“When I started Sciences Po, I felt that a whole new world was open to me”

When he started Sciences Po in 2003, Miloud Boudjemai was one of the third cohort of students admitted through the Equal Opportunity programme. Sciences Po set up this pioneering programme in 2001 to facilitate the recruitment of high-potential students from disadvantaged areas in France.

As Sciences Po celebrates the 15th anniversary of this programme, Miloud reflects on his years at a university where “everything was possible, debatable, as long as you put some effort into it.”

You were one of the third cohort of students admitted to Sciences Po through the Equal Opportunity programme in 2003. What are the main things you remember from your early days at Sciences Po?

The feeling I had when I first started Sciences Po was that a whole new world was open to me. I realised that everything was possible, debatable, as long as you put some effort into it. From the first day at Sciences Po, I felt this international “je ne sais quoi” in the air. We might study the Brazilian constitution one day and discuss the Spanish parliamentary system the next.

In December 2016, Sciences Po celebrated 15 years of the Equal Opportunity programme. What message would you like to share with students who are going to apply to Sciences Po through this programme in 2017?

Sciences Po is guaranteed to broaden your vision and open up your prospects on a much larger scale. If you are looking for constant intellectual stimulation, Sciences Po is the right place to go. Throughout your studies, you will get the chance to interact with the brightest minds of the moment. The challenging Equal Opportunity programme is a unique chance to attend one of the world’s leading higher education institutions, where every encounter, discussion or debate becomes an opportunity.

After graduation, you began your career in banking in London, and went on to work in Saudi Arabia and now in the United Arab Emirates. What were your career goals when you arrived at Sciences Po?

During my studies at Sciences Po, I got the chance to intern at the French embassy in Jordan, but I was also able to intern within one of the world’s largest FMCG multinationals. All I knew was that I wanted to work in a challenging international environment. I gained significant international exposure while studying at Sciences Po through internships, my dual Master’s programme with Bocconi University and my third year abroad in Australia and Jordan. These experiences all led me to start my career abroad straight after graduation.
 
Related links

  • "I am a black woman from Haiti. I don't want any barriers to limit my career options". Rémicard Sérème, Haitian born and admitted to the Sciences Po Undergraduate College through the Equal Opportunity programme, is determined not to let anyone put her into a box or dictate her professional future. Read the interview with Rémicard.
  • Thinking of applying to the Sciences Po Undergraduate College?
    On Wednesday 25 January at 3pm (Paris time), undergraduate students and Sciences Po representatives will take part in an online question and answer session. Ask all your questions live! More information
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