Most first-generation immigrants harbor lofty ambitions when they begin their journey to America. Many of these individuals have aced rigorous exams, their outstanding performance has placed them at the top of their class in universities, and their college years have earned them high honors from their classmates, professors, and families. Without a doubt, expectations are high for these proud individuals. As young trailblazers, they feel pressure to succeed and prove that the sacrifice of their parents and past generations has not been in vain. As the cream of the crop, professional achievement is not just expected for these young people, it is considered a duty. But ambiguity and obstacles await them as they embark on their professional journey in America.
What are the challenges for these young, ambitious, first-generation immigrant pioneers, and how can they overcome the barriers of learning, language, and culture? How can they compete in a fierce work environment, earn recognition, and advance to senior management in corporate America?
Among these first-generation immigrants are Chinese students who began to arrive in the United States after 1972 when China opened the door to study in America. In the 1980s, more Chinese scholars journeyed to America and other overseas countries for academic and scientific research work. For America, Chinese students were a new business and academic market, and in the1990s the country saw an influx of Chinese students with increasing influence.
They were trailblazers. They were brave, intelligent, and curious, and their experiences represent fascinating case studies for later generations. Today's Asian-Americans who are entering and navigating western business can learn and build upon the experiences of those who came before them.
This book uses the stories of five first-generation immigrant pioneers to show the challenges faced by new immigrants eager to succeed in American business. They show managers moving up to manage managers and learning to deal with senior management challenges. The stories honestly reveal the norms, communication styles, mindsets, and politics of corporate business to help other brave souls newly embarking on the same path. These are not things taught in business schools; they are the life experiences of a generation.