Home>Marcio Boka: "Choosing is not giving up"

18.07.2022

Marcio Boka: "Choosing is not giving up"

Marcio Boka (credits: Marcio Boka)

After graduating in 2022 from Sciences Po's School of Public Affairs, specialising in Public Administration, Marcio Boka chose to direct his professional career towards entrepreneurship. He explains.

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR ACADEMIC AND PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND? 

After graduating secondary school with an economic and social sciences baccalaureate from the American international section in Paris, I wanted to pursue my studies outside of the Paris region. The Reims campus of Sciences Po's Undergraduate College seemed to be the perfect opportunity to benefit from the multidisciplinary core of expertise at Sciences Po while continuing to study transatlantic relations between Europe and the United States. While I did not yet have a clear idea of what I wanted to do professionally, I knew that I would be able to continue my studies in the United States. Although I did not yet have this solid idea of what I wanted to do, I nevertheless knew that I wanted to make an impact on society and the world around me, and diplomacy seemed to be the most appropriate way to understand the world and to be able to act within it.

I spent my third year of study abroad, at the heart of global economic and diplomatic issues, in Washington D.C. In parallel to my university exchange, I had the chance to work with a French researcher on transatlantic relations in a think tank and at the French Embassy in Washington. While people often talk about the Washington "bubble" and its shortcomings, it is also the place where brilliant minds meet, where opinions are formed and influence the whole world, whatever the professional background. The result is an intellectual buzz that gives the city a very special aura. I have witnessed this through my own experiences, and I would recommend anyone to take the opportunity to experience it there, as it is sure to be enriching and unique. 

When I returned from my year abroad, I joined Sciences Po's School of Public Affairs in order to prepare for the ENA entrance exam - the future INSP - to one day work in the diplomatic corps. However, a student project that became a start-up with some co-founders gave me a real taste for entrepreneurship and I decided to quit preparing for the ENA entrance exam, in order to fully commit myself to this journey, where I felt I could bring more of my values and my vision to society. As such, I will be joining the X-HEC Entrepreneurs double master's programme from September 2022.

WHAT WERE THE MAIN STAGES IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF YOUR PROFESSIONAL PATH? 

Beyond my university studies, the different experiences I have had have helped me to refine and build my professional path. I was able to take advantage of my internships as an analyst in think tanks, consultant in a consulting firm, project manager for a local elected official, and recently my final internship at the European Investment Bank. These different experiences have allowed me to better understand the European and French economic landscape as well as future trends and innovations in order to continue to create and carry out innovative projects during my professional life. Thus, I expect the X-HEC Master to give me the keys to fully and confidently engage in entrepreneurship and my professional career, as Sciences Po and the School of Public Affairs have done so far.

HOW DID THE CREATION OF your project PUBLIC + COME ABOUT, AND WHAT ARE THE MAIN FEATURES OF YOUR POSITION TODAY AS PRESIDENT?  

In response to a commission from the Ille-et-Vilaine Prefecture, as part of the Sciences Po Public Policy Incubator, our project took the form of a digital platform. After numerous iterations and exchanges with the actors in the field, we developed a digital solution that is adaptable to all public and semi-public structures that deal with citizens, in order to better manage their appointments and calendars and thus better meet the expectations of the public they receive.

This opportunity allowed me to explore and broaden practical skills beyond my academic studies at Sciences Po. From administrative management, to technical development to business development, I learned a lot. As President, it is necessary to organise these different elements harmoniously, sometimes to negotiate, and always to stay focused on your vision and objectives. The adventure was made possible thanks to the people who participated in the project, my co-founders and partners, and of course Sciences Po, which supported us from the start, as well as AWS. 

WHAT CONTRIBUTIONS DID YOUR STUDY AT THE SCHOOL OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS, AND MORE PARTICULARLY THE PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION POLICY STREAM, MAKE TO THE POSITION YOU HOLD TODAY? 

Ironically, it was in the Public Administration policy stream that I fell in love with entrepreneurship, which demonstrates that it is a master's degree that allows you to explore a variety of fields, thanks in part to the many opportunities it offers, such as the public policy incubator, professional events, conferences, etc. In addition, the curriculum provides an in-depth understanding of the French and European legislative system, the economy and public finance. This knowledge base is particularly useful to us in the context of Public + in order to better understand the constraints, challenges and expectations of the public service operators with whom we work with on a daily basis. 

More generally, the School of Public Affairs has allowed me to be open to everything, has provided me with the keys to understanding and, above all, to be interested in the world around us. 

DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE TO GIVE A STUDENT OR A FUTURE YOUNG GRADUATE?

I am a great believer in the theory developed by Bernard Lahire in ‘The Plural Actor’, according to which men and women are characterised by multiple socialisations. If I relate this to today, I would say that everyone is becoming more and more free to make their own choices, and that as a student or future graduate, one should never stop exploring, discovering and constantly letting oneself be surprised by experiences, encounters, other people... Choosing is not giving up, as long as one knows why one is making these choices, and for that one must explore, again and again.

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