"I felt the need to get involved in a cause that was close to my heart"

Alice Voirand shares her commitment to women's health
  • Actualité Sciences PoActualité Sciences Po

A recent graduate of the Master in Public Policy at the School of Public Affairs, Alice Voirand has just earned the Advanced Certification in Gender Studies, which attests to her multidisciplinary training in gender studies. Below, she recounts her academic, professional and associative commitments to women's health.

HOW DID YOUR INTEREST IN GENDER STUDIES COME ABOUT?

I grew up in a rather masculine environment, with two older brothers whom I looked at as my role models. I spent my childhood wanting to assert myself and take my place alongside them, but I was guided by strong female figures, in particular the character of Hermione Granger in Harry Potter. When I started high school, I discovered sociology. I understood that boys and girls were socialised differently, that the image of women reflected by society was not the same as that of men, and I understood that in today's society we don't have the same opportunities. So I wanted to speak out against this and the biases that I was able to internalise, which still push me today to always want to prove my worth.

CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE AT SCIENCES PO?

I took several courses in gender studies at Sciences Po, taught in particular by Camille Froidevaux-Metterie, Réjane Sénac and Marta Domínguez Folgueras. These courses have enabled me to clarify my professional project. It is through these classes and personal commitments that I understood the importance of the fight for gender equality and the need to defend these values in my work.

During my gap year, I attended the French Navy's Higher Military Preparation for the General Staff, from which I graduated second in my class of 120. It was important for me to assert myself and go beyond my limits in a very masculine environment. Now that I am an officer, my project is to find a reserves’ contract linked to gender issues, gender equality and the fight against discrimination within the armed forces.

Today, my interest in gender studies is nurtured through reading feminist books and listening to podcasts. This allows me to learn more and more, to mature and build my arguments in order to be able to defend women's rights without self-censoring.

YOU DID YOUR END-OF-MASTER’S INTERNSHIP IN A FRENCH MENSTRUAL UNDERWEAR COMPANY. WHAT WERE YOUR MISSIONS?

FEMPO is the leading French menstrual underwear brand. I discovered the company at the beginning of 2019 and fell in love with it! Firstly for the underwear, which revolutionised my periods by allowing me to live through this period much more comfortably while protecting my health and the planet, but also for the overall project - helping women to re-appropriate their bodies - and for the website, which makes you want to go beyond your limits, to assert yourself. It was during my gap year, and I was questioning my prospects a lot. I felt more and more the need to commit myself to a cause that is really close to my heart, and to have an impact. And nothing is more important to me than improving the status of women in their lives and at work. So I immediately turned to FEMPO for my end of Master’s internship!

From January to June 2020, I was a marketing trainee and partnership manager in the field of health and education. I organised events to raise awareness of the brand, make menstruation a visible topic and to raise awareness on women's health. I also managed partnerships with humanitarian associations, through monthly donations of underwear. I also created opportunities for health professionals, offering them the possibility to test the underwear and raise awareness among their patients. Finally, I co-created and hosted the FEMPO podcast, which aims to inform and raise awareness among women so that they can better understand their body while breaking the taboo of menstruation.

CAN YOU TELL US MORE?

Before creating the FEMPO menstrual underwear, Claudette and Fanny, the creators of the brand, conducted a survey of 3000 women and realised that there was a profound lack of understanding about menstruation and women's health, and above all a huge desire for knowledge: women know little about menstruation and sometimes get false information, which can be detrimental to their health. It is therefore essential to speak freely about this subject and to inform women without taboos! They therefore decided to create an online exchange and information space to help women better understand their bodies. It started with the FEMPO blog, where we receive a lot of questions on subjects related to women's health, which we answer by writing articles.

In addition to the blog, we decided to create the FEMPO podcast during the lockdown, together with my colleague Nina. The podcast is dedicated to women's health, with short informative episodes and longer episodes including interviews with health professionals or associations. Nina and I are both passionate about women's health and want to do everything we can to help women regain control of their bodies and their biology. We have produced around fifteen episodes, eight of which were with health professionals, and we benefit from around 2,000 listeners per episode. It was a really exciting experience!

