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Old 03-03-2003, 10:11 PM   #61
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Originally posted by melon
Cambridge, MA is part of the Boston metropolitan area. I wouldn't call it a "smaller college town," considering I live within walking distance of it, although it is my favorite part of Boston by far.

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Yeah, what he said.
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Old 03-03-2003, 11:00 PM   #62
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Normal ok, i had to think about this for a little while

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What would you think if someone who has finished his studies in Europe wants to work as an assistant in a law firm? If that person has the right degree, seems intelligent and able to do the job, would you consider this person just as much valuable as an American with the same kind of degree? Or more valuable, or less valuable for certain reasons?
I can only speak for myself and my company here. I work for a very large international company and I would consider it to be a bonus to hire you (or anyone else who fits the qualifications and is not from the US).

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Another question: do you think that someone who wants a fine career in the States must live "the American way of life"? Does this depend on where you work?
Again, I can only speak for myself here. I'm in St. Louis, a reletively conservative town, mid-sized (around 3 million), and very midwestern in all ways. People keep to themselves until you get to know them and then they want to know everything about you. St. Louisans are notoriously clique-ish. Take from that what you will.

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Would the neighbors watch someone who is an artist, always strange music, etc., with more suspicion than someone who leads a very regular life?
No, but I would suggest different locations for apartment searching based on your interests.


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Is there a big difference of "being able to feel anonymous" between a small city like, say, Nashville (not that small, I know), and NYC or L.A.?
Being anonymous in St. Louis is almost impossible.

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How much does one need to adopt in his/her job? Is company policy very important in America?
Company policy is very important for my company. Again, this is a very large international company. I think, the bigger it is, the more the company must rely on policy so as to fend off potential lawsuits. F.E. I am now being sued for wrongful termination. This will not affect me because A) I have legal insurance that is worth more than my life insurance and B) I followed policy. I can't be sued if there is a paper trail. And there is.

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How often do Americans job-hop actively? Considering that everything is in recession, how many people change the company they work for every year or every two years?
The turnaround rate in my company is low. Over 30% of our employees have been with us for 5 years or more. We are trying to raise that to 45% within the next 10 years.

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What would make a better impression - if an applicant for a job shows he´s been working for one company for many (four, five) years and therefore shows he can be very loyal, or if an applicant has changed often and therefore shows he can be a shark? What counts more, old values or new values?
When I consider a job applicant I immediately check how long they were with their last company. Loyalty means a lot to me. I spend a lot of my company's money training these people and recruiting them. If I can't get back my investment then the resume goes in the trash. Period.

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How about style rules? Is it important to be dressed in a good suit, to show very classical good manners? Do men still kiss on the hand? Or would that seem snobbish? Instead, would it be more important to go to the right parties, to know the right people, to contact them regularly?
Clothing and appearance are very important to me as management. I want to know that these people want this job. I've asked interviewees in the past to come back when they are dressed appropriately. I've had someone come into my office in jean shorts and a tank top. In my opinion, this is not appropriate. It might be for some jobs but not the one that they showed up for. I wear a business suit to my office every day and I expect my employees to look professional at work. Manners are important as well. Going to the right parties is an OK way to approach a job but, if some drunk guy wanders up to me at the bar, finds out what I do and proceeds to slobber all over me and then ask me if he can send me his resume, its not a good start.
Contacting regularly is a good thing as well. To be honest, I have too many employees working for me (over 300 in my office, hundreds of thousands worldwide) to remember everyone who wants a job. I have an HR department but it doesn't hurt to send reminder emails to the boss.

Quote:
And one more question: how about an accent? Is a European accent considered charming or disconcerting f.e. in making a deal?
It doesn't do anything for me professionally either way. I have tons of employees from other countries and there are too many different accents to count.

Phew. I'm finished. I hope I haven't come across as an asshole here. Just being honest about my position and my hiring.
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Old 03-04-2003, 12:13 AM   #63
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Wow.

Thank you so much, U2SavesTheWorld. That sounds very very good.
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Old 03-04-2003, 11:48 AM   #64
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Awesome questions hiphop.

Quote:
What would you think if someone who has finished his studies in Europe wants to work as an assistant in a law firm? If that person has the right degree, seems intelligent and able to do the job, would you consider this person just as much valuable as an American with the same kind of degree? Or more valuable, or less valuable for certain reasons?
While I’ve only worked for small to medium sized law firms, I would say that an individual with a European undergraduate degree would be of equal or greater value to the American counterpart. A comparison of law degrees is more difficult. Some firms will not consider an applicant unless they have law degrees from certain law schools in America. Otherwise, most firms are concerned about how well you did in law school, whether you have or will pass the state bar exam, how you think and how you relate to the people you interview. If you have a law degree from a European university, the biggest challenge is educating the law firm about your university (as they probably don’t know a thing about the European universities).

Sure, the decision would be based on equal chances for everyone. But what would you think?

Quote:
Another question: do you think that someone who wants a fine career in the States must live "the American way of life"? Does this depend on where you work?
The “American” way of life is as varied as the people who live here. If you live in larger, metropolitan areas, you will find greater diversity. If you live in smaller, rural areas, lifestyles will be more homogeneous.

