- Alice Etienne © JP Gaborit (ADP)
Within the ADP Group, Alice Etienne, a graduate of the School of Public Affairs, Policy stream Energy in 2015, defines and leads the Group's environmental strategy on the subjects of waste management, biodiversity and water.
What was her career path after Sciences Po and what are her day-to-day missions? Testimonial.
- International Organisations Career Fair © Alexandros Michailidis
The 1st Forum of International Organizations of Sciences Po was held on Saturday, January 25, 2020 at 13, rue de l'Université.
Around thirty representatives from 14 international organisations travelled from New York, Geneva, the Philippines, etc. to meet and exchange with more than 800 Sciences Po students and graduates.
The day was punctuated by round tables and presentations of the organizations. Information and recruitment interviews were also offered to students throughout the day.
Find all the presentations and round tables of the day on vimeo.carrieres
- Actualité Sciences Po
On February 6, Naelle Verniest received the Claude Erignac Prize, rewarding her project fighting against the digital exclusion of elderly people and improving their access to public services in the digital era. This prize will allow Sciences Po's School of Public Affairs' team, as part of the Sustainable Development Goals Certificate programme, and thanks to the support of the Policy Lab, to expand their digital familiarisation workshops to five Emeraude restaurants in Paris. The first series of workshops has started in February in one of these public restaurants for seniors and participates in the fight against the digital divide in France, a factor that exacerbates both social and economic exclusion.
The Sustainable Development Goals Certificate is a flagship program launched by the School of Public Affairs in collaboration with three international partner universities of the Global Public Policy Network. The SDG Certificate allows students to develop entrepreneurial skills and to work with public policy students from participating GPPN universities. It provides an opportunity for students to develop concrete projects rooted in their local environments, and to showcase them to an international audience of academics, practitioners and policymakers specializing in the SDGs.
The SDG Certificate at Sciences Po is supervised by Professor Laëtitia Atlani-Duault, Scientific Advisor for the program. For more information on the SDG Certificate, visit our webpage, or contact Jennie Cottle, SDG Certificate programme manager.
- Actualité Sciences Po © Natali_ Mis
As part of an end-of-semester project, students of the Master in Public Policy and the Master in European Affairs were asked to work on the implementation of public policies in 4 countries to resolve public health issues.
Under the guidance of Benoît Vallet, Senior Advisor at the Cour des Comptes and Scientific Advisor for the Global Health policy stream, students worked on four themes: diabetes in Mexico, road safety in Sudan, Alzheimer's disease in France and HIV in South Africa.
This work led to 5 publications in August 2019 in the famous British media The Lancet, one of the most prestigious medical journals.
Here are the articles published in the medical journal:
Preparing the next generation of global public health experts (introduction). Author: Benoît Vallet
Road safety in Sudan. Authors: Kristina Sokourenko, Michel Wakim, Michelle Bassil
Alzheimer’s Disease and neurodegenerative diseases in France. Authors: Kenza Bakhta, Eléonore Cecillon, Emma Lacombe, Marie Lamy, Aziliz Leboucher, Jeanne Philippe
HIV in South Africa. Authors: Suzuka Satoh, Elisa Boyer
Ending diabetes in Mexico. Authors: Mathieu Levaillant, Gaëlle Lièvre, Gabriella Baert
- Actualité Sciences Po
Camille de Bellescize, student at the School of Public Affairs, in the Master in Public Policy, Administration publique policy stream, tells us about her journey before and during her studies at Sciences Po.
What background did you have before joining the School of Public Affairs?
I joined the Law-Economy-Management department at École Normale Supérieure in Rennes (ENS) in 2015, after a D1 preparatory course. Since ENS works with the University, I had the chance to go to Germany with the Erasmus program (Viadrina Universität) during my Master 1 in European Law. I joined the Administration publique policy stream of the Master in Public Policy after a gap year. During this break, I worked for six months for the Press and Communication office of the French Embassy in Switzerland and Liechtenstein and then five months for an association, the CSR Observatory (Orse), which accompanies CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) strategies in organisations.
Why did you decide to join the Administration Publique policy stream?
