The idea to pursue a career in business first infiltrated my mind when I was just twelve years old. My uncle, a successful businessman running a pharmaceutical company, ignited my interest. He has been the most influential person in my life, and to this day I believe that without him, I probably would have no attraction to the business environment. My uncle’s legendary story about starting a business from, “the bottom up,” fascinated. After graduating college, my uncle went to Hainan, a fast-developing city on the coast of China.
He had no money, immediately found work in construction, but being unskilled labor the low pay barely helped. However, true to character, he never complained. During this time, my uncle prepared himself for any opportunities to better himself. After three years of hard work, my uncle invested all the money he saved into the real estate industry. Sweet success! He struggled from a humble student to a flourishing businessman. My uncle dedicated his life to the world of business, his fortitude and wisdom attributed to his success.
Although I spent little time with my uncle when I was young, I enjoyed every occasion to talk and listen to him. I still remember once, during a family gathering, he talked about the concept of running a business, “The purpose of running the company is not only for personal benefit. A successful businessman always creates great social value while accumulating wealth. What he should do is not only understand and apply the rules and regulations; he should also spread the skills and concepts of running a business to others which may create uncountable benefits.
To me at the age of eleven, money seemed to be the only reason my uncle labored day and night. Although I couldn’t understand the full meaning of his statement, at the time, I knew it was clever judging from the reactions of other family members. At the age of fifteen, I began my fervent interest in reading which increased my understanding of the business world, through the books I read. B like, John Gordon’s The Great Game: a History of Wall Street was my favorite. Mr.
Gordon’s primary objective revolved around his stories of the great plungers and scandals that were usually considered the most popular histories of Wall Street. The book brings to life many intriguing personalities of business giants, like Boesky, Hamilton, Kennedy, Morgan and Vanderbilt. What appealed to me most was that the book arranged centuries of economic activity into a succinct, yet informative novel; embodying Wall Street not as an entity of finance but rather a thriving, complicated character.
I was attracted to the beautiful and animated lifestyles of those people and imagined that my life in the future would be like theirs, full of excitement. The business world is not all as rosy as I imagined. Like any industry, it’s a roller coaster ride. The book shows the flip side with two specific examples of severe crisis. They involved scrupulous men, Jacob Little and Daniel Drew. Both because of poor judgment and possible greed went bankrupt overnight Little and Drew had different styles, but perfectly fit the all American dream, the rags to riches story.
Starting with no money, struggling up the ladder, one investment at a time, to their ultimate success. One of them filed bankruptcy four times; the other is infamous for his foxy tracks and trips. Where ever the truth likes, Jacob Little and Daniel Drew will have their names remembered along side their exaggerated successful stories, with their loses forgotten. The dark side of the business world, peeked my curiosity even more, I wanted to explore its side and learn from it.
The desire to immerse myself in the business world also came from my inner voice, attempting to break away from normal life. Growing up as the only child in the family, encouraged my parents to be over protective, and to indulge me excessively. They planned everything for me; and expected me to behave in the way they wanted; decided what was good for me and what was bad. For instance, I didn’t like to draw, although I do appreciate the splendor of paintings, but because of my mother’s longing, I had to take drawing for four years.
Before I learned to dispute against the so-called parental authority, I followed their rules and was a submissive girl who obeyed their every wish. My uncle’s experiences led me to think business was my weapon; I could gain control of my life, through success… Bluntly speaking, I thrived at the idea that money would make me independent from my family. At sixteen, I anticipated what it would be like to lead my own life; the business world was a very appealing option. Greed is one of the deadliest sins for a valid reason. Some people with too much money fall into the greed pit.
It’s like a game that people can never win. My personal experience proved how misguided wealth and precarious greed could end in corruption. One of my cousins, twelve years older than me, grew up in a small village. He was a notable doctor, invaluable to the village, before money tarnished his life. Ironically, his hard work, brought him fame and respect, along with more money and and greed slowly infected him. My cousin wasn’t satisfied with his newfound wealth and turned to gambling, a vice he never thought about when he was simply earning a living as a modest doctor.
Gambling, like greed, is a game you can’t win and my cousin lost, and lost big. To accommodate his loses he started over charging his patients to. Eventually, his patients accused him and was sent to jail for two years. This distressing story taught me a life lesson of the corruption brought out by money. The more I learned about marketing, the more I wanted to venture into this side of business. Last semester I joined Michigan Advertising and Marketing, a student organization that provides strategic marketing services for local businesses.
My team worked on a market research project to measure the advertising effectiveness among University students. The experience allowed me to enhance my practical skills in market research, learning how to write proposals, create surveys, and collect data. One challenge I discovered was the need to immediately apply our findings to the questions at hand. I learned that while deep analysis is important to marketing, correct and timely application is imperative and critical to the success of a campaign.
I’ve also enjoyed the process of understanding the customers’ needs and desires, then translating those needs into a marketing strategy. I respect the concept that marketing is to create, manage and enhance products. All these experiences assist me on my journey into the world of business. I see the journey with amazing and remarkable foresight. I’m walking along the road to success, I can see portions of my path, making me more excited to continue. With the future unknown, one thing for sure, I will have an unforgettable experience.