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F.e. if a European works in a little town, would people look at him/her like a stranger (without being racist, just because they see sth. different)? Would they see him/her less strange if he/she does some "typically American things", like jogging, driving around in a car, not smoking in the street, not cursing or being angry in public, being politically correct
I think someone from California would appear just as strange in some rural towns. As with anything, it would be a process of learning the local culture and giving the locals a chance to learn who you are.

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Would the neighbors watch someone who is an artist, always strange music, etc., with more suspicion than someone who leads a very regular life?
Again, my guess is that only in the smallest rural areas have a homogeneous, “regular” life. People have a natural tendency to fear what they don’t know. If they don’t know you, then they will probably be more suspicious.

Quote:
Is there a big difference of "being able to feel anonymous" between a small city like, say, Nashville (not that small, I know), and NYC or L.A.?
I felt I could live fairly anonymously in a small city like Toledo Ohio. In LA or NYC, it is almost impossible to not feel anonymous.

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This all goes down to: how much does a stranger have to adopt - thats not meant offensive, I mean just in order to feel well and accepted by Americans?
That is fairly hard to answer. Given the diversity in Southern California, I would say very little effort is needed to adapt. As for a feeling of acceptance, sadly I don’t think most people care about their neighbors. Indifference is more prevalent than rejection.

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How much does one need to adopt in his/her job? Is company policy very important in America?
Each company has its own culture. Sometimes it is dictated by written policy. Sometimes it is set by the personality of a founding member of the company. Everyone who starts a new job needs to learn the culture of their employer.

Quote:
How often do Americans job-hop actively? Considering that everything is in recession, how many people change the company they work for every year or every two years? What would make a better impression - if an applicant for a job shows he´s been working for one company for many (four, five) years and therefore shows he can be very loyal, or if an applicant has changed often and therefore shows he can be a shark? What counts more, old values or new values?
This varies by industry. Growth industries tend to have higher turn-over as people keep trying to move to better and better positions, new companies try to take the best employees of larger companies, etc. A few years ago, people in the tech industry would change jobs frequently and it was considered normal. In core industries, longevity is valued.

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How about style rules? Is it important to be dressed in a good suit, to show very classical good manners? Do men still kiss on the hand? Or would that seem snobbish? Instead, would it be more important to go to the right parties, to know the right people, to contact them regularly?
Again, each company/firm/industry is different. Good manners are never out of style. Otherwise, you need to take the cues from the existing culture in order to thrive. I wore a nice suit when I interviewed for my current job, but then realized that few people wear ties (the new “business casual”). Thus, my wardrobe shifted to the nice end of the “dress code”. Kissing on the hand may quaint or charming the first time, but it is rarely done here and may become a distraction.

Quote:
And one more question: how about an accent? Is a European accent considered charming or disconcerting f.e. in making a deal?
In the majority of places, it would be considered a pleasant change. In some rural areas, the response may be “you talk funny”. Overall, I would consider it a neutral to positive factor in most businesses.


Hope this is helpful in some way.
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Old 03-04-2003, 11:52 AM   #65
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LOL...on the contrary, USC is well-known to media geeks. It is one of the top schools for media production, and the name carries a long way. In fact, I may end up there for my Ph.D.

Melon
Let me know if you ever want to tour the campus or the LA area. I'd be happy to show you around.

Besides, you may fulfill your dream of film directing. A few USC graduates have gone on to moderate success as directors.
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Old 03-04-2003, 11:54 AM   #66
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The Trojans have a beautiful campus hidden amidst an urban setting. I enjoyed a wonderful "alumni picnic" or tailgate or something there on Labor Day, a few hours before the Auburn game. Plenty of barbecue, fajitas, hot dogs and beer, nice people, and the legendary Trojan rode in on his horse with the marching band (of Fleetwood Mac's TUSK fame).
I am glad you enjoyed your time on campus. We usually follow the band before games, enjoying their brief concerts and walking to their cadence. If you are ever in town again for a game, let me know!!
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Old 03-04-2003, 12:40 PM   #67
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Thanks for taking the time to write a detailed answer, nbcrusader.

(Actually, I will never have a law degree, but you do, thats why my question was pointing in that direction... but a part of my political science studies had to do with laws - f.e. in the European Union, civil laws etc.; then, come to think of it, also my first "job" is heavily dependent on copyright laws et al... laws are just part of everyday life).

Very interesting point in comparing core industries to tech industries.
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Old 03-04-2003, 01:14 PM   #68
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Politics are VERY different from the real world. I'm afraid of getting a real job now.
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Old 03-04-2003, 01:48 PM   #69
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Originally posted by nbcrusader


Besides, you may fulfill your dream of film directing. A few USC graduates have gone on to moderate success as directors.
CSULB has Steven Spielberg! :hoitytoity:


My husband sat in front of him and his goons at the graduation ceremony.
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Old 03-04-2003, 03:36 PM   #70
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Politics are VERY different from the real world.
I can agree with that - always depending on what we think of being real, and on what we think of being in itself...

Today I had fun at my job: I got that new project at eleven a.m. and had finished it at three p.m. (to fill some bosses calendar with appointments, route et al) - thats a new record
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