9to9 Girls: meet Esther, the Franco-Swedish lawyer intern

9to9 Girls is a collection of interviews with strong and creative women who have all, in their own rights and on their own terms defined what a successful life is to them.

Meet Esther, 23, the Franco-Swedish lawyer in training! I have known Esther my entire life, our dads met as students and our mothers became very good friends more than 30 years ago. Born and raised in Sweden, of a Swedish father and a French mother, Esther has also lived all her teenage years in Washington DC, and moved to France to study at SciencesPo (yes my school!) and got to spend her third year of BA in Israel. She now lives in Paris, where she interns for a pretty swanky law firm. Needless to say, ‘international’ doesn’t quite cut it! She is as brilliant as she is funny; great friend, true musical talent, pie-maker extraordinaire and overall achiever: she will charm and inspire you! Happy interview time.

Where can we find you on Instagram? 

esther_sweetish

esther 9to9daily

At 9to9, we love side hustles and entrepreneurs. Do you have a side business?!

I don’t, but love the idea of having one. I’m a frequent Ebay seller though, putting up clothes I don’t wear anymore and things I no longer use to  make some extra cash and to #recycle!

What is the thing you love most about yourself?

I have a very international background, which has made me a very open person who feels comfortable just walking up and starting conversations. It has also helped me be able to easily connect with people of different backgrounds because we can usually find some common ground. The best part is that I’ve found that people start opening up themselves just because they appreciate you took the initiative to take interest in them and their lives. It’s wonderful!

What holds you back in life?

I don’t think it’s exactly a case of FOMO, but I get anxious about choosing right and making the right decisions about everything, so that things work out for the best. And this has actually led me to making poor decisions because of the pressure I put myself under. I’m working on accepting that things can’t all be like I hope they be and that’s okay.

What advice would you give your 23 year old self?

Still 23! But an important lesson that I learned the hard way this year, is that going against your moral compass can never be a good idea. It’s sometimes hard to figure out feelings but going against your internal conviction of what is right will only spell problems in the end.

´My life is successful because...´

I’ve gotten to partake in so many opportunities, including my university which has been some of the best years of my life, interning at a great law firm where I’m so lucky to be, and also some very exciting singing gigs back when I was doing music in D.C. and NYC. Thinking back on these moments definitely makes me happy about the life I’ve lived so far.

What is always in your bag from 9 to 9?

Tissues, hand-sanitizer, lip balm, Advil, hair-tie, Ricolas, make up etc (kept in a plastic pouch for my mental sanity). Otherwise, I always have a book or a copy of the Economist to read in the metro, iPhone, Moleskine Volant notebook, and Moleksine calendar.

What did you dream to become growing up?

I’m honestly not sure I really had a dream growing up, but a bit later on I loved the idea of becoming a diplomat. Even though now I’m more into law, I still haven’t completely given up on the possibility of heading back to that track later in life.  

esther 9to9daily

What is women empowerment to you?

To me, women empowerment is not trying to prove that we’re capable of doing the same things as men. Instead, I think it’s about encouraging each other in fulfilling our own personal potential and following our hearts on what we really want to accomplish in life

3 women who have marked your life and why

Angela Merkel - Not only has she managed to lead a country for many years, but a great article I read about her also talked about her being a great listener and making few, well thought-out comments. I always try to listen more than I speak, and I’d rather say less but impactful words, rather than talk a lot to get attention without carrying any substance in what I’m saying.

My mother- I’ve seen recently that my mom is such a tough cookie and a fighter! She’s showed me that you can influence your life situation if you’re just willing to work a little extra to make the change you want to see.

Karlie Kloss- although her main career is modeling, I love that she used her influence and (let’s be honest) money, to encourage and help young women to get educated in one of the most important industries of our time with coding! I would love one day to also start my own program educating kids or providing for my community in some way.

How do you create your personal chamber?

One word: CANDLES. This comes from my Swedish side, but nothing puts the soul at ease like soft natural light. I love finding a spot in the sunlight by an open window and take the time to write some thoughts or to-do lists down on my typewriter. Leaving out the electronics is huge too—I feel like you get a different kind of focus and head-space when you’re not staring into a screen.

What is your self-care routine?

Making sure to take the time to do things, instead of rushing. Weeks are so busy, that rushing into things left and right becomes so stressful. Giving myself an hour to get ready for bed, and putting aside at least an afternoon every weekend to just hang around the house or go on a walk makes me feel collected and organized, and that I had a rest from the weekday craze.  

interview esther 9to9daily

What is on your bucket list? Name 2 items

To this day I have not been to Italy, even though it’s a neighboring country to France… I always end up hitting the US to see my high school friends. However next summer—it’s so happening!

Record an album. It feels very unachievable but I miss singing and just have all these ideas in my head for it, which I’d love to be made concrete one day!

Interview by EF x

Check-out other amazing #9to9girls and be inspired!