How One Woman Made It To The Top: Zhang Xin

Zhang is a Chines billionaire and a real estate developer, born in 1965 to Chinese parents of a Burmese descent. According to Forbes she is the seventh richest woman in the world with an estimated wealth of $3.6 billion. When reading her story and how she became who she is now I was curious to learn more about Zhang, there are many articles that talk about her online.

Zhang started working from an early age, depending on herself to secure what she wanted, her parents divorced upon the chines cultural revolution, she went to live with her mother where soon they moved to Hong Kong (here is a stepping stone towards what Zhang will achieve), she saved money to be able to study abroad, at the age of 19 she was able to afford to travel to the UK to study English at the secretarial school in Oxford and worked at a Fish and Chip restaurant to support herself while there, following that, she got a scholarship to study Economics at Sussex University, and in 1992 she graduated with a master’s degree in development economics from Cambridge University, her thesis was about the privatization of China. One can’t help but notice how education benefited Zhang tremendously.

Her master thesis topic, Privatization of China, made her an attractive candidate by employers such as Barings which hired her, however, to her advantage Barings was acquired by Goldman Sachs so she was transferred to New York City, this is when she worked on helping to bring privatized Chinese factories to the stock exchange.

In 1994 she returned to Beijing, where she met Pan Shiyi, who will after four days of meeting one another they got married. Together the couple started Hongshi, a real state developing company, which will be rebranded as SOHO China. After ten years their company grew and changed its strategy of developing and selling property to buying and leasing them.

Looking how this billionaire designed her life, I can notice a series of events that contributed to her success, Education and her choice in a life partner, and the economic atmosphere in China which allowed opportunities for people like Zhang to grow and prosper.

Photos Credit

Zhang Xin Featured Photo: NinaNlFlickr  

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