In Case You Don’t Know Me…
My name is Eddie Kwot, a tax intern at Maxwell Locke & Ritter. I come from Hong Kong, a metropolitan city with an international trading port attracting business and tourism. Hong Kong is known for food and shopping. To some, it is actually known as the “food paradise” due to the various types of cuisines around the world ranging from high-end European restaurants to local Hong Kong street food. Although I grew up in Hong Kong, I spent a significant amount of time in Thailand, where my father’s family is from. Most people in Hong Kong work long hours at a fast pace. Because of this working culture I did not have the luxury of spending much of my childhood with my parents. I was blessed to spend time with my grandparents and my little sister when my parents were busy at work during the weekdays. I now understand that my parents’ hard work and sacrifice was necessary for our living and my education. I have strived to work as diligently and efficiently as my parents to alleviate the burden of the cost of my higher education and living expenses.
Why I Decided to Come to the United States
I chose to leave Hong Kong due to the population density, astronomically high cost of living, and a competitive education system. It is common for Hong Kong students to struggle finding employment after college and it’s extremely difficult to find a job that can sustain a comfortable living. With these things in mind, I decided to embark on a journey to the United States in hopes of building my own career.
My Journey to the United States…
At the age of 14, I packed my bags and said my goodbyes to my family before taking my first step into the shuttle bus to the airport. Moving to a foreign country, where I did not fully know the language was intimidating. Many thoughts flooded my mind. “Would I be able to express myself coherently?” “Would people understand me?” At this point, there were many uncertainties in my life.
After a lengthy 20-hour flight to Houston, I was greeted by my dorm parents holding a heartwarming sign welcoming me to the United States. It made me feel at ease. Adapting to a new environment was certainly challenging. The culture in the United States was immensely dissimilar to Hong Kong and I felt a little out of place. Luckily, it was not long before I made friendships that will surely last a lifetime. My best friends are from all over the world and have exposed me to different cultures and languages. I was fortunate to have people that were unphased by my deficient English and willing to talk to me. These daily interactions helped me sharpen my English. Without them (and a plethora of American TV shows), I don’t think my English would have been as good as it is today, though it is still far from perfect.
Eight years have passed since I arrived in the United States. I have learned being proactive about learning and taking initiative regardless of what one might be doing is of utmost importance. My mother says, “Always put forward your best effort regardless of the outcome. The learning process is greater than anything.” This mantra has been etched into my mind since I came to the U.S. I am grateful to have supportive parents who enabled me to look beyond what I thought was possible. One day, I hope to repay them for all the resources they gave me. At last, I am tremendously thankful that Maxwell Locke & Ritter has given me the opportunity to become a part of the ML&R. I am enjoying my internship, building more connections, and learning every day. I couldn’t have hoped for anything greater.