Louise Thomassin is a Terminale ( Grade 12 ) student from the Anglophone Section at CSI, and one of the Deputy Secretary Generals of this year’s conference.
Interview by Helwan Felappi (ISL)
Press: What is your role in the conference?
L.T: I’m one of the Deputy Secretary Generals, so I organize different teams, mainly chairs and admins, and I am also doing external communication. So I basically do a lot of communication, as I'm the one who’s usually telling delegates, admins and chairs what they need to do. Each DSG has an area of competence.
Press: Being DSG is not your first role as part of the conference. What's your experience with ILYMUN?
L.T: Last year I was a delegate at the conference, and I’ve participated quite a lot in my school’s MUN club. When I was in Troisieme ( Grade 9 ) my friend Maxine, who later became a SG before moving away from Lyon, wanted to join MUN. She was the only 3eme, so she wanted someone to come with her and I was like, “Yeah, sure, I'll come with you!’’ It was really enjoyable. The MUN club at CSI was very small at the beginning; now there's about 80 of us, but back then it was only 15 to 20 people.
Press: What's your favourite part about being a DSG?
L.T: You get thrown into a real life situation where you really deal with things that you are not used to dealing with. When I get home I have to answer emails and stuff, help people deal with problems...etc. I really like doing it, having a communal project and working towards a common goal.
Press: Biggest challenge you’ve faced as DSG?
L.T: I think communication between ISL and CSI? It’s definitely been difficult, and so has trying to keep the standard (set by previous editions of the conference). It’s really hard to work from something that’s already happened, which you didn't think of yourself. Having your own ideas and trying to implement them to try to make the conference better is the hardest aspect. For example, if I wanted to add a new social event or something, it was almost impossible to do so.
Press: Why do you think people should join ILYMUN? What does it bring to them?
L.T: Well, it's a great experience and it initiates you to the real world, as its the first time where you talk to so many people not within the context of school. Also, being part of the organizing team is a really professional experience, like if you started working in a company, having jobs and having bosses... it's a unique experience. Honestly if you look at the schools around us, no one has the same level of communication and project working as we do with ILYMUN.
Press: Any advice to newcomers?
L.T: I would tell them to stay on top of your game. When you come in, you're really motivated and enthusiastic, just stay that way and then everything will go as smoothly as you want it to.
Press: Do you plan on continuing MUN in the future, or pursuing a career related to MUN?
L.T: Yeah, I’d love to! As for the career, I’m planning to be an engineer, but when you're an engineer, you can basically do whatever you want! (laughs) But I would love to continue participating in debates, and even though I’m not a delegate in the conference this year, I often participate on Thursdays during MUN club.
Press: Is there anything you miss about being a delegate?
L.T: I miss taking part in debates, as that’s the main part of ILYMUN. Also, being a lot more relaxed about everything, as you don’t have the kind of pressure you get as an organizer.