These two internships were decisive in my career path. Indeed, they confirmed my desire to become a diplomat and to hold management and supervisory positions in the civil service. Following my studies at ENS, the Administration publique policy stream of the Master in Public Policy seemed to be the best preparation for it: a wide range of courses taught by professionals, already oriented towards competitive exams preparation.
What particular course has left its mark during your M1?
Among many others, Frédéric Ramel's Philosophy of International Relations. This course was demanding and precise, and allowed me to discover authors in a very contextualized way, with an in-depth reflection that really captivated me. I particularly appreciated the fact that the exam modalities differed from the traditional dissertation, since it was an inventive writing, more adapted to the spirit of the course.
Why did you choose to take a gap year? How did you choose your internships? What do you retain from them?
I was lucky to take a multidisciplinary training course, that offered many opportunities. My various internships and student jobs have been essential to my personal development as well as the definition of my professional project. I have always seized the opportunities that were offered te me in order to discover various professions and stakeholders (High court, law firm, Public Affairs department for a French group, safety-security consulting).
My internships at the Embassy and the CSR Observatory met two objectives, which were more than fulfilled. On the one hand, I wanted to discover the professional environment I seeked to join later (Embassy and diplomacy). On the other hand, I wanted to familiarise myself with the major human resources issues involved in any managerial function (gender equality, diversity, employee commitment, appropriation of digital technology).
- Actualité Sciences Po © Artjazz
Organised in partnership with the London School of Economics and the College of Europe, the European Forum of Internships in Brussels aims to inform Sciences Po's students and young graduates about careers in European organisations, about European main actors, and to enable them to find an internship and/or job opportunities.
All Sciences Po's students are invited on Friday 28, February 9am-1pm at Hotel Sofitel, Place Jourdan 1140 Brussels.
- En savoir plus
- Actualité Sciences Po © ETGN
Professionals can combine executive training opportunities at eight of Europe’s most reputable academic institutions
Launching its new executive training course catalogue today, the European & Transnational Governance Network (ETGN) is a newly formed collaborative partnership between eight of Europe’s most reputable academic institutions. Its mission is to provide professionals and executives with a unique opportunity to extend their knowledge and contribute to their professional development across several innovative public policy areas by participating in a number of diverse, though complementary, training programmes.
By leveraging the comparative advantage of each institution’s unique training curriculum, an ETGN programme certification aims to sharpen participants’ analytical skills while enhancing the thought processes necessary to understand the most complex economic and political challenges.
ETGN Network Members include: Central European University (CEU), College of Europe Bruges, College of Europe Natolin, Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA), Hertie School, School of Transnational Governance at the European University Institute (EUI), Sciences Po, and SDA Bocconi.
- All you need to know about the School of Public Affairs
On Tuesday 12 November 2019, a student from the School of Public Affairs and Yann Algan, Dean of the School of Public Affairs answered questions from prospective students during a live interview.
You were unable to attend our past Open House Day?
Watch the replay of the School of Public Affairs:
Find out more
- Sciences Po, Paris Campus ©Martin Argyroglo
International admissions for the 2020 intake are now open!
- Master's Programmes: International graduate admissions
- Graduate Dual Degree: Admission procedure
- One-Year Master's programme: admission procedure
Should you need further information on the admission criteria and procedure, please do not hesitate to visit our admissions website.
- Careers Fair: Friday, September 27th, 2019
The Sciences Po Business Fair is a unique opportunity to meet and discuss with companies willing to recruit you
During the Fair students and recent graduates will be able to :
- get information on the largest recruiting companies, their values, the opportunities they offer, and their recruitment process for jobs and internships
- find an internship, a first job, a graduate programme...
- develop their career project
- develop their profesionnal network
- train themself for job interviews
Get prepared for the fair!
- Participate to Career Fair's preparation workshops
- Read our advice on "How to be prepared for the Fair"
- Register for careers workshops (how to write CVs and cover letters, elevator pitch...)
Registration for the Fair is mandatory: Register now.
Please note: confirmation of registration and student ID card will be required in order to access the Fair.
Attention ! Le jour du Forum, merci de bien vouloir vous munir de votre carte étudiante et de votre confirmation d'inscription.
Sciences Po Career Fair Friday September 27th, 2019 10am-5pm Porte de Versailles.
- 1500 students and young graduates
- more than 100 companies
- 600 professionals HR, experts...
