Born and raised from Vietnamese-Chinese refugees, I've always wanted to come to the United States, the land of opportunity and the free, from a young age. After finishing a technical undergrad degree in Mathematics/ Financial Analysis and Risk Management, the choice to come to San Francisco was simple. Based on a number of factors like my love of technology, my strong social connections from the University of Waterloo (my alma mater), and the eagerness to avoid Canadian winters, the Silicon Valley was a logical choice for advancing my career.
Carefully examining methods of entering to the United States of America, I crafted a strategy: come in as F1 Student because after all, the easiest way to enter a country is through studying as a student. I chose to complete my graduate studies in San Francisco, my target city, at a small, innovative, and global school - Hult International Business School - where I learned about the various challenges that immigrants from all over the world face. I knew here that trying to stay in the US would be a challenging feat - accomplishable but difficult.
With high motivation, intense drive, and unyielding persistence, I completed my studies near the top of my class and had still had a very stressful time finding full-time work on my OPT (F1) immigration status. After three months of 30+ interviews, multiple rejections, and the growing fear of having to return to Canada, I finally succeeded in landing my first job out of school at Google Shopping Express (via a staffing partner, the Adecco Group).
Throughout the entire job search process, I learned about the American way of business, what it takes to land a job in the US, and the overwhelming internal strength and innovation it can take for a non-citizen (even as a Canadian, America's northern neighbour) to find meaningful work experiences. With my F1 (OPT) immigration status fast approaching, certain questions pop into my mind - What I can do now to help achieve my American dream? How can I help others in similar situations with my story? And more importantly, how can I bring more awareness to government officials about immigration issues to drive change, shape policies, and bring about reform for future generations of immigrants?