Q&A with Helena Raulus
1. You're talking to a friend of a friend at a party. How do you describe what you do?
I am a lobbyist, defending the interests of British solicitors in Brussels. I may also mention that I am an all-round European law geek.
2. What was your first job?
Delivering advertisements to peoples' post boxes. Sorry about that.
3. Career highlight?
This job. Getting to work in Brussels and London at the same time.
4. If you hadn't become a solicitor, what would you have done?
I am not a solicitor, but I do have several law degrees and I consider myself as a European law lawyer, whose main interest is the operation of the European law at European level. As my only real talent is speaking with various people, I could have considered also a career in psychology or psychiatry.
5. Sunrise or sunset?
Sunset, without a fail.
6. What's in your desk drawers?
Old speaking notes, notes from seminars, various pens and erasers, and always, for some reason, a lot of rubber bands.
7. 19 May – watching the Cup final or the Royal Wedding?
Neither, I will be probably watching Jordan Klepper and the Opposition, if not some series I like.
8. Share some great advice you've been given.
Give people the benefit of the doubt, don’t presume their motives. This works both at work and in private.
9. Can you recommend a local lunch or coffee spot?
Brussels local, of course! Place Jean Rey, lunch in the Gare Central or tea in the Living Room.
10. How do you relax?
11. What's your pet hate?
I like to direct my anger at things rather than people. My tram stuck in a traffic jam, why is there a delay of 10 minutes when there should be metros in every 5, I need to write this email now but the mailing system gets stuck, trying to write anything on the work mobile phone without my reading glasses and later reading the result.
12. Favourite city?
13. What book is on your bedside table?
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier and Nudge by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein.
14. How would you spend your last £5?
I was in this situation quite often as a student, and a for long time, because I ended up writing a PhD. This taught me to be very pragmatic about money, although my answer as to what would be necessary is probably now quite different – then it was about getting the cheapest pasta and sauce, and seeing if there was any money left to go out. Now I see what I need immediately, then what I want immediately. This may be a very good cup of tea.
15. Favourite TV box set?
Erring on sci-fi again, 'Black Mirror' has been frightfully good.
16. Seaside or mountains?
Can’t I have both? If pushed, then mountains.
17. Hidden talents?
Knitting and crocheting.