YOU CHOSE TO ADDRESS THE TABOO OF MENSTRUATION AND MENSTRUAL PRECARIOUSNESS IN YOUR GRAND ECRIT. WHY THIS SUBJECT?

In popular beliefs and myths, menstruation has often been associated with impurity and claimed to be harmful. This has given rise to a deep taboo that isolates women and excludes them from certain economic and social activities. Even today, menstruation is often associated with disgust and shame; it can be a difficult stage in the development of young girls. Several issues related to menstruation have recently surfaced in the public debate, but the subject has never been addressed in its entirety. However, menstruation contains a variety of issues and needs to be addressed in a comprehensive manner. For my Grand écrit, I therefore analysed the extent to which education and awareness raising on women's health can break the taboo of menstruation while combating menstrual precariousness. I addressed the taboo of menstruation, its consequences and the information and health monitoring measures that could be put in place to remedy it.

I also looked at menstrual precariousness, a considerable public health problem, which is partly due to the taboo of menstruation. It is the difficulty or lack of access to hygienic protection, due to poverty, lack of information, or rarity. According to the association Règles élémentaires, 1.7 million women are concerned in France, with three main categories of victims: women in extremely precarious situations, women in places of deprivation of liberty, and poor female students. This issue must be dealt with on a national scale: policy makers are beginning to take hold of the subject, with several parliamentary reports, and experiments that are going to be set up, including free protection in certain key places - prisons, schools, social care institutions, etc. - but also distributors allowing women to acquire protection through a bank card or a prepaid card, and support for associations helping precarious and homeless women.

WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?

I'm following up my end-of-study internship with a one-year contract at FEMPO! I am in charge of marketing and partnerships. I'm staying in the same team, on the same missions as during my internship. And I am now in charge of the editorial section of FEMPO. I am optimising the blog and writing new articles to provide the best possible information on women's health. The aim is to enable women to renew a more positive link with their bodies, their biology, their cycle, to help them assert themselves! I will also be able to participate again in conferences with health professionals, and festivals organised by associations, to present FEMPO and the benefits of menstrual underwear.

At the start of the new school year, I will also become a volunteer for Règles élémentaires, the first French association for the fight against menstrual precariousness. I want to make a personal commitment to help women who can't afford it to get enough sanitary protection to live decently during their period. The right to menstrual health is a human right that should be guaranteed for all! So I intend to give my time and energy, outside FEMPO, to improve the situation.

Article initially published on the website of the Research and educational programme on gender studies (Presage)

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"Equal opportunities must also be territorial"

Salomé, graduate from the Master in public affairs
  • Salomé Berlioux © Thomas ArrivéSalomé Berlioux © Thomas Arrivé

A native of the Allier region (centre of France), Salomé Berlioux fought a long battle against self-censorship before graduating from the School of Public Affairs at Sciences Po. In 2016, she began the fight on a large scale by founding the Chemins d'Avenirs association, which today helps 1,000 young people from rural areas and small towns to overcome the obstacles hindering their ambitions. Interview with a determined alumna.

You come from a rural area, far away from the elitist sectors and the codes that go with them? What was your educational background? 

Salomé Berlioux: I grew up in the Allier region and took my baccalaureate in Nevers, in the Nièvre region. At the time, my philosophy teacher advised me to only aim for preparatory classes in Clermont-Ferrand or Dijon. I was very attached to Allier, but I also wanted to discover other horizons. I applied to Paris. I was lucky enough to join a literary preparatory class at the Fénelon high school. I studied literature for five years, including the master's degree De la Renaissance aux Lumières ("From the Renaissance to the Enlightenment") offered by Ecole Normale Supérieure and Sorbonne University. It was later, thanks to Sciences Po, that I understood that I could open myself up to many other paths.

How did you discover Sciences Po? 

Salomé Berlioux: I heard about it a few weeks before the baccalaureate, far too late to prepare myself, even though I was immediately attracted to the school. A few years later, eligible for the master's degree, I missed the oral admission exam. It must be said that I had absolutely no mastery of the codes that allowed me to shine there. I took my chance and finally entered the School of Public Affairs. Sciences Po is a school to which I owe a lot: I finally felt that the doors were opening to a future that was less determined by my geographical origins. I lived with my grandparents and, as a scholarship student, I paid no tuition fees: nothing would have been possible without it. 

