to avoid being nonchalantly forced to turn in her resignation letter, however, she perceived that such an undertaking would result in an uphill battle with the company and ultimately prove fruitless for the future of her family. Consequently, she wrestled and contemplated on whether having a child would be the right decision for her career and future. The answer to her frustration and struggles came through a friend at church who convinced her that children are like angels and they will bring blessing and happiness to the household, as a result, she decided to keep the child.
Nevertheless, the eminent problem still looms over her, as an immigrant, she had little to no connection in America. Financial security was still elusive to her in this segment of her journey. Perhaps a glimmer of hope? Apple offered her an impressive position with decent conditions and benefits, yet, based on her past experiences with the previous company, disclosing the information that she was pregnant would undoubtedly negate the offer. The injustice and inequality that she experienced as a woman and a soon-to-be mother she took to prayer. The rest became history.
In 2015, she created an international education start-up company, Seven Education, inspired by her child’s middle name, and coincidentally, the number of initial core teachers was seven. The mission of this start-up was to provide world class education while aiding individuals who were subjected to the same predicament as her by giving them equal and competitive employment opportunities. The start-up company had momentum and attracted 5000+ students and several venture capitalists who invested in the future potential of this company, in addition, employed several teachers and instructors from prestigious educational institutes such as Harvard, MIT, and Stanford, etc. The company specializes in providing excellent quality training in SAT, GMAT, TOELF, IELTS and other top quality educational services.
What’s passed is in the past, the future is up for grabs. Hello, 2016.