Igor Borodin, the 323rd person I’ve met on my quest to have lunch with 500 strangers, was shocked when the war broke out in his homeland, Ukraine, last year. Like many others, he never thought it could happen.

With his city being bombed, his country in turmoil and his family in danger, Igor made the difficult decision to emigrate to Sydney.

Igor loves Australia – he says it’s so friendly that even the dogs smile – and is pleased his children have adapted well to their new home.

Now that he’s settled in Sydney, Igor’s next challenge is to resume his career.

Igor is a skilled financial analyst who helps organisations grow their market share and profits, by finding ways to attract more clients and slash unproductive costs. Igor has worked in a broad range of industries – from banking to wholesale food distribution – and has financed 70 shipbuilding projects and opened 10 supermarkets in Ukraine.

As we were chatting, two thoughts crossed my mind. First, someone with Igor’s skills and experience will make a great contribution to whichever company is lucky to employ him. Secondly, how sad it is that the war has devastated the lives of millions of Ukrainians.

I’m glad Igor is now building a life in Australia, but wish it could’ve happened under better circumstances.

P.S. Igor would appreciate any ideas and help to resume his career in Australia.