- Finance Banking Insurance
- Auditing Consulting
- Media Communication Digital
- Luxury, Distribution
- Industries Transports Environnement Construction
- Public French administrations
- International organizations and NGOs
- Start up corner
Find out more
Students from the School of Public Affairs present their work at the Social Outcomes Conference in Oxford
- Estela Souto and André Quadra
Sciences Po’s Master in Public Policy candidate Estela Souto and Master in Public Affairs graduate André Quadra were invited as guest speakers at the Social Outcomes Conference 2019 hosted by the Government Outcomes Lab (GO Lab) at the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford. The event took place on September 5th and 6th.
The students had the opportunity to present their work “Using the results-based public procurement approach as a tool towards better governance in Latin America”, where they analysed the Social Impact Bonds (SIBs) proposed by the Government of the State of São Paulo, Brazil, in the end of 2017, in order to improve the rates of successful graduation from the high-school and the recent SIB launched by the city of Buenos Aires in March 2019 to improve the long-term employment outcomes of young underprivileged individuals in the city’s southern area.
André and Estela are both Brazilian qualified lawyers and impact investing enthusiasts inspired by evidence-based policymaking. Estela was directly involved in in the designing of the potential first SIB implemented in the country when they both were working as in-house counsels at UBS Investment Bank in Brazil.
“By shifting from the traditional activity or inputs-based approach towards a results-based public procurement process, governments might define to a service provider their needs, instead of trying to think themselves the best ways to provide it”, said Estela.
In his turn, André’s passion for the topic was intensified when working on his final MPA research project in partnership with the European Investment Bank. The research assessed the feasibility of social outcomes contracting for tackling unemployment among migrants in the European Union.
“Such change of mind-set could also promote innovation, which could be particularly positive for complex social problems that Latin American governments may not have the solution yet”, added André.
The students, however, emphasized that “the lack of data and available information of public services and social outcomes in Latin America can significantly undermine the effectiveness and efficiency of the procurement process.” They also said that “these challenges, if not well addressed by the local public administration, could hinder the promotion of governance and worse off transparency and accountability.”
The panel was chaired by Prof. Dr Aris Georgopoulos from the University of Nottingham. “This presentation enriched the session and articulated clearly the opportunities and challenges for outcome-based public procurement in Latin America”, he concluded.
- Estela Souto is a Sciences Po’s Master in Public Policy candidate with more than 5 years of professional experience in the Brazilian banking and capital markets. She co-authored the “UBS White Paper on Social Impact Bonds” and is currently a policy analyst in the Directorate for Public Governance at the OECD.
- André Quadra, Sciences Po's Master in Public Affairs graduate, is a Brazilian lawyer with 15 years of experience in the banking and capital markets in Latin America and a member of the Brazilian Center of Strategic Studies for Capital Markets at the Sociology and Politics Foundation School of São Paulo (FESPSP).
- Portrait of Charlotte ©Sciences Po
Charlotte Nørlund-Matthiessen did her undergraduate studies on the Dijon campus, which hosts the European specialisation programme with a focus on Central and Eastern Europe, before enrolling in the European Affairs Master’s programme at Sciences Po. Since graduating in 2012, she has worked on multiple projects inspired by her drive to build a stronger Europe. Today she works as a Parliamentary Assistant for a French MEP at the European Parliament in Brussel
- Master in European Affairs
- "We must fight to defend Europe": in 2016, European Parliament President Martin Schulz came to Sciences Po
- Laurent Rieder de Saint-Joseph ©Xavier Braun
Discover the path of Laurent Rieder de Saint-Joseph. Since obtaining his Master in Public policy, Laurent successfully secured management positions at Christian Dior and Richard Mille between Paris and London. He is now in charge of the UK flagship of Bulgari, the Italian jeweller and member of the LVMH group.
Can you describe your academic and professional background?
I am genuinely curious, and always made sure to nurture a very diverse background. I was first granted a scientific French baccalaureate. I then joined highly demanding Classes Préparatoires littéraires, and later studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the University of Oxford. Sciences Po definitely completed these Humanities I would recommend to all.
What were the main stages of building your career plan?
