Our people, their careers and flexibility are top priorities at DHG, and for us, it’s icing on the cake when we’re able to build valuable careers with our people through unique learning opportunities, all while delivering great value to our clients. Matt Agostinelli and Dan Weeden, both with DHG's Risk Advisory practice, were recently presented with such an opportunity when they were asked to consider working internationally for an extended period – nine months for Matt and 10 months for Dan – to offer personalized client service while building their own global resumes. Continue reading as Matt looks back on his time in Chester, England and Dan shares insight from his current 10-month secondment in London, England.
How did this opportunity to live and work in England come about?
Matt: This is something that has been years in the making. One of our multi-national bank clients had multiple projects that extended overseas, and together, we identified the benefit of having DHG people on the ground in England closer to the home base of the project. I was involved in mapping out the opportunity and helping get the project off the ground.
Dan: Being a multi-national company, this particular client has offices in almost all time zones, primarily in Asia, Europe and across the U.S. Being in England, you’re easily able to do business with someone in Hong Kong in the morning and someone in the U.S. in the afternoon. I had expressed an interest and willingness to travel when I first joined DHG and my managers also thought my skill set would be well-suited for this project.
Did you notice many differences in working in England versus working in the states?
Matt: The day-to-day was almost identical to that in the Charlotte office (where I’m based). We were integrated into our client’s office space and we worked with them as a team.
Dan: The value we brought to the client was that we were familiar with the project requirements. It was a great experience to team with the client and provide value through our knowledge of the programs being implemented. Culturally, though we speak the same language, there are definitely some differences between England and the U.S. in terms of work culture and beyond. The jargon, greetings, office attire, office locations, etc. Matt and I noticed distinct differences between our two locations, and they are just two hours apart.
Would you recommend an opportunity like this to others?
Dan: I’m very glad that I took a chance and jumped on this opportunity, particularly at this point in my life and my career. It’s been fun to be a pioneer for DHG and the Risk Advisory practice. Working abroad has its challenges, the process involved in applying for and getting a work visa for instance, but the path is getting smoother. This opportunity has certainly opened up doors for me. I’ve met people I wouldn’t have met otherwise and I’ve experienced things professionally and personally that I wouldn’t have in the states. Life Beyond Numbers certainly came into play for me with this opportunity- flexibility to explore a new country and career opportunities that were amazing. I’m engaged, getting married in May, and my fiancée was able to come and experience this with me. It’s been a great experience, from both a personal and career perspective.
What are some of the highlights from your personal experience in London?
Dan: We’ve really had a chance to explore other cultures and travel to different places. We’ve visited 6-7 countries, a number of cities within England, and we try to do as much as we can around London. We’ve had our tourist hats on and we take advantage of the free time. Wherever you are - Asia, Europe, the U.S. - working professionals are going to network and meet other people in similar circumstances, and any time you move somewhere new your second degree connections turn up. By word of mouth, you end up meeting people. That was the case for us, and we ended up with a large group of friends to travel with and see the sights in London.