Head of Community, Recruitment Open Community
1. Do you remember a time when you were happiest as a child? Where were you, who were you with and what were you doing?
I think my absolute favourite time was when we held elections for head of the family. Sounds weird right? Well it was! For weeks my little sister, my mum and I would cover the kitchen wall with fresh editions of our personal newspapers and then we added campaign posters to this as well. The funniest part was when my older sister’s friends showed up, they must have thought we’re all nuts!
2. What seemed like an inconsequential decision at the time, but in hindsight turned out to fundamentally reshape your life?
I think the most relevant one was taking an internship with a recruitment company. I never really applied, a friend just asked if I wanted to do it. I was hired because I could speak English – that was literally all that was required. I turned out to be quite good at the tasks I was assigned but of course I didn’t really care much as I knew my destiny was not to be a recruiter, but rather to translate poetry. Turns out that it’s very rare to get hired as a poetry translator… so here I am 😉
3. What habit or behaviour or belief have you recently acquired? Why is it now in your life?
I have spent a lot of time complaining how dirty London is. I don’t even understand how it’s possible to produce this much rubbish, let alone why no one seems to care it’s everywhere around. A couple of weeks ago I promised myself to stop complaining. Instead, I decided, I’ll just take a bin bag with me and if my favourite park is covered in rubbish, I’ll just clean it up. This has now become part of my morning routine. I go to parks for a walk and I clean.
4. What are the three books that you would unhesitatingly recommend to others? Why?
The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu
It’s a science fiction book about facing another civilization. I thought it’d be good for me to read a book from a Chinese author for a bit of diversity. I honestly cannot imagine anyone over here coming up with this story!
The King, by Szczepan Twardoch
This one is a book by a Polish author who seems fascinated with Poland before and during WWII. I loved how he was able to describe our society back then. That’s back when Poland was still a very diverse country and the author managed to describe what they must have felt towards the country. The rising conflict between different nationalities and groups within the country is described in a way that makes you wonder about the current state of affairs.
Catch-22, by Joseph Heller
There are books that we all know of so well it doesn’t even occur to us we could actually read them. For me, Catch-22 was one of those books. I finally got to it when I was in self isolation back in March. All I can remember is I kept giggling all the way through…
5. What’s one misconception people generally have about you?
Most people assume I’m an extrovert because of all the events I go to. But very often I’ll just be hiding in a corner somewhere, checking my Twitter feed. I’m not great in a crowd and as much as I enjoy conferences, they can be quite draining. So I try to make sure I get a day or two to myself after an event. Although that hasn’t been a big issue recently…
6. What personality trait has got you in the most trouble? What kind of trouble does it get you in?
I used to be quite insolent when I didn’t feel I was treated fairly. For example, when I was 13 I was learning French at school. Our teacher had to go on sick leave and she was replaced with another one. The new teacher showed up and on her very first day, tried to ask me some questions. Apparently, trying to be polite but firm, I explained that it’s her job to teach me things before she asks any questions… This is why I had to learn French. My mum said “if you’re going to be insolent, at least do it in the right language” and by the end of the year, both my French and my relationship with the teacher were much better.
“My mum said ‘if you’re going to be insolent, at least do it in the right language’