E3 - Nikolai Stankau at Red Hat

James Dean
Nikolai  Stankau

By James Dean & Nikolai Stankau

On the third episode of The Route to Networking, James Dean speaks with Nikolai Stankau, Director of Business Development at EMEA for Red Hat, about his career and what has led him to where he is today.

Nikolai is originally from Germany but decided he did not want to do his studies out there, which brought him down to the UK to study European Management Science at the University of Canterbury, where he studied for 4 years. During his course, he studied abroad in Spain for a year, where he “now knows how to order a beer in Spanish”.

Around the time during university, he decided to do an MBA in addition to his European Management Science course where he did a thesis on UMTS, WAP and the Wireless Future which got him his first job. Like many others, he still was not sure what he wanted to do when he left university. This led him to a job fair in Munich, where his interest sparked in the Telecom and Networking industry.

“What attracted you to the telecom world?”

For a man like Nikolai, everyone is eager to know, where did the interest spark from? And the answer is simply that he didn’t understand it. Nikolai tells James, he did not understand telecoms, but it excited him to learn more, and it fascinated him that you can have the internet in your pocket wherever you go.

How did a man like Nikolai become successful, where did his success truly start? Nikolai explains that he is just a lucky man, he met the right people at the right time and was lucky to have people who believed in him every step of the way. He also says he was a hard worker, always the first one in the office and the last to leave. So it was not all down to luck, he put the work in too.

So, now a passionate man for the industry and very high up in what he does, Nikolai works for Red Hat as Director of Business Development.  Red Hat is a company that works with Open-Source communities, contributing code upstream and then working together with the communities to identify and educate the best software ideas. So, to narrow it down, Red Hat supports communities and contributes to making products which support and enable customers and enterprisers to leverage open-source software and they do this by selling subscriptions.

It isn’t all work no play with Nikolai though, he tells James his “best night out” since working in the industry. You don’t want to miss this!