When you design a career plan, while you do your best to plan as much as you can, you always face unexpected opportunities. Embrace them even if you are unsure or fail! I worked hard to build a solid academic background, but consistently mixed it with professional and extracurricular activities - internships, summer jobs, practicing sports and the saxophone, travelling, valuing social gatherings. This mix is key if you want to balance your life at an age when it is easy to run away from responsibilities.
What advice would you give to a student who would engage, as you did, in a apprenticeship ?
The apprenticeship Sciences Po offers is the best way to find out what the real world is like. It should actually be generalised to all students who would then have better knowledge and skills once being fully employed. The advice I would give is to dare and explain to Sciences Po why your project deserves to be acknowledged and supported.
What are the main features of your job today?
The luxury goods industry can be quite distant from a Master and a career in our public service. However, adapting yourself in environments which, and working with teams who are multicultural, are definitely rewarding experiences. My main responsibilities include leading and developing high-performance teams within a luxury environment, dealing with high-calibre clients, collaborating with multi stakeholders, designing commercial and marketing strategies while delivering uncompromising service. These also involve a duty and passion to transmit the unique heritage of magnificent Houses.
What were the contributions of your training to the function that you hold today?
Sciences Po helped me acquire an economical and commercial awareness. The school also has an unrivalled reputation for cultural knowledge. This ability to apprehend the world moving around you is what makes you exceed your goals, and have fun!
Find out more
- United Nations ©Yuriy Boyko / Shutterstock
The School of Public Affairs and The Paris School of International Affairs were pleasead to receive:
- Marco PASQUALINI, Prevention of Violent Extremism Through Education-UNESCO, Junior Professional Officer (JPO)
- Pina VALERIA ROOS, Human Resources Officer, UNESCO , United Nations Young Professional Programme (YPP)
- Olivier ADAM, UNV Executive Coordinator, United Nations Volunteers Programme (UNV)
- Oda MIDBOE, PSIA Student, Master in International Security, 3rd semester Internship at the UN General Assembly Affairs Branch in New-York
Introduction and moderation by Anne-Marie MASKAY, Head of the Division for International Civil Servants, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Ed Miliband teaching his class ©Sciences Po
For the first time this semester, the School of Public Affairs offered the course “Pasts and futures of the Left. Learning from history, rethinking progressivism” taught by Ed Miliband, Member of the UK Parliament and former leader of Labour Party and Jenny Andersson, CNRS Research Professor and researcher at CEE.
The course combined historical perspectives on the political theory and economy of the Left in Europe and the US with perspectives on contemporary debates that define Leftist thinking. The course set actual experience of politics in theoretical light, mixing historical analysis with concrete innovative policy ideas for the future. On a weekly basis students had the opportunity to meet and discuss with Jenny Andersson and Ed Miliband to tackle different key issues for the Left and not only: among others, environmental protection, inequalities, globalization.
Sciences Po and the IPLI Foundation co-organise a merit-based competition open to our Master in European Affairs students
- ©Sciences Po
Sciences Po and the IPLI Foundation, which supports research projects dedicated to public policy in Europe, have joined forces to co-organise a merit-based competition open to students of the School of Public Affairs' Master in European Affairs programme. This competition will share the vision and ideas that these students present regarding the future of European integration.
Like in the Age of Enlightenment, the applicants will be asked to answer the following question: "How can the desire for independence of European nations be explained when the interdependence between them is the strongest it has ever been in the European Union?" They will be writing an article of several pages in English.
A jury will select three winners in the Spring, each of whom will be awarded a €5,000 scholarship by the IPLI Foundation.
- © Sciences Po - 2018 cohort
For the third year, Sciences Po School of Public Affairs hosts from the 3rd to the 14th of December, 2018, a delegation of 30 young civil servants from six countries of the Western Balkans: Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Republic of Macedonia and Serbia.
This executive training, the "EU Scheme for Young Professionals in the Western Balkans", takes place in the context of the Berlin process and in the framework of the European Union’s Connectivity Agenda for the Western Balkans.
It aims to contribute accelerating the accession process and to deepen regional cooperation in the Western Balkans. Its main intention is to bring updated insights about EU policy making and best practices for administration reforms and cooperation process, connecting the participants with the key actors of those fields, both among European and international organisations and national administration and Parliament.
