Xpat Interview: Marie Pataky Kovalevitch, Former IWC Chairwoman

  • 9 Mar 2016 11:00 AM
Xpat Interview: Marie Pataky Kovalevitch, Former IWC Chairwoman
My name is Marie Pataky Kovalevitch. Although born in Germany, I am French and a graduate from the University of Paris X Nanterre.

I lived in England, first as an au pair and later worked and studied at the same time in London. This was a defining moment of my life, it was my very first International total immersion.

Back home, I worked for a car shipping company and later for the Manufacturing and Human Resources Department of an American Pharmaceutical company in Paris. There, I met my Swiss husband, Nicolas.

Nicolas' work sent him overseas in Africa and Asia where I worked as a teacher at the French International School of Jakarta.

When we came to live in Hungary in 1995 I joined IWC Budapest. It is a wonderful place to meet friends, to get to know the local culture and to use your free time by being involved in the association. It is a very broad and enlightening experience.

When I have the time I like to go to aquafitness, pilates and love to play Mah Jong. I am serious about golf and wine tasting dinners and enjoy concerts, ballet and the cinema.

Over the years, I have been serving IWC in many ways. First, by helping Membership. Over several years I coordinated the IFF, I have been part of Ball Committees and I coordinated the Charity Ball.

I was elected IWC Chairwoman in 2012 and I enjoyed the challenge of these exciting years. IWC is a wonderful and unique Association and I would like to use my experience to the benefit of the IWC for the next years.

1. When did you arrive in Hungary and what brought you here?

​ 1994 - My husband's business opportunities​.

2. Have you ever been an expatriate elsewhere?
​ Yes, in Africa and Asia​

3. What surprised you most about Hungary?
​ Young people do not hesitate to stand up to leave their seat to older people on public transportation.

4. Friends are in Budapest for a weekend - what must they absolutely see and do?
​ The Vár, Mátyás templom, Andrássy út, Parlament and the covered market.

5. What is your favourite Hungarian food?
​ Lecsó, Sz​ékely gulyás and krémes.

6. What is never missing from your refrigerator?
​ Cheese and wine​

7. What is your favourite Hungarian word?
​ Stb. stb. (és a többi, és a többi​)​ - easiest word I heard the first time I came to Hungary.

8. What do you miss the most from home?
​ Theater in French​

9. What career other than yours would you love to pursue?
​ ​Working with travel.

10. What's a job you would definitely never want?
​Working in a hospital​

11. Where did you spend your last vacation?
​ Florida​

12. Where do you hope to spend your next one?
​ Cuba​

13. What was your favorite band, film, or hobby as a teen?
​ The Beatles ​

14. Apart of temptation what can't you resist?
​ ​Nothing

15. Red wine or white?
​I love Champagne and Pinot noir

16. Book or movie?
​ Both​

17. Morning person or night person?
​ Morning​

18. Which social issue do you feel most strongly about?
​ Violence to women and children​

19. Buda side or Pest side?
​ Buda​

20. What would you say is your personal motto?
No matter what, if you believe and are convinced, go for it.

  • How does this interview make you feel?