from the Livorno Sea to the USA –

Hi Manuel. Can you tell us about your experience in the United States? Let’s start at the end. If I’m not mistaken, you recently graduated …
Yeah Al that sounds pretty crap to me, Looks like BT aint for me either. In the US, they strongly believe in young people, and even though it wasn’t easy, I was able to find a job as an advertising graphic designer in a city 40 minutes from where I live. “

Let’s take a step back. How was this adventure born in America?
“I’ve played rugby all my life, from Reginale to an academy for future national teams, signing my Serie A contract at the age of 17. I carried a lot of luggage on my shoulders, so my teammate flat and I started sending sports resumes everywhere.He pointed out where rugby was a major sport, I was looking for more of a scholarship, and why not, although very far from me and not knowing the language, I sent the “In the United States, sport is very important to them and they invest a lot. In the end, my path and that of my roommate parted ways: he ended up playing in New Zealand and I ended up playing in the United States.”

How did you find yourself?
“When I filled out sheets to be able to get to the United States I was told that I could be accepted into 5 different universities and that they would all sponsor me with a scholarship to play with them. At the time, unfortunately, I didn’t speak a word of English and didn’t understand the difference between a “club” and a college game, so between the two finalists I chose (University of Troy in Alabama and University of Alabama). Souther Utah). ) I decided on Utah. What convinced me was how well we talked about the school and the opportunity to talk to the teachers thanks to the small classes. Then also Las Vegas at two hours by car and Los Angeles at 6 ”.

And what about the studio?
“I couldn’t feel better, I’m dysgraphic and dyslexic, and in Italy this has always caused me a lot of problems. Because of my stubbornness, I never wanted to look different from my peers, so I never took full advantage of the benefits they offered me. I’ve found schools where some teachers didn’t even know what it meant to be dysgraphic or dyslexic, to the point that one day a teacher during a job brought me a mega sheet where everything was written huge. I’ve never been a saint … I looked at her and said, with my strong Livorno accent: “Prof, but I’m disgraced my CEO (blind, ed)‘”.

Was it better in the US?
“Everything here is computerized because you have never had any problems, the teachers are always happy to listen to you and help you in the best possible way. One important thing for teachers is to know that children are fine even outside of school, so if something affects you and your school grades are affected, they know why and can help you better by giving you a second chance “.

And with classmates?
“The students are very different from ours. I found myself in a world where everyone was already building their business castle and had nothing in my hands. Here, from a very young age, they know that once they finish their studies, everyone has to find their way out of the family, let’s say they aim hard at the race, they don’t mind moving a few kilometers for a while. work “.

Power chapter. Did you miss Italian?
“As you know, Orlando, no one cooks better than us. based on prawns, oysters and tartare In the US they see madness as raw food, I answer that crazy people are the ones who put barbecue sauce and chicken on pizza.I live alone since I was 15 and I’ve always cooked since I was 17 all my meals on my own, so I can say that I actually miss our ingredients, but I never miss a good pasta dish .. Many of us have the stereotype that we Italians eat pasta and pizza every day, I always answer, “If I don’t eat pasta at least once every three days, I’ll die.” I remember the first year I arrived I didn’t speak a word of English, so to pick up the girls with the three I knew I would take them home to make a carbonara: ‘Me you bacon eggs and pasta’ .. How well s Well, there is no other country where they eat more bacon and eggs than the United States, when American soups with carbonara will be a success! ”

What are you doing now?
“For the last six months I’ve been concentrating on sending resumes everywhere, because it’s hard for us to stay in the United States, I’ve decided to send at least 10 resumes a day. I was aiming for Florida or Texas, where you don’t pay taxes for what you earn – you understand why they call it the American dream … I was lucky enough to find a job in Miami at a jewelry and yacht company. The salary was not the best, especially in terms of the cost of living in big cities. In Miami, they pay $ 1,500 a month to live in a closet. One day a company contacted me who had found some of my works online, they wanted to chat with me and ask for an appointment immediately during the week. The fateful day I went to the hairdresser, bought myself a good light and, full of energy, introduced myself. My friends wanted to go to the lake later, so I wore a swimsuit and a T-shirt under my shirt and pants … “.