What could be expected of such a transnational training programme? Answers with Pierre Mirel, Director Western Balkans at the European Commission from 2006 to 2013), who has met with the participants.
What is the current state of relations between the European Union and the Western Balkans?
PM : Looking at a map is striking: Western Balkan countries are an enclave in Europe, surrounded by member states. Their stability is therefore part of our security. That was precisely the purpose of the Stabilisation and Association Process, with membership perspective, offered by the EU after the Balkans wars and agreed at the Thessaloniki summit in 2003. 15 years later, only Croatia has joined the EU. Montenegro and Serbia are engaged in accession negotiations, which should be opened also with Albania and Macedonia in 2019. Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo are in an early pre accession phase, the latter even not recognised by 5 member states.
Their economic integration with the EU is at 70%, thanks to the Association agreements. But the overall socio economic development is weak, with high unemployment and a brain as well as skilled workers drain on the rise. The continued weakness of the rule of law, widespread corruption and the lack of effective checks and balances, including by the parliaments and the media, concur to a disillusionment of citizens. This situation, as portrayed by the European commission in a communication on 6 February 2018, entails the risk of external destabilising influences; unresolved bilateral issues and minority’s claims offering additional opportunities. Hence the re engagement of the EU at the Sofia summit in May, along the European commission proposed six flagship initiatives and building on the Berlin process.
What has the Berlin process already achieved?
PM : Launched in 2014 by Chancellor Merkel, the Berlin process initially focussed on ‘connectivity’ in transport and energy, badly needed in the WB and also as a response to increasing investments from China and Russia. A multi annual Action plan for a Regional Economic Area was afterwards agreed at the Trieste summit in 2017. The necessary involvement of civil society and of solving bilateral issues quietly was emphasised at the Vienna summit in 2015. The Paris one in 2016 focussed on Youth exchange. At all these meetings, rule of law related reforms were the overarching principle, not least for an investment climate conducive to economic growth.
These agreements were encompassed in the six flagship initiatives, endorsed at Sofia and by the June European Council, on the rule of law, security and migration, good neighbourly relations and reconciliation, connectivity, socio-economic development and digital agenda. So, the WB have now a clear reform and investment programme, with the reinforced support of the EU. The next summit, scheduled in Poland in July 2019, will take stock of the progress.
What does such a group of civil servants look for in this EU focussed programme?
This group is at Sciences Po as part of a three-year pilot programme for young professionals in the WB, which was decided at the Paris summit in 2016. This is the third edition. Its objective was two-fold: to introduce tools and policies useful in their work in the EU accession context, and to get acquainted with best practices from France and other European countries. The focus is therefore on EU accession related reforms, such as public administration, financial planning and sustainability, internal security and ecological transition. The training methods aim also at developing negotiation and communication skills, notably through role plays. Discussions with practitioners, including through visits, constitute also an important part of the programme.
Which main outcomes can be expected?
A direct outcome would be to have a much better understanding of what EU related reforms and EU membership entail for the governments and civil servants, and to introduce new working methods in their work back home. In that context, lessons from previous accessions and current issues impacting the process, on both the EU and WB sides, are essential.
Another expected outcome is to contribute to mutual understanding between these young civil servants who, in spite of sharing identical tasks in the context of similar accession paths, come from countries where deep nationalist rhetoric, or blame game with neighbours, are often used, which tend to reinforce old prejudices. By being together for several weeks, participating in role plays and sharing common countries accession issues, should help them developing good personal relations indeed. It is hoped that this should facilitate direct contacts in their career, in particular when their countries may be faced with difficult relationship. This is, I am convinced, the most important outcome of the programme.
- Bernard Cazeneuve ©Alexandros Michailidis / Shutterstock
On Thursday, November 8, the Sciences Po School of Public Affairs welcomed Bernard Cazeneuve, former Minister of the Interior and former Prime Minister of France, and Jeh Johnson, former United States Secretary of Homeland Security, for a conference on "The Euro-Atlantic Solidarity Against Terrorism". We interviewed one of our students for feedback on this event. Antoine de La Roche Kerandraon, in the first year of his Master's degree in Public Policy, with specialisation in Security and Defence, has accepted to answer our questions.
Can you first tell us about the context in which this meeting took place?
