Juliana Lee MBA LLB
Certified Residential Specialist
Seniors Real Estate Specialist
I was asked to make a short speech to an association of realtors. Below is the speech I gave:
Thank you for inviting me to be here.
Ever since I was invited to talk, I have been thinking about meaningful events in my life which I can share with you … without boring you.
Let me give you my background, the choices I made, and where I am.
I was born in Taiwan. In many Asian cultures, men have better opportunities and get more recognition. Ever since I was a young girl, I resented that I was supposed to become a good second class human. I did not like this role and I would not accept it. I had to find a better one. This became a major goal for me early in my life.
I discovered in Taiwan people respect highly educated people with foreign degrees. My father left China, traveled to Japan, and earned a JD degree. This helped him become highly successful in the legal field. I earnestly studied Japanese for many years so that I could also go to Japan, further my education, and build my desired fame.
After I graduated from law school, my father would not allow me to go abroad. I am only a woman. His vision of a life for me was to get married to a judge and give birth to lots of children. This vision wasn't quite what I had in mind …. It turned out I became almost the opposite of his vision: of all his children, I was the only one who never gave birth to my own child and I also became the one who earns the most money.
However world events changed his mind. I jumped at the opportunity to get a US student visa. I planned to go to a US law school and become a successful and respected attorney.
Soon after my arrival to the US, while researching the path to my dream, I discovered that most of the immigrant Chinese law students became immigration attorneys. My dream was destroyed. I could not see myself filing the same routine legal documents over and over.
I decided to make a career change, to get an MBA in finance. I knew that a world of opportunity awaits those with an MBA degree.
Having the mind set of an entrepreneur, real estate was a wide open door for me. I did not need a salary. I eagerly began work at Cornish and Carey. Soon after I began, my manager, Roger, called me to his office, told me that no one could understand my English and that I could not answer office phone calls. He yelled: "nobody understands you, Juliana." I certainly fought back fiercely and not just in Chinese. After all, I didn't escape my second class role to become a third class human.
I have been selling real estate for nearly 30 years. I have a phenomenal career. I have achieved success and I have the opportunity to accomplish even more... Don't stop trying to achieve your dream.