Outliers project By: Timmy Pham
Moving to Hong Kong was a big step in my father’s career and life. Not only was it a new country, but it also was a whole new world. The transition from a small county in Maryland to a whole new country and city was a big and scary risk. This was the first time my father left the country since he was a child, and didn’t really know what to expect. However, being the passionate learner that he was, my father did a little bit of research on the city that he soon called home. Hong Kong was and still is a busy and bustling city. There are brightly lit and crowded streets everywhere, and very rarely would you be able to hear yourself think while walking down those streets. Something that my father found very different than Maryland was the life and energy Hong Kong had, no matter when and where he was the city never slept. Never seeing buildings as tall as the Bank of China Tower my father was amazed by towering hand made structures.
For his first couple of years living in Hong Kong was very difficult for Tri. He was constantly working and ended each week with roughly 100 hours spent at his office. On top of that he was all alone and didn’t have many friends in his first year. Most of all he missed watching sports on television which weren’t broadcasted in Hong Kong. He missed watching basketball and football games with his brother and sister, until he found a greater passion in his new job. Tri enjoyed what he was doing and loved the new world he moved to. Learning how to use public transportation was a fun experience for him, and closing deals and having senior management access made him enjoy his new and adventurous life even more. This is important because Tri was enjoying what he was doing and didn’t care about anything else at that time. Even though times got lonely, and traveling to foreign countries for work was quite frightening at the beginning, Tri managed to push through and execute his job well. With minimum free time, Tri found a special passion with his new career just like his father once did, when he first started.
Merrill Lynch has been a wealth management division of Bank of America since 2013. However, before 2013 Merrill Lynch was an independent financial service corporation since 1914, when it originally started. Founded by Charles E Merrill and Edmund Lynch, Merrill Lynch has had a long history of different names. Both men were young and were looking for a partner to work on a new project. In its early years, Merrill Lynch found an abundant amount of success. In 1921 they purchased Pathé Exchange which soon later became RKO Pictures. Then in 1930 Merrill Lynch transformed Safeway into the third largest grocery store in America. Not only that , but Merrill Lynch also transformed itself to an investment bank by merging with E.A. Corp & Co. Then in 1941 they expanded even more, by joining Fenner and Beane, a investment bank and commodities company based in New Orleans.
My grandfather, Hien Pham, played a very important role in my father’s life. Not only was he hard and strict on my father, but he also was loving and caring. He was capable of showing affection to his children, at the same time yell at them in anger. He was a very smart man who knew how to hold a strong family bond together. This being said Hien always put his family before him, and always wanted the best for them. Most importantly my father looked up to his father as a mentor and an idol. My father always admired my grandfather because of his hard working attitude towards life. To my grandfather, money was not everything. Instead he followed his passion, which was to represent his country and tried to make the world a better place. My grandfather was a diplomat for Vietnam, and was one of the first people ever to pass a foreign service officer exam to become a diplomat for his country. During his time this was a very prestigious accomplishment that he took with pride.
My father and grandfather had a lot of things in common. Not only were they two very dedicated and intelligent people, but also were nonconformist and followed their passions. When my grandfather was young he didn’t obey his parents, and studied politics instead of the more traditional sciences, such has medicine and law. He also wanted to see the world beyond Vietnam and looked at many opportunities to leave. So once he got the offer to become a diplomat in America he was beyond joyful. Before moving to America he met my grandmother who was five years older than him. This being said both parents were against their marriage and did not show up, due to the difference in years. However, that didn’t stop my grandfather because as he always did, he followed his heart and took risks.