Why accented character messes up alignment?

I want two miniboxes side to side, for my CV. I notice the one on the right is a bit off, despite both having (almost) the same format and number of lines.

The "only" difference, I thought, is that the left one uses three "hard" line breaks (paragraphs), whereas the one on the right uses one paragraph over three lines.

However, when I was constructing the MWE, I discovered that the actual problem is from the accented character É which moves the text on the left box a bit down.

How can I make the two be perfectly aligned ?

MWE:

\documentclass[11pt,a4paper]{article}

\usepackage{lmodern}        % use modern latin fonts
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}    % use 8 bit output font encoding with more glyphs
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc} % so you can type
\usepackage[margin=1.6cm]{geometry}
\usepackage[explicit]{titlesec}        % to remove space after section

\titleformat{\section}          % what to format
{\normalfont\large\bfseries}  % how to format the text
{\thesection}                 % what label to use (number)
{1em}                         % how much space after label
{#1}                          % code before the text; #1 is the text
[{\titlerule[1pt]}]           % code after the text
% \titlespacing*{\command}{left}{before}{after}[right]
\titlespacing*{\section}{0pt}{0pt}{0.3em}

\setlength{\parskip}{0.5em}  % less space after paragraph
\setlength{\parindent}{0pt}  % avoid auto indentation
\pagestyle{empty}            % Produces empty heads and feet - no page numbers

%% ============================================================================

\begin{document}

\begin{minipage}[t]{0.48\textwidth}
\section*{Education}
\textbf{École Awesome University 2}\par
MSc BlaBla -- 0.0 avg. -- 2018\par
BlaBla Bla Bla Bla

\bigbreak
\textbf{École Awesome University 1}\par
BSc TraLaLa -- 110\% avg. -- 2016\par
Latex \& stuff plus some other stuff -- Top 5
\end{minipage}
\begin{minipage}[t]{0.48\textwidth}
\section*{Personal}
\hspace{1.5em} I am super motivated to learn why this two miniboxes are unaligned. This introduction should have about three lines, to look nicely.\par

\bigbreak
\textbf{I can:} Duuh\par
\textbf{Availability:} in the future
\end{minipage}

\end{document}

The problem is titlesec. It redefines section in a way that it changes the spacing. Imho the easiest to get around it is to use a \vphantom (the \tikz are only there to show the alignment):

\documentclass[11pt,a4paper]{article}

\usepackage{lmodern}        % use modern latin fonts
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}    % use 8 bit output font encoding with more glyphs
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc} % so you can type
\usepackage[margin=1.6cm]{geometry}
\usepackage[explicit]{titlesec}        % to remove space after section

\titleformat{\section}          % what to format
{\normalfont\large\bfseries}  % how to format the text
{\thesection}                 % what label to use (number)
{1em}                         % how much space after label
{#1}                          % code before the text; #1 is the text
[{\titlerule[1pt]}]           % code after the text
% \titlespacing*{\command}{left}{before}{after}[right]
\titlespacing*{\section}{0pt}{0pt}{0.3em}

\setlength{\parskip}{0.5em}  % less space after paragraph
\setlength{\parindent}{0pt}  % avoid auto indentation
\pagestyle{empty}            % Produces empty heads and feet - no page numbers

%% ============================================================================
\usepackage{tikz}
\begin{document}

\begin{minipage}[t]{0.48\textwidth}
\section*{Education}
\tikz[overlay]\draw[red](0,0)--++(2\textwidth,0);\textbf{École Awesome University 2}\par
MSc BlaBla -- 0.0 avg. -- 2018\par
BlaBla Bla Bla Bla

\bigbreak
\textbf{École Awesome University 1}\par
BSc TraLaLa -- 110\% avg. -- 2016\par
\tikz[overlay]\draw[red](0,0)--++(2\textwidth,0);Latex \& stuff plus some other stuff -- Top 5
\end{minipage}
\begin{minipage}[t]{0.48\textwidth}
\section*{Personal}
\leavevmode\vphantom{\textbf{É}}\hspace{1.5em}I am super motivated to learn why this two miniboxes are unaligned. This introduction should have about three lines, to look nicely.\par

\bigbreak
\textbf{I can:} Duuh\par