Home>Etienne | Analyst, Astérion


Etienne | Analyst, Astérion

Can you introduce yourself in a few words and describe your current position and main duties?

Hello, I’m Etienne, originally from Northern France, I did both my bachelor's and my master's at Sciences Po Paris and I’m currently working as an analyst at Astérion, an impact VC fund with a sweet spot for first-time entrepreneurs. We invest from 300K€ to 3mo€ in startups tackling global issues such as climate change, biodiversity protection, etc.I am mostly responsible for sourcing impactful companies and conducting in-depth analyses of their impact and financial metrics.

What master's degree from the School of Management and Impact did you take and what did it do for your current job?

I graduated cum laude from the International Management and Sustainability's master’s. I enjoyed broadening my technical skills by taking classes such as Asset Management or by preparing the CFA exam, while having in-depth intellectual reflection with courses from ENS or CNRS’ teachers. I specifically appreciated classes that gave me a broader view using archeology, philosophy, anthropology and so on. Connecting technical concepts such as Traditional ecological knowledge (TEK), new ideas such as net present value of Carbon, the European Green taxonomy or Pope Francis’ Laudato Si encyclical was a fascinating intellectual journey. I’m also really grateful for the opportunities offered by my master’s such as being a tutor for M1 students in the Great Transition Class or partaking in class from the Centre de l’Entrepreneuriat.

Did you have the opportunity to take a sabbatical year? What internship did you complete during your time in the program?

I took a sabbatical year and did several internships, one at HOP - Halte à l’Obsolescence Programmée, an NGO lobbying for products’ sustainability, and another at le French Impact, helping regional projects in their fundraising.

For my end-of-study internship, I went to Bpifrance where I joined the Fund-of-Fund team responsible for investing in French and International Private Equity funds.

If you had to give one piece of advice to future graduates, what would it be?

I personally really appreciated delving into technical topics, whether in scientific climate, or finance-related issues and I would strongly advise taking a few classes that dive deep into your topics of interest. There is also much to be learned outside the classroom. The opportunities of pursuing other activities such as volunteering, doing a part-time internship and a student job, were all key factors in my personal development.

Finally, I remember too well how much of a dilemma it was to choose what Master’s, what internship and what job to pursue. So, when it comes to more global thinking about orientation, I always keep in mind this quote from Kierkegaard : “Life can only be understood backward; but must be lived forwards.” Andreesen Horowitz had this thought-provocative sentence : “Don’t follow your passion, follow your contribution”. I think looking back in the mirror that’s a bit of what I tried to achieve. Even though it isn’t a straightforward path and the contribution I have is still very small compared to the issues we are tackling, I think realizing that there is some good in this world worth fighting for, helped me navigate through these decisions.