Nikolaos Mantzavinos

Country: Greece
Sector: Investment/Portfolio management
Job title: Attorney-at-Law
Subject of study: European Studies
Year of graduation: 1994
Type/Level of study: Post graduate

Current Employer/Organisation Name

Marfin Investment Group Holdings SA

What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?

After I left Exeter, I spent a couple of years taking exams (European Union, Public Administration National School, Diplomatic Corps) without success and then in 1995 I joined a shipping law firm and thus started my career. Then, until 2009, I joined several legal buros and firms as litigator and legal counsel and completed studies in Spanish and French thus acquiring efficiency in five European Languages (English, French, Spanish, German and Italian). From April 2009 onwards I worked as Compliance Manager and Legal Counsel for Mercedes-Benz Hellas SA, a major local vehicles importer and distributor and member of Daimler Group. I was fired in 2016 following redundancies in the company, because also of the major economic crisis in Greece and from April 2017 onward I work in various companies of MIG Group (Attica Group in commercial shipping, Everest-Goody’s in food and MIG itself). It has been a very difficult career to follow but very rich in experiences and know-how.

Why did you choose this career? And what do you enjoy most about your work?

I chose to work as a lawyer because that has been my core studies (Athens Law School) and because my effort to work abroad and in principal in the European Union did not bear fruit. What I like about my work is that you never get bored, you get to face challenges on a daily basis and people depend on you, plus the fact that you have the opportunity to comprehend how the world operates, you become a responsible person and you can offer a lot to your fellow people and more and more.

Please tell us if you were a member of any societies, groups or sports clubs?

I remember I was a member of cinema society and a club dealing with excursions, I wish I could be more active and enjoy more of one of Britain’s most beautiful parts, Devon.

What did you enjoy most about your programme and what was the biggest highlight?

I enjoyed its diversity, the variety of different modules covering different areas, a program worthy of a University level, subjects such as Human Geography, Religion as a decisive factor for Europe, European Union past/present/future (at the time it was European Economic Community. I think that the biggest highlight was that my dissertation, whose subject was a uniquely personal choice (mine), received distinction from the external Supervisor.

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

If by “here” you mean the city (Exeter), then I would say that the city itself is a must, a beautiful surroundings with a mild weather, very low criminality, close to excursion destinations and still not too far from London.

Why did you choose to study at Exeter?

I didn’t know much about Exeter before going there, but I can definitely say that it has (at least when I went to study there) the best campus, the University had and still has a very high ranking among UK Unis, Exeter is by definition a worthy choice (as I explain in previous quarter), the programme I took was at least then, one of the few in the UK (there is nothing similar in my country, and the UK because of the language was always a option).

What skills and experiences have been most useful for your career?

Unfortunately the skills I got in Exeter had little to do with what I did in my career, because the area of expertise was different (European Studies Law), however having a postgraduate degree is an element that gives always a boost in your CV and this was probably the best contribution out of my MA!

What advice would you give to a current student who wishes to pursue your career?

Perseverance, never give up, never fear falling down – just make sure you get up. You are always something special but maybe you haven’t realized it yet, still don’t ever feel you know it all

What are your plans for the future?

Secure myself and my daughter economically-wise, a tremendously difficult task.


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