Meet a Member

Meet Marina Paganucci from Buckingham.

who moved to LA 5 years ago as an Executive Headhunter and now owns her own executive search firm specializing in digital media professionals.

Was there a particular reason you chose LA ? 

I was working for a global search firm at the time in Singapore and they sent me here to start a new digital media division.

What one thing do you miss from home? Country pubs, London, small country villages and Marks & Spencers! (ok, so that’s four)

What do you find the biggest difference is living here versus the UK? Where do I start? There is SO much different here from the UK. For starters, even though people think we speak the same language, we don’t.  Getting understood was the biggest challenge when I first got here, and sometimes still is – we have so many words that are so different: trunk v boot, trolley v cart, caster sugar v bakers sugar – I could go on.  Even asking for a ‘bottle of water’ still gets me the blank stare from someone American, something I’ve grown accustomed to!  Also, the sense of humour is so very different. This is why finding the BritsinLA community has been a godsend to me, and I love coming to Tuesday breakfast and all the other events so that I can be with people that I can have a laugh with.  

Do you have a hidden gem in LA that you want to share with us? For sure the BritsinLA community! The other gem is the lovely hiking trails in LA. Most people just see Hollywood, Santa Monica or the bad traffic and don’t realize that just beyond the buildings, there are some amazing hikes in nature that you can go on. Also, discovering all the other ‘villages’ within LA itself like Los Feliz, Pasadena, Hancock Park and places like that. I really do believe that LA is like a cluster of villages that all make up this sprawling city. 

What would you suggest to others who are thinking about making the move 
here ? To join a group like BritsinLA where you’ll get the support and have people to go to with questions. Although I lived in Singapore and Dubai for years as an expat before moving to LA, I can honestly say that I felt more foreign here than in Asia or the Middle East as they had far more British influences than the US.  Ironically, I thought that it would be an easier transition here because we all speak ‘English’ but I found that not to be the case.  I think if I was more aware of the fact that the US really is a foreign country and not at all similar to Britain, I would have been more prepared for it. It’s also important to learn about how different things like healthcare, employment law,etc., are here compared to Britain and to be prepared so that you’re not faced with high unexpected costs,etc. and no knowledge of what to do. 


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