Years ago, like you, my mother thought that learning Mandarin would be a good investment of my time. However it was not only until I was applying for jobs during the dotcom bust that I would realize how valuable that would be. Although I was armed with a BSc. Economics undergraduate degree from the London School of Economics, the finance industry was retrenching and headcount was low. However since I had working knowledge of Mandarin I managed to secure a full-time job offer at Goldman Sachs in Hong Kong.
Having lived abroad for 15 years, part of which was spent in China, I experienced firsthand how Mandarin is now a dominant language in the world of entertainment, international relations and trade. Now that I have settled in Penang and have two young children of my own, I face the same questions that every parent does, one of them being which school to send my children to. In making my choice, I would like to be able to take one variable out of the equation, Mandarin. It is my goal that with the help of Mandarin PIE, our children can become fluent in Mandarin without necessarily needing to attend a Chinese school.
I thank my parents for their foresight many years ago and I trust our children will one day appreciate the choices we make in investing their time to learn Mandarin today.
Li Lian LIM
Li Lian Lim