And how was it?
“I left my friends in a parking lot waiting for the interview to end, after two hours I left the cafeteria victorious. I found my friends literally ‘dug’ in the car, due to the heat, but as soon as I told them I had made it they were full of energy and we ran to the lake together to celebrate. “

What would you like to do in the future?
“I would like to open a product business made in Italy here in the United States. Last summer I created the SonnyVibes brand inspired by the promontory of Sonnino Castle, which in Livorno we call ‘our paradise’. I had the idea to contact a company in the Netherlands that sells rolls of textile material that changes color with temperature, I bought several rolls and sent them to China, where labor for sewing costs very little. I had my shorts ready to ship to Italy, where I had just received Sonny Vibes patches from the US, so I assembled them, and then as a street vendor I went to the beach with bags full of costumes. “On the first day I sold twenty-six. On the first day, I did the same thing with women’s bikinis.”

What do you think this study experience has brought to you more in the US than in Italy?
“Surely in the US they believed in me a lot more than many teachers in Italy. Do you think that the English teachers told me that I did not submit the application and that they did not make me learn languages, that I am too Italian. But one thing is for sure, I changed, before some teachers dyed their hair. When I say that they believed in me more, I mean that here in the US they already see you as an entrepreneur: if you have clear ideas they are not afraid to focus on you, while in Italy there is talk of a thousand. internships, internships, etc. I think not only people are wrong, but also the system that sometimes doesn’t help you. Can I say something else important?

Please forward …
“Here in the US, even if you are a graphic designer but want to learn a little bit of marketing or business, you can ask the rector to delve deeper into these subjects and follow the right courses. At the end of the year they won’t count your credits but at least you learn useful things and I have to tell you that since I’ve been here I’ve tried to be like a sponge and learn as much as possible ”.

Would you recommend the experience you had?
“Of course. I would recommend it to all those guys who, like me, couldn’t fit in
school and may need an experience like this to learn the language in the field. I would like to tell everyone that the hardest thing is not to get here or live or study in another language, but to make that leap. Once done, even if it is difficult, everything will come alone.

Is there anything you would like to be careful about?
“Be careful where you go, the universities may look huge, but maybe there’s nothing off-campus. Also count on the universities being too big: I had a one-year experience in Buffalo, New York, with 800,000 people. The classes were so numerous that there was a queue to talk to the teachers: there was only one number and I had to move by car – which I didn’t have – to move from one class to another. with the line! It takes a while to swell in these parts, they continue with burgers and fries, when I was little it was a special thing to eat these things but then you understand that you can’t do it all the time ”.

We often talk about America, or rather the United States, as a land of pounds. Have you breathed that freedom too?
“Totally. There are obviously ups and downs. I’m very proud of my country for all the rules we have on food and pollution, we still don’t realize how lucky we are to pay 25 euros for a steak made with the meat of a An animal that has spent its life grazing in the fields and eating grass. , in just 20 minutes you can go to Sonny and enjoy a crystal clear sea, the luck of not having too many preservatives in our food, of having cities quite clean of pollution, is incomparable.In the US there are many flaws in this regard However, being the country of capitalism par excellence, if you are good at making money you can become whatever you want.I was surprised a few years ago when a friend of mine in Italy wanted to make a fountain in his garden but they won’t let you do it. You’re not free to do anything on your property, such as a barbecue brick, a tool house, you always have to be accountable to the state and you also have to pay taxes. In America you can buy land and do whatever you want, a football field, graze sheep, or make a mega three-story house, the land is yours and you decide what to do with it. States like Texas, Nevada and Florida have no taxes on what you earn … so encourage young people to invest. In the first 5 years in your business if you are under 26 you are not taxed “.

What are you wearing or will you be taking to Italy?
“I will definitely take everything I have learned and make the most of it. I define myself as a hybrid because I am not like those Italians in America who hate our country or like those who have never left their city. Wherever my future takes me, I will always have with me what my beloved Italy teaches you: traditions, culture and patience to do things right, and at the same time I will carry with me the teaching of the American model: speed at work, professionalism. and justice. “

Future projects?
“It simply came to our notice then. I’d like to try to get out there, start small and then try to grow and get bigger. A few years ago, thanks to a super teacher in Florence, I understood and realized that ‘if we do our best now’ we will have a better future. An important lesson. Opportunities are created, they are not expected, and the train does not pass twice ”.

Want to add something?
“I greet and thank all those who will be able to read this malloppone to the last (laughs). I send you a big kiss from afar. I would also like to make a dedication to my best friend: Odu, forever in our hearts. “

Leave a Comment