Irina Dobson

Qualifications: Volgograd State Pedagogical University, Foreign Languages Department, degree with distinction in Linguistics, English and German teaching

Languages spoken: native Russian speaker, fluent English, German and French (intermediate level)

Which European country that you have not yet visited is top of your list to see, and why? Quite a few countries on my European countries yet to visit list. I’m looking forward to celebrating New Year’s Eve in Spain this year – eating 12 ‘lucky grapes’ on every chime of the last 12 seconds of the year and enjoying a New Year’s Day lunch of lentil and chorizo (recommended by our Jacobo 😉).

What is your speciality dish to cook? Grilled sea-bass with fennel. Feel free to ask for the recipe.

If you were to give one suggestion to the CEO of LinkedIn, what would it be? It would be great if LinkedIn started sending alerts to those people who have been dormant / inactive for a while telling them about the benefits of having an up-to-date profile.

What is the most enjoyable book that you’ve read recently? Gino’s Italian Adriatic Escape. It was a rather tasty read.

What would be your karaoke song? “Adventure of a Lifetime” by Coldplay.

Who would be the guests at your dream dinner party? Gino D’Acampo, Gordon Ramsay and Fred Sirieix taking turns to surprise me with their best culinary delights and then agreeing that my grilled sea-bass with fennel is still a winner.

What do you most enjoy about working in executive search? It’s an extremely fast-paced, dynamic and vibrant environment and with the variety of projects that we work on no day is ever the same. I enjoy the daily challenge of interacting with people who influence and change our society and finding the right candidate always gives me enormous satisfaction.

Mountains or sea? Both are eternal, mighty and a great view to admire. The sea is full of bewildering secrets. The mountains, by contrast, reveal what they are straight away. When I ask myself if I would rather be stuck alone in the middle of the mountains enjoying the echoing silence or stuck alone in the middle of the weird and unpredictable sea, the answer is ‘none of the above’.

What is your favourite film? Girl on the Bridge (La fille sur le pont), a French film shot in black and white starring Daniel Auteuil and Vanessa Paradis.

What would you rather fight – 20 duck-sized horses or one horse-sized duck? I’m not up for a fight with either the little equines or the horse-sized duck, so would do my best to get friendly with them and feed them instead. Failing that, I’d try to outsmart them and run away.