A Letter From an Immigrant Now an MBA: Age Is Just a Time Zone in Life

An inspiring reader letter charting a difficult journey, an MBA at 53, and feeling forever young.

We receive a lot of email, and are deeply thankful for all of the feedback we receive. Every once in a while we open one that moves us almost to tears. This came in a couple of weeks ago. With Fei’s permission, we are publishing her letter in its entirety.

Thank you, Fei for inspiring us today — in your words, “age is just a time zone in life.” We wish you all the best.

Hi, David, 

It is very nice to meet you in here. 

I was an immigrant coming from Shanghai, China back to 1979 to Toronto, Canada. 

I was 31 years old. However, at that time, China was not like today’s China. Immigrant from China has not much financial security on hand. I was gone through lots of hardships in my early immigrant life in Canada. Suddenly, I felt I was dropped from the top of mountain to the bottom of mountain. 

I started fresh new life and started from the bottom and fight back. I have worked in Sears Canada starting a small job as office clerk and worked all the way to the head office as a Global Sourcing Manager. Unfortunately, Sears Canada went bankruptcy in 2018. Laid-off wave was coming in the co. starting in 2005. I was laid off in 2014. At that time, I was 48.  

This was the second bad time hitting into my life. 

Since I had first hit experience, I am much stronger than the time I was 31 years old. 

I have moved in US back to 2014 after laid-off. I am still full of energy. I still feel like I am 31 years old in mental level, forever. 

In 2016, I enrolled in Syracuse University MBA program. I spent day and night to study. 

In 2019, I graduated MBA program from Syracuse University at age of 53. 

I never feel my biological real age. I am feeling I am early 20s or 30s. 

I strongly believe age does not mean a lot to the dream which you believe and keep pursuing. 

Age is just a number. Life experiences and the understanding of life mean a lot.

Now, at age of 53, I accomplished my dream — earned MBA degree and now I have my own co. which do business between US and China.

Again, age is just a number! If you have dream in your life, it doesn’t matter which age, it  is the matter Time Zone in your life. Everybody has different time zone in life. 


Fei (Effie)


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