ALR: Mr. Cazeneuve has offered a fascinating course this semester - on the fight against terrorism in France! Security and Defence students are usually the only ones who can register for this course, which is unfortunate given the importance of the issue. Every semester, Mr. Cazeneuve would invite a guest lecturer to the school, thereby opening his teaching to a wider audience. This conference is indeed a course of its own, and not a mere supplement to his course. This semester, Mr. Cazeneuve brought in Mr. Johnson. We couldn't have asked for better!
What themes were of particular interest to you?
ALR: There were so many! Let me focus on the new challenge that is raised by reticular terrorism - or homegrown terrorism. It exists in the United States as well as in our country and fundamentally changes the situation for the Department of Homeland Security, as it was precisely intended to prevent the infiltration of terrorists into the American territory. The threat from people born in the United States had not been anticipated - nor in France, for that matter.
Both speakers of the conference being lawyers by profession, they also spoke at length about the balance between the respect of rights and law enforcement. I particularly enjoyed this part of the conference: I find that it is too often forgotten - namely in the public debate - that terrorism threats can also come from the State itself.
In short, I think that this event was beneficial for all, including those outside the academic community. It enabled a better understanding of the modalities of the fight against terrorism outside the French framework and of the common challenges that we and our allies face.
What will you remember most about this conference?
ALR: The particular way in which Mr. Johnson took our questions: he came down from the stage to stand directly in front of the student asking the question. It was terribly intimidating! But I think many of us appreciated his flamboyant and "out of the box" ways that made our exchanges all the more frank.
- © Sciences Po Review of Public Affairs
The School of Public Affairs is pleased to announce the release of the second edition of the Sciences Po Review of Public Affairs.
No fewer than 28 authors from the School of Public Affairs, the Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA), the Doctoral School have participated in its production. Following its founding goals, the Review illustrates the diversity and the richness of public affairs at national, European and international levels.
We wish you a pleasant reading!
- ©Sciences Po Luca Vergallo,2018 laureate 2018 and MPP Student
As a tribute to the memory and to uphold the values of the Prefect Claude Érignac, assassinated in February 1998, the Claude Érignac association organises each year, in partnership with Sciences Po, the Claude Érignac Prize.
This prize of 5 000 euros is awarded for a student project highlighting the contribution of a French public institution or figure, to the common good.
The Claude Érignac Prize 2018 was awarded to Luca Vergallo, Master's student in Public Policy, for his project developing an innovative method of interaction with public emergency services and raising awareness of crisis management and communication, during a ceremony held at the Senate.
Open to students studying for a Master's at Sciences Po (first or second year of graduate studies, gap year included).
Deadline for applications: 26th November 2018 at 12.30 pm
- © Sciences Po
Resembling more than 50 students and three institutions - Sciences Po School of Public Affairs, HEC, Mines ParisTech – this year’s challenge was to create a "Station M", a fictional incubator in Marseille using new technologies to address the challenges of the protection of the common goods in the Mediterranean Sea, turning France into a "maritime start-up nation". According to the simulation model developed by the FORCCAST project, this scenario involves confronting political, socio-economic and scientific controversies around the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.
After a preparatory conference the day before, all through the day, the students were projected into a series of situations originating from the roles they were incarnating, for instance as politicians, high civil servants, large firms, SMEs and start-ups, associations, Mediterranean actors, etc.
At the end of the day, students were able to present the results of their negotiations to a jury composed of François Baroin, former Minister, Philippe Louis-Dreyfus, President of the Louis-Dreyfus Armateurs group and Fabrice Le Saché, vice-president and spokesperson of the MEDEF.
This simulation is part of the development of the Policy Lab activities of the School of Public Affairs. It also encourages us to reflect on this reflection given to the Cardinal and French Statesman Richelieu: “The tears of our sovereigns have the salted taste of the sea that they ignored.”
- Camille Viros with her three children ©Camille Viros
Sciences Po is proud to be one of ten academic institutions selected by UN Women, the United Nations entity for gender equality and the empowerment of women, to act as a “HeforShe Champion”. As part of the annual HeforShe Summit on 26 September 2018, Director Frédéric Mion will discuss actions taken by Sciences Po to advance gender equality, specifically work accomplished by the university on the question of parenthood. To mark the occasion, we are sharing the inspiring story of one of our female students: Camille Viros, recent graduate of the Class of 2018, and mother of three children. How does she balance her student and family life? Read the interview on her experience at Sciences Po.
