We believe good English and efficient desktop are shortcuts to success.
It is not exaggerating to say they are an inseparable part of a wonderful life!
To share our success, we Linkers are working tirelessly around the globe, around the clock!
We are English fans!
We are efficient desktop geeks!
Jing is a partner at Links.
From a penniless Chinese student in America to owner of a financial management firm, she is the real life heroine of the movie “Pursuit of Happiness”.It was before China went through its economic transformation that Jing decided to pursue further studies in America. At that time, her family was unable to offer her any financial assistance. Armed with a near perfect TOEFL score, she left the country with only $500 she scrambled together. She worked three jobs to support herself while in school in US: a library assistant, a teaching assistant and a waitress. Once, while driving, she dozed off due to exhaustion. She crashed her car. It was in the hospital that she realized she had neither medical insurance nor cash to pay for the medical bill. But crisis like this did not crash her. She received not only a MBA degree, but her CPA certificate at the first attempt. After graduation, Jing worked for several large US companies. But she did not settle for a comfortable middle class life. Instead, she chose to build her own independent career, literally by knocking on thousands of doors in Greater Chicago area, winning the trust of countless clients. In 2009, her long-cherished dream came true: she started her own investment and tax services company.
Jing was good with English from a young age. She even won a prize for English recitation in her city. But her real love was engineering and machinery. She dreamed of becoming an engineer. When she was placed in English Department in college on account of her good grade in English, she sobbed. She later admitted that was actually a lucky turn. It was her English skill that enabled her to adapt to the life of America quickly. She was able to complete her grueling course work and started a new life in a new country. Other than her own hard work, Jing also credits her success today to the generous help from countless people during her time of hardship. Today, she wishes to pay her gratitude by giving back to society. Throughout the years, she has been active in local and international charity work, fundraising for polio vaccination in South America and Africa. From 2001 to 2012, she taught in three different weekend Chinese schools in Chicago area, spreading Chinese language and culture in her new home. Since 2007, she has been offering free money management classes to American families, providing them with tools to financial success. Today, she lives in Chicago with her husband and two daughters.
Jim is the founder of Links. He and Jing were college classmates.
How they got together and started Links website is a very interesting story indeed. On June 3rd, 2013, Jim was watching the movie Chinese Partner in Himalaya Cinema in Shanghai. He was completely engrossed in the movie because he knew the venture story behind it. He even knew several people in the Special Features at the end of the movie. After the movie, he lingered at the cinema long after the audience filed out of the cinema, lost in thought. Finally as he was leaving, he slapped hard on the back of the seat, as if to emphasize something important in his mind. As soon as he got home, he called and recommended the movie to his friend Jing. Even though the two have been friends for decades, life has taken them in different directions. Their conversations had not been much more than chitchat before this. But this time, it was different. The two old friends had a long conversation across the Pacific. They chatted about life and work and everything in between. It went from work to partnership. In a matter of one day, the partnership agreement was signed! Thus, the website of Links was born! That was June 4th, 2013. In just a few months, Links grew from a team of 5 to 50 people. The team members come from over 20 cities in China and US. It is not an overstatement to say the Linkers are truly working “around the globe, around the clock”. And the interesting thing is: most of them have never met one another!
How Jim got into English is another interesting story. Being a soldier in his younger days, his English was not at all that impressive. He had wanted to study Chinese in college, but was assigned to English Department instead to make up the ratio for male English major students. In his first English class, the teacher asked him “What’s your name?” three times. And he did not understand any of it! The class roared with laughter. But Jim was the one that had the last laugh. A few years later, like Jing, he obtained his B.A. as well as M. A. in English language and literature, and became a college English teacher. Two years later, with ¥300 in his pocket, Jim quit his job at college. For the second time he personally experienced what “penniless” really meant. He even put on a paper boy jacket and sold newspapers on the streets. From a soldier to a college student, from a college teacher to doing menial work, from China to US, Jim continued his adventures in life. In 1999, he passed GMAT exam to study BiMBA and eventually received his MBA degree. At the end of 2000, he loved internet with so much passion that he, with impulse, bought Chinese portal website stocks offered on American stock market. It was in its stupefying total loss that he became a devoted disciple of Warren Buffet. In this period of loss and hesitation, he devoured Buffet’s works and those of Buffet’s teachers. In 2011, Jim took his family to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the annual shareholders’ meeting for Berkshire Hathaway. It was not just a trip of pilgrimage. For him, it was also a show of gratitude to his teacher. English language has not only furthered Jim in his career and studies, but also has provided him immense pleasure and assistance to his personal life. He was astounded to find that there was no Chinese translation of his favorite book “The Art of Virtue” by Benjamin Franklin. In his iPhone, he has thousands of hours of English recording, mostly stories by Garrison Keillor, the great American story teller. Looking back, Jim was glad he was “misplaced” in English Department. Every successful career choice, every academic achievement, every joy and enjoyment of his soul, every enrichment of his life, he credits to English.
Arguably, Jack Ma has greater payoff learning English than anyone else in China.
For 9 years during the 70’s, Jack Ma was in West Lake almost daily, volunteering himself as a guide to the American tourists. In the early days of Alibaba, when negotiating for funding with Masayoshi Son, Ma’s perfect American English was the deciding factor in Son’s decision to invest. In less than 10 minutes, Son agreed to invest 30 million dollars. He later upped that number to 40 million. Masayoshi Son himself left for California from Japan right out of high school, but still speaks English with a heavy Japanese accent. When he decided to invest in Jack Ma, he was probably thinking: if this dude could speak English the way he does without ever leaving China, what couldn’t he accomplish? Ma’s story also shows, besides having the right environment, perseverance and means are more important in mastering the language. Of course it is unrealistic to send 500 million people abroad to learn English. Even so, there is no guarantee we will learn it well. Equally impossible it is that we all cruise over to West Lake. Even if we do, neither is it guaranteed we will all learn the language well. The goal of Links website is to bring Ma’s West Lake to you, to allow you to bring out your inner Jack Ma: mastering the language without ever stepping out of the country.