Yifan (Eric) Wang
I was born in Shanghai, China in 1971. I spent my "age of innocence" through high school until I came to U.S as a foreign student in 1989. I still don't know why on 9/11/89, that US consulate granted me the F-1 visa so easily, but for sure it changed my life, or it was just part of my destiny.
I spent 5 tough years in New York City to complete my Bachelor degree of Electrical Engineering while working different part-time jobs such as delivering Chinese food in Manhattan, Ice Cream store clerk of Baskin Roberts and lab assistant in school. In 6/95, I graduated from City College of New York with honors and a job offer from Bellcore (Bell Communication Research). Thus I moved to New Jersey.
However working at Bellcore was not a happy experience because Bellcore was up for sale and it was chaotic in the company. In the summer of 1996, I left that company and started to work for AT&T as a network engineer until late 1999. During that time, I also worked towards Master degree of Electrical Engineering in Columbia University in my own spare time. By the end of 1998, I had finally completed the course requirement of this degree at the expense of 3 years of study.
In late 1999, I left AT&T to join INS (which merged with Lucent Technologies in 1999). However, I only stayed there for four months before I joined Cisco System in March, 2000 as a project engineer.
However, fate played a little joke with me. I joined Cisco Systems in the month when its stock was at the peak (as high as $80 per share) and I received stock option priced at the level that may never return any time in the future after the US stock market collapse in 2001. The worst part of the telecommunication downturn was that, after years of hiring spree, Cisco Systems for the first time in history decided to lay off 8,500 people. Unfortunately, my department was picked out and virtually everyone was downsized on April 25, 2001. Even my supervisor and his boss were among us...
However, I realized it was probably the opportunity of lifetime for me to see the world ! Thus I took off. During the summer of 2001, I traveled to Spain, southern France, Thailand, Hong Kong, Ancient Silk Road in China, Beijing, Shanghai, and Taiwan. I took a lot of pictures, visited a lot of natural wonders and historical landmarks along the way, and most importantly I was happy with myself. Traveling became my job and this summer will forever be in my memory...
However it took me a while to find my new job with Cantor Fitzgerald as network manager. The job search itself was a big experience thus I started to see my life differently. I started to appreciate whatever I have and complain much less. Is it part of becoming 30?
Now it's been over 5 years, and I am now married with one beautiful daughter. It has been a lot of work.
Life has never been easy for me, contrary to what my first name "Yifan" implies. However I have my plan for life & career : "I must be proud of myself every time I look back ... ... when a Pig flies"