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Product Designer, Instacart

Born in a provincial city in central China, I always wondered what the bigger world out there was like. Through learning English and the access of the Internet, I was able to get a taste of it and was determined to explore it further. After 3 years of diligent preparation, I was accepted by Stanford for a master degree in Computer Science upon graduating from undergrad. Excited, little did I know all the difficult challenges lying ahead. I decided to take the unconventional career path of transitioning to a designer and it was very difficult to find internships or jobs. I took a risk to join an early stage startup and got into the danger of losing immigration status when it ran out of money. When I finally landed a job at Facebook, I got a notice from the USCIS that my H1-B lottery result might be invalidated. I spent a month living in limbo not knowing where in the world I would end up. Fortunately the lawyer was able to win the argument of the case and I was able to stay. Earlier this year, I was suddenly laid off by Uber due to COVID-19 and again got into a crisis of needing to find a job in a very limited time. I was able to survive again. As immigrants, we work within a lot of constraints, live in constant fear of change of policies and frustration that things are not always in our control. What we can do is to always work twice as hard, strategize with creativity and help support each other. The journey is difficult but well worth it.