Serving Customers -- From Classic Cuisine to LinkedIn

July 21, 2011

Ed. note: This is a continuation of our series of blog posts on our colleagues' stories. Here, we hear from Damien Vossion– who trained as a professional chef in France and now works as a Risk Specialist at LinkedIn’s office in Dublin.

Be it a birthday, holiday or other special occasion, the Dublin LinkedIn team looks to me for a celebratory cake. That’s because I’m more than a Risk Specialist. I’m a chef.

I’ve always had a passion for cooking. It started when I was a child, helping my mum bake cakes and French pastry. As a teenager, I entered culinary school, then became an apprentice to an elite French Chef who taught me nearly everything I know about cooking. He helped me master fresh bread, croissant and foie gras (among other French classics). After two busy years I went back to school and worked in various hotels and restaurants in France as chef de partie and second de cuisine.

After a unique experience interacting with customers in an open-kitchen environment, I knew I needed a change. One that allowed me to spend more time connecting with and helping people.

This realisation has led me on a roller-coaster ride since I last touched a saucepan in a professional kitchen. Before landing at LinkedIn, I was a sales assistant, worked in the Internet, automotive and logistic industries, and even became a senior investigator at one of the largest financial institutions.

I started here as a Customer Representative, supporting our French-speaking users when the Dublin office had just 13 employees. We now have nearly 90, and we’re hiring 100 new employees in Dublin alone over the next year!

While it was amazing to be part of our users’ success and help them build their professional network, it turns out my abilities were even better suited for another role. In just four months I was promoted to Risk Specialist in our fraud and risk department. Now, I interact with LinkedIn users every day—responding to privacy queries and making sure all our users’ information is secure.

I may not be a professional chef anymore, but I’m using many of the same skills I built years ago. I have to be organised, creative, flexible, adept at multitasking and serve the needs of our growing global customer base. (Our members, as it turns out, have very specific tastes and needs—just like restaurant goers). And like a gourmet kitchen, the atmosphere here is truly energizing and fuelled by passion.

I’m still learning from the best. And I’m proud to be a part of the LinkedIn team.