General Counsel at Raben Ukraine | GC Club Founder
My life journey began in a town called Cherkasy (Ukraine) in a family of doctors. At school I had passion for history and legal science, so I didn’t hesitate in choosing a future in that profession. Having graduated from Kyiv National Economic University, I received a Masters degree in legal regulations of economy. My career started in publishing, first in the legal department of a newspaper in Ukrainian legislative body and right after that in a Swiss publishing house. After working in the publishing sphere, the world of beauty opened its doors to me. During my 10 years I successfully worked as the Head of the legal department of L’Oreal Ukraine. And now I am challenged to lead a legal function - European logistic company Raben in Ukraine.
I figured my life would be too boring if I didn’t start my PhD project. I truly want to share all my knowledge that I gained throughout my time working for all these companies, that are innovation and scientific enabled or driven.
I am also delighted to be a lecturer at various webinars, speaker at different round tables, forums and conferences. I am also an author of scientific and analytical articles for Ukrainian world newspapers and magazines. I am also honored to be shortlisted in Ukrainian professional rankings, such as Legal500 GC Powerlist: Central and Eastern Europe. During my 5 years, my name was listed as one of the most Successful women in corporate law (Ukraine). I got 2 awards as the best Ukrainian woman in my profession. Another honor for me is that the legal departments that I successfully managed, have also obtained awards and recognitions from Ukrainian and European professional society. At the end of 2021 I founded the General Counsel Club that gathers General counsels from all over Ukraine. This is a non-formal platform where heads of legals can gather and freely communicate on different professional and non-professional topics. I should admit you never can achieve anything if you don’t have a hobby or you’re not doing some type of sport. I enrolled myself in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. When my brain is overloaded, BJJ is the best way to take off all the tension and empty space for new thoughts and ideas.
Summing up, my passion is my profession.
What were the biggest initial hurdles and how did you overcome them?
The biggest hurdles I would say are illness and war. These are 2 circumstances that are not under your control but they directly influence your life. Ukraine currently suffers from Russian aggression, however Russia without any proclamation of war started to attack cities and kill peaceful people and innocent kids, I can definitely say that peace and humanity is the base for growth, development and life. This world is too concentrated on earning money and gaining powers, where human life doesn’t cost a thing.
War ruins everything. It ruins businesses, houses, your future plans and dreams, and takes lives. War changes life priorities. What yesterday was priceless, today became meaningless. When you need to pack all your life in 1 bag, trust me, you won’t take glamorous clothes, expensive high heels and luxury bags but only warm clothes and comfortable shoes which you can run from rockets and guns. Neither your appearance matters, when the war comes. When people give shelter to the refugees, they don’t care whether you wear lipstick or colored your hair or if you're slim enough. Everyone is equal in front of the war. It doesn’t matter whether you run your own business or you’re a professor at university or a driver or a student, your first priority is to save your life and no awards and recognitions can help you with this. But whatever happens in this life, whether war or illness, or other difficult circumstances, you have to be strong and never lose hope. Losing hope means dying. What gives strength? Family and people who support you. War shows that unknown people can be closer to you rather than those whom you knew for years. Humanity is the ground for life. The world should wake up. The world should rethink and remember all the basic values that help it to survive.
What books are you currently reading?
Due to my profession and my PhD project, I read a lot. But it is mainly professional literature. I often read non-professional stuff only when I’m on vacation. The last book I was ready to read was "Never eat alone by Keith Ferrazzi".
What advice would you give to an upcoming youth or talents locally and internationally?
Think of true values. Outline for yourself what really matters and what is really important . And whatever happens, never betray your values. Your values are the path in your life. Never give up. Notwithstanding how difficult it is, be strong and keep fighting for your ideas and dreams. You came into this world because you’re unique and only you can make your life colorful and bright.
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LinkedIn: Irina Kravtsova