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Building Global Computing in The U.K.
08.07.14 |

“I really wasn’t following a career or a dream,” said Douglas Mancini ’91 of his move to Europe after graduating from the Valley. “I knew I wanted to leave the East Coast of the U.S., and an opportunity came up to move to the Netherlands, and I decided that it was a good time in my life to make a big change.” Mancini packed his belongings in a shipping container and moved to the Netherlands, where he started a classic car and motorcycle importation business. After 12 years he moved to the U.K., worked his way into the enterprise computing sector, and today is a vice president at Oracle Corporation overseeing key accounts in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

The LVC management major is frank about career strategies for American graduates who’d like to live abroad. “If I was going to give anybody any career advice right now, I’d say, learn to speak Cantonese,” he said. “I’d also say, learn the African cultures and the African geography, because Africa’s probably going to be among the fastest growing markets in a few years. Eastern Europe is also interesting—there’s a talent search going on right now in eastern Europe for young executives with some experience.”

Mancini emphasized that being truly fluent in another language is a key skill. “Language skills are more recognized than they were before because the job market is tighter,” he said. “You still get places, even in France, Spain, and Italy, where people don’t speak English enough to hold a business meeting in English.”

He also suggested that graduates who’d like to work abroad build their résumés at home first, to gain skills and experience that make them stand out from other applicants. “Make a mark in a chosen industry, then make your move to Europe,” he suggested. “European companies aren’t looking for recent graduates—they’re not even looking for graduates in their homeland, so they’re certainly not going to import them.”

On the bright side, Mancini said, it’s probably no harder to get a job in Europe than in the U.S. in the current job market. “Like everything else, it’s about differentiating yourself from the other candidates. Make yourself really relevant and try to solve the problems of the person who’s hiring you. The good candidates are still getting good jobs, but more than ever people have to be willing to work at the lower levels longer before they move up.”

Mancini, who grew up in New York, is somewhat surprised to find himself living in Europe. “People who knew me at LVC would have voted me the least likely to live off the East Coast,” he said. “It’s taken me a few years living in Europe to fully appreciate it, but now I’d never move back to the U.S.” Mancini values the straightforwardness he finds in European culture. “People here are genuine,” he said. “They’re not phony. That goes in business as well—people don’t sugarcoat things. They say what they mean,

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