Meet Maria-Inès — our first Coco coliver. Upon reminiscing over the evolution of Coco since her arrival, she reveals “[I’ve] loved getting to see Coco’s community grow from one member — me — to the insanely diverse and inspiring group it is today”.
When first meeting Maria-Inès, it’s hard not to take note of her kind nature, mature demeanor, and attentive eye for detail. Her positive outlook has a subtly contagious effect on those around her. As a Political Science student at a top-tier program here in Paris, Maria-Inès is deeply intrigued by the intersection of culture and politics. “As the daughter of a Mexican mother and a French father, being raised next to the Italian border, multiculturalism has defined my identity since I was a child”. She elaborates upon the challenge this posed for her and how it in turn led her to discover a profound passion of hers. “I never felt fully French, until I started learning more about my country’s history and political life in high school. For the first time, I started to feel like I belonged somewhere. This is why I chose to pursue a political science undergraduate degree, in order to fully understand the dynamics of French politics”.
As a compliment to her studies, Maria-Inès joined the esteemed debate club, Révolte-Toi Assas, where she currently is an executive member overseeing the club’s communications. When it comes to debate competitions, Maria-Inès has primarily pursued parliamentary style debates, noting that she particularly enjoys the team dynamics which come with it. "It doesn’t feel so intimidating, and you get to compete with friends” she remarks. The eloquence, oratory confidence, and subtle persuasion tools she’s acquired from debating are the tops aspects that Maria-Inès has found to be invaluable not only in competitions, but also in oral presentations in school and throughout her daily life.
After having a few years of studies and distinguished internships under her belt, Maria-Inès reflects back on the experiences she’s acquired so far, “I’ve had a few opportunities to work as a parliamentary assistant, and I love seeing politicians and their teams dedicating their days and all their energy to their country”. Virtually anyone can recognize that the combination of Maria-Inès’s array of invaluable personals kills and distinctive multicultural background positions her perfectly for a promising career in civil service.
When she isn’t busy studying for exams, preparing for a debate competition, or working in parliament, Maria-Inès enjoys taking in the beauty of Paris — whether it is admiring the Haussmann style buildings lining the avenues, picnicking in the Jardin du Luxembourg on sunny days, or visiting the latest temporary exhibition at the Musée de l’Orangerie. She adds that the number of restaurants and shops there are waiting to be discovered is something she particularly admires about this city, “there is always some new café or restaurant to try out, and I love being able to walk to any grand magasin when I want to go for a shopping session”.
Maria-Inès’s favorite part of living in Paris…? “The feeling of Paris being a small village with all the advantages of a big city”. Growing up in a small, quaint town in the French Alps, Maria-Inès’s recalls the access to organized cultural offerings, like museums, galleries, or expositions being quite limited. Reflecting upon the biggest differences between her hometown and Paris, Maria-Inès divulges that she has greatly appreciates the easy access to the abundance of cultural activities offered here in Paris, “I love being able to discover a new museum or art expo whenever I feel like it”.
In February, Maria-Inès generously extended the insider tips and tricks she’s collected throughout her time in the political sphere with members of Coco Community during her Coco Talk, cleverly titled “The Art of Being Right— even when we are wrong!”. Keep an eye out for this considerate and talented political powerhouse! She’s just getting started…