Nick Thielman

Nick Thielman

Major:  Natural Sciences / Pre Medicine
Year of Graduation:  2004
Current Job Title:  Senior Sales Manager- Business Intelligence Solutions with Oracle Corporation in Minneapolis, MN

How did you get started thinking about an international career?
Because of school and football commitments, I didn't have the chance to study abroad while in school. My international journey began after working one year with Oracle in Minneapolis. I was an early member of the successful Business Development team in North America, so I was contacted when Oracle's Asia-Pacific entity was interested to develop a similar business unit in that region. From 2006 to 2010, I was based in Melbourne, Australia and Singapore as I grew the team throughout the Asia-Pacific. The team grew significantly during my time in the region, and I really enjoyed the people I met and the beautiful sites.  I can honestly say that I didn't intend to work internationally when I joined the workforce, so I feel very fortunate to be introduced to this opportunity. 

How should someone start positioning themselves for a career abroad?
Planning and intent are two areas of focus if you're seeking an international career.  You should always plan 1-step ahead, which means that building credibility domestically is sometimes necessary, but you should gain that experience with an organization that can help you with your plans for an international career.  Look to utilize volunteer efforts as a stepping stone to get where you would like to be. Having known several people that have taught English overseas, the exposure to other cultures - and ability to speak multiple languages - can provide a significant advantage over other international candidates.   Always be upfront with your employer about your interests and expectations, so you can track those goals for yourself through the course of time.  This will provide structure to your approach, and you'll be more likely to end up with a career that you're happy with.

What kind of business environment did Singapore provide you?  Is there one business background that is more beneficial than another for working in this region of the world?
Singapore is a very welcoming place that hosts a great variety of immigrants and expatriates, so there will be jobs available for qualified candidates.  Having a background in IT or Finance will help, as there are many opportunities for those skill-sets in the region, with Singapore being a centrally-located and important business hub in the Asia-Pacific. Job placements will ultimately be made based on experience, as Singapore has a strong educational system and a very qualified workforce. 

(February 2013)