You have just graduated from the Sciences Po School of Public Affairs, and you are also a parent. Does it feel like an even greater achievement to have combined the two?
I think I am a graduate like any other and I do not feel more special. It is true that studying and having children can be challenging at times, but everyone has his or her own special circumstances that can complicate and/or enrich being a student.
What has been the greatest challenge about being a parent and student? Were there some pleasant surprises? Were you supported by your peers?
The main challenge was probably juggling family obligations with three small children and a full-time master’s programme with all the constraints it can have (essays to write, group assignments to coordinate, exams to prepare). I found it was not so different than being a working mother, but with the added difficulty of often having to study after the children’s bedtime or during weekends. Once I had found the right balance between my personal and student life, it became much easier.
There were also many nice things about being a student and a parent. For example, my girls would love to tell their teachers and friends that their mum was also going to school. I was also able to organise my classes at Sciences Po to be able to pick my girls up from school most days, and could often make myself available to assist parent-teacher meetings at my girls’ school. I also felt supported by professors at Sciences Po. Once I had to take one of my girls to the emergency room the same day a paper was due. With my husband away on a business trip, it was impossible for me to finish my paper on time. I explained the situation to my professor and he gave me an extension.
Are there preconceived ideas or stereotypes around student-parents?
I did not feel at all judged by other students and did not find there were any negative stereotypes about being a parent-student at Sciences Po. Other students were often surprised when I told them I had three children, but they never put me in an awkward position – quite the contrary. I think there are more positive stereotypes about parents than negative ones. Other students often suggested that parents are well organised, efficient, and able to multi-task. I also think students with children can help promote greater acceptance and understanding of parenthood in the workplace in general, by showing fellow students that parents can be just as successful.
Did you meet other student-parents during your studies? Is there a community at Sciences Po?
Yes I did meet other parents during my year at Sciences Po. In my MPA (Master in Public Affairs) class of 27 people there were four other parents, two fathers and two mothers. It was really great to meet other people in the same situation as me and we often joked about our parenthood stories, like having to deal with a sleep-resistant child while trying to finish a paper for a midnight deadline. There is no official community per se but Sciences Po has a very active gender equality unit. It also organises a yearly event called “Sciences Mômes”, a Parent-Child Day when staff and students can bring their children to the Paris campus. Group reflection on parenting issues is also organised for this occasion. I think it is really great that Sciences Po organises such events and it certainly made me feel part of a community.
What advice would you give to future students who are also parents?
Be organised! Try to gather people around you that you can count on and who can be on call: your partner, a grandparent, a nanny, etc. If you want to follow a programme at Sciences Po, just give it a go and have no reservations about doing it with children. It will be intense and demanding, but you’ll manage and it will be one of the most enriching experiences of your life. And besides, Paris is a fantastic city for children, with lots of international schools, day-care services, and an amazing healthcare system.
Good luck! And don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need any help or advice!
- © Sciences Po
With the ambition to boost and support our M2 students in developing their career plans, the School of Public Affairs has set up in 2017 a community of careers advisors: public and private figures, whose main mission is to listen to, guide and advise each student on their career prospects.
Educating our students is the core of our School and we consider this professional accompaniment to be as important as the fundamental knowledge transmitted as part of the School's masters courses.
The Welcome meeting for our Master 2 students took place on Wednesday, September 5th in the form of meetings between the students and the career advisors which they were allotted for the whole academic year.
We warmly thank all of this community for their commitment to our students !
- © Adam Tanaka - CRI
For the 3rd year in a row, Harvard, CRI and the Sciences Po School of Public Affairs will bring together 50 students to participate in the Summer School "The Biopolis", with the goal of rethinking social and urban innovation in the city of Paris. For 2 months (June and July), 12 international and inter-university groups will imagine the city of tomorrow and will present their final projects at the end of July on their concrete solutions to improve social and urban life in Paris.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) defined by the United Nations, provide the general framework for the Summer School, setting the priority issues and the most urgent global challenges.
