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My Own Story

Updated: Jul 24, 2023

I was the only child in my family and was born in a second-tier city in China called Nanchang in 1986. I lived with my parents and grandparents in the same household. While my parents were working hard to support the family financially, I spent a lot of time with my grandparents and learned a lot of wisdom from them. My grandparents were both teachers back in the old days. My favourite memory is that 'Story Time' when I could spend hours, in the afternoon, listening to my grandparents sharing their personal stories. My favourite learning from them was 'always think of what you can give, rather than what you will get in return.'

With this mindset, I had a smooth journey until I reached my early 20s. I am one of the top students in my class at university. A guest lecturer from the Australian National University was willing to recommend me to study for a Master's degree at ANU. I thought this would be easy. I thought it would be a couple of more textbooks and exams to go through, before I could become a professional elite. However, everything turned upside down when I arrived in Australia in 2008 to start this adventure.

As an international student and an immigrant, I failed dozens of times when I tried to settle in and kick start my career here in Australia. 'Anxious', 'desperate', and 'insecure' are probably the precise words describing how I felt back then. Luckily, my favourite learning keeps returning to me and saving me from falling. I started giving back to the University and its wider community. I enrolled in a business planning competition at the University of Sydney, where I led a team of six and initiated the idea of establishing an academy to help international students with their employability skills. Through LinkedIn group discussions, I connected with an alumni who referred me to my first-ever full-time position. Until then, I finally felt I was standing in front of the starting line.

With the same mindset of ''always think of what you can give, rather than what you will get in return'', after overcoming many challenges, I have progressed from an officer to a Vice President at Citigroup, from a temporary customer service specialist to a seasoned product manager in 10 years. Of course, winning countless awards and multiple promotions makes me happy, but I realised that I am more fulfilled when I can contribute to the growth of others, when my focus is outward.

With this passion, in 2017, I established a community of young professionals with Asian backgrounds. I started nurturing the community with regular career opportunity sharing, career-related seminars, and customised career coaching services. With five years of organic growth, the Fish Talk community has attracted over 2,000 members across all industries. In April 2022, it finally reached a tipping point for me to convert this side hustle into a full-time business. I am incredibly fortunate to have blessings from my family, former employer, and friends. I am also immensely proud of myself for having an opportunity to deliver what was in my mind for so long: helping students and young professionals improve, grow, and outperform.

I am not entirely sure about the next chapter of this adventure, but being able to grow a community of like-minded people and help them thrive in their careers and life is extremely meaningful. Through this, I am changing both my life and their lives positively. I look forward to this life-changing journey ahead of me and am keen to make a positive and long-lasting impact continuously.


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