Out of the bubble, on her own, finding the courage to forge a new career and life in the U.S.

Growing up in China as the only child in a family of entrepreneurs, I lived a sheltered and comfortable life. However, a yearning to challenge myself and step outside my comfort zone always lingered within me. In my first year of high school, I met my English teacher, who inspired me to make a life-altering decision to pursue higher education in the U.S. I wanted to be my own person – to break free from the safety net of my family and embark on a journey. Arriving in a foreign land with excitement thumping in my heart, I was unprepared for the cultural shock that awaited me. The customs, language, and social norms vastly differed from my home country, and I struggled to adapt. I was taught not to challenge authority at home, but suddenly in this new environment, I was expected to express myself and question the status quo. Yet the excitement never dwindled and kept me going all the way to a major in finance.

I began my career as a financial analyst on Wall Street, but fate soon led me to stumble upon the world of financial technology. The prospect of using technology to enable better investment decision-making fascinated me, igniting my passion to explore this field further. I was delighted after joining Fannie Mae to have the opportunity to grow as a manager, lead a great team on large scale transformation projects, strategize digital transformation roadmaps, and experiment with different technologies such as Machine Learning, Microservice based architecture, Natural Language Processing, and Advance AWS services to reimagine the way our company does business and manage credit risk effectively.

Throughout my journey, I was fortunate to encounter incredible managers, mentors, and supportive colleagues who valued my talent and hard work. They played a pivotal role in shaping my career and instilled the courage to share my ideas openly. As I gained knowledge and expertise, my confidence soared and my responsibility grew. While working with innovative technologies inevitably presented challenges and occasional mistakes, I learned to reflect on each experience and encourage continuous improvements. In pursuing independence and personal growth, I have learned the value of self-belief, tenacity, and resilience. Each step of the journey has shaped me into the person I am today – a person unafraid to take on new challenges, share ideas openly, and continuously learn from every experience.

I am honored to be recognized by the Profiles in Diversity Journal as one of the Women Worth Watching in Leadership for 2023. Being part of this esteemed group fills me with joy and gratitude. As I share my story today, I hope to inspire others to embrace change, defy their comfort zones, and step into the unknown with unwavering determination. You can achieve greatness, and with hard work and a fearless attitude, there are no limits to what you can accomplish.