This year, the main themes of the Summer School "The Biopolis" are health and employment. These projects seek to enhance both the city's infrastructure and the socio-intellectual capital of its residents.
The notion of collective contribution to improve a living environment corresponds to the evolution of a population, such as bacteria in a colony, cells of a tissue, or the animals in an ecosystem.
The city can be compared to a living system where the students build biological metaphors to help develop their projects. They explore the links between biology, engineering, design and social sciences with the aim of developing concrete and innovative solutions to the major challenges facing the city of Paris. The goal ? Put more than 3 billion years of biological evolution toward the benefit of innovative projects.
- Yann Algan presenting CORE ©Sciences Po
In recent years, students and teachers alike have come to realize that there is an insufficient culture and knowledge of economics in our society. The study of economics and the reality of how our world operates differ enormously. This realization led to the creation of CORE, a new course and manual developed by professors of economics from around the world, including Yann Algan at Sciences Po. The goal of this course: to show that economic tools, often considered too abstract and theoretical, can help solve real-world problems and crises.
"What is the most urgent issue that economists should address?" - "Inequalities!" shout students all around the world when prompted. But there is also climate change, financial instability, unemployment. Faced with these expectations, economics courses disappoint or even divert students from the subject.
"During the 2008 crisis,” explains Wendy Carlin, Professor of Economics and Macroeconomics at UCL and co-author of CORE, “economics students were embarrassed: they went home to celebrate the holidays and when their families asked them for explanations, they were unable to give them any answers."
Too theoretical, too far removed from contemporary issues
It is from this observation that the CORE project was created in 2016 (CORE: Curriculum Open Access Resources in Economics): if citizens of the world are so critical vis-à-vis the economy, it is undoubtedly that the way it is being taught is partially responsible. "The teaching of economics is strongly questioned around the world, and particularly in France, because it is considered too theoretical, too far removed from major contemporary issues, and too reductive on human behavior", explains Yann Algan, Economist and Professor at Sciences Po and one of the authors of the project. CORE, “an open-access platform for anyone who wants to understand the economics of innovation, inequality, environmental sustainability, and more”, is led by a team of researchers and teachers from around the world, and already used in over a hundred universities in the world.
"The greatest resistance to change,” continues Yann Algan, “is the lack of alternatives. To make concrete changes, we needed a tool that could be immediately implemented in the classroom.” That is the objective of the CORE ebook, The Economy, a completely free online manual. The French version has just been published online; students from Sciences Po and the Toulouse School of Economics have been using it since last September.
Teach the economy as if the last 30 years had taken place
To better meet the expectations of students, this new method of teaching economics takes the opposite route of conventional textbooks, based on a simple idea: to study reality. First and foremost, the reality of human beings, who are able to both think of their own self-interest, but also capable of cooperating, and being generous. Oddly enough, this has little or nothing to do with the abstract homo economicus depicted in traditional textbooks. The reality of today's world, which takes into account recent discoveries from economics research, addresses issues related to the environment, economic instability, and inequality. The reality of human and social science is not an isolated object but one that is enriched by the contributions of law, history, sociology. "We cannot understand a company if we ignore the power, politics or social law," notes Samuel Bowles, Arthur Spiegel Research Professor and Director of Behavioral Sciences Program at the Santa Fe Institute, and co-founder and author of CORE. “We have made fundamental changes in how we represent individuals, and how we represent our interactions.”
Thus reinvented, the study of economics turns to search for resolutions of the current problems we face. It does not limit itself to opposing the thinking and theories of the great economists, deemed forever irreconcilable: "We don’t want to juxtapose and compare economists’ views," explains Samuel Bowles. "We do pluralism by integration. We borrow heavily from great economists and create new paradigms."
About CORE: Curriculum Open-access Resources in Economics
CORE-based courses have already been taught as a general introduction to economics in more than 100 universities around the world. Since its launch in 2016, more than 60,500 users in 186 countries and more than 6,100 teachers in 131 countries have used CORE. The paper version of the English eBook has already been reissued six times to reflect demand. Translations into Farsi, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, as well as an adaptation for Southeast Asia are in preparation. An enriched website was launched in September 2017 and a new project adapted to an audience of non-specialists in economics was recently developed by 20 universities.