Jankee Yovan

Master: International Economic Policy

Concentrations: Project Management, Asia

The place(s) I call home

Mauritius, Washington D.C. and Paris,

Prior to PSIA I was

I grew up in a middle-class family on the small island of Mauritius, in the Indian Ocean. After completing my Baccalauréat with honors, I was granted admission to Sciences Po in Paris. I was also awarded the Bourse d’Excellence de l’AEFE, a full merit-based scholarship which allowed me to study in France. It was an exciting moment for me, as I had always been interested in International Affairs and Sciences Po seemed uniquely fitted to prepare its students to the challenges of the 21st century. During my bachelor program, I had the opportunity to study abroad at the George Washington University in Washington DC. To this day, it remains one of the most entrancing and defining periods of my life. By deepening my understanding of how economic development can help foster peace and stability, it gave me the incentive I needed to join PSIA’s International Economic Policy Masters.

My life at PSIA

PSIA allows us to interact with an array of world-class personalities through numerous conferences. One of my fondest memories was when I got to ask General David Petraeus, then Commander of the NATO forces in Afghanistan, about his efforts to curb corruption and bring the country back on track. This was an especially important and personal issue for me as I have a friend in the US Army, on active duty in the region. General Petraeus was extremely forthcoming and actively engaged with the students. It is a completely different feeling to debate current policy issues with decision-makers, face to face, instead of reading about them in newspapers. This remains one of the highlights of my time at PSIA. My most fulfilling experience so far as been my internship in the Economics, Prices and Markets division at the Department of Strategy and Sustainable Development of GDF Suez. I have been granted the opportunity to apply the skills I have learned in class to the real-world needs of one of the world’s premiere utilities and energy companies. Working at GDF Suez has helped me understand just how complex and demanding it can be to bring cleaner water and power to a country. I was especially pleased to see that the multi-disciplinary approach that is favored at PSIA was a real advantage in the professional world. The energy sector is at the crossroads of politics, economics and environmental issues and it is essential to be able to factor in all these different vantage points into a coherent vision.

My objectives

Ever since I finished high school, I have wanted to work towards fostering development. I believe that this can only be achieved by bringing together public and private endeavors. Governments should make it easier for entrepreneurs to start their businesses. Investors should boldly invest in promising countries like the N-11. After graduating, I would like to work either in the investment sector or in an international development unit of a company or a consultancy firm. In the long run, I would like to open my own consultancy in international development to help countries attract foreign investment and use this opportunity to improve the lives of their citizens. I have always been keenly interested in the vast field of International Affairs. The history of my home country has been greatly determined by the interactions between nations and our ties with Europe, Asia and Africa continue to influence our future. I was initially attracted to conflict resolution and peacekeeping, and it is through this that I came to understand the importance of economic growth for preserving peace. My interests also run towards History and literature because I believe there is a lot to be learned from our past mistakes and successes.

My best tips

My key to success? Talk to people. Your teachers, your fellow students, visiting professors, TA’s, world leaders – whoever the audience is, you must never hesitate to stand up and speak up. At PSIA you will be granted the unique opportunity to interact with people who are both very intelligent and from very diverse backgrounds. The amount you will learn by talking with them equals the academic knowledge you will get in your classes. Don’t be afraid to disagree and be ready to hear your arguments contested because PSIA is a place where we acknowledge that the world is too complex for one-sided answers. You will be often wrong and right at other times but you will make progress, both in your career and as a person, for sure.

My life outside PSIA

I enjoy visiting historical landmarks with my friends in the Paris region. We organize week-end trips between studying for classes. Recent trips have included the mansion of Alexandre Dumas, the author of the Three Musketeers and the Chateau de la Malmaison which belonged to Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. On a more personal note, I also like to hole up with a good book at Shakespeare & Co., a small but very famous library at Saint Michel which is a great place to spend a tranquil winter afternoon.

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