When and how did you become interested in young people in rural areas and the obstacles they face? 

Salomé Berlioux: During my studies, I taught high school students who also wanted to join Sciences Po. Year after year, it became clear to me that young people from rural areas worked just as hard as others, but failed more often than their urban peers. This was the case at Sciences Po, but also, more broadly, in other selective fields of study. My individual case had a collective resonance. It must be said that 23% of under 20 year olds grow up in rural areas, and 42% in small towns, for example, Moulins, Verdun, Charleville-Mézières... The majority of these young people are full of potential, but face many obstacles and for a long time were left out of public policies. 

In 2016, you founded the association "Chemins d'Avenirs" to help young people in rural areas break down these obstacles. The association now has 12 employees and supports a thousand young people throughout France. What is the originality of your action? 

Salomé Berlioux: Since the public authorities did not offer any specific schemes for young people living far from large cities, it was up to civil society to take action! We were the first organisation to support young people in rural areas, regardless of their school results and whatever their ambitions: whether they wanted to become a diplomat, a craftsman, an engineer or a farmer. The imperative is not to send them all to Grandes Ecoles, but to allow them to be free to realise their potential. Today, this is far from being the case. These young people are often constrained to stay home for economic or psychological reasons, with fewer cultural, academic or professional opportunities close to home and fewer "role models" to identify with. Their range of possibilities is reduced, from the outset, whereas their geographical origins could represent a real asset. Our mission is to accompany them to achieve their career goals, but also, on a larger scale, to forge links between territories, generations and professions, for the benefit of national cohesion.

Testimonials of participants in Chemins d'Avenirs (in French):

Who do you work with and how? 

Salomé Berlioux: We cater to all profiles, from junior high school through high school. The only criterion for joining the association is to be motivated. In fact, the majority of the young people who apply to join us are students with an average age of between 8 and 13, whom nobody seems to bet on... and yet they can go very far, in addition to students who have dropped out of school or, on the contrary, who are excellent students. The association meticulously tackles the chain of obstacles that limits their aspirations, by fighting against the lack of information and self-censorship bias, but also by proposing concrete solutions in the field. Together with the Ministry of National Education and our private partners, we have thus built a method of self-knowledge for our mentees. Sponsorship is another pillar of our action, based on the mentoring model which has proved its worth in other areas. We also offer themed training courses for young people and additional opportunities for our beneficiaries (internships, scholarships, empowerment workshops, meetings with professionals). Our aim is not to reinvent everything, but to build an ecosystem of success. We rely above all on common sense and pragmatism, measuring our impact every year using qualitative and quantitative indicators of success.

Do you have examples of simple actions that open up possibilities?

Salomé Berlioux: Let's take the example of the admission oral exams. In this area, information is the lifeblood. All you have to do is explain to young people in rural areas how these oral exams work, and what they are expected to do. It's obvious, these pupils are no less intelligent than the others! But if they are not given the keys, they remain passive during these interviews. We help candidates from isolated territories to become proactive during their oral examinations. We help them to get internships and to have associative commitments that will say a lot about their personality. But in my opinion, we need to go further, by making the territorial criterion part of the social opening approach of the Grandes Ecoles and selective courses. Similarly, companies would benefit from changing their definition of diversity by integrating the territorial dimension. 

Where is the association today and what are your objectives for the future? 

Salomé Berlioux: Today the association supports 1,000 young people, with 1,000 mentors throughout the territory and local and national partnerships. We are now going to intensify the work in our 8 partner academies before continuing our growth and also increase our economic independence. At the same time, we are stepping up our advocacy work. By 2023, Chemins d'Avenirs will have individually accompanied 3,000 young people. Internally, the question is that of our systemic impact and the levers of transformation that we can use. But it is also up to policy makers to take up the issue, in order to reach the young people concerned on a massive scale. We need to move up a gear. I am hopeful.

Do you have any suggestions for more effective public policies in this area? 

Salomé Berlioux: With the associations of the Collectif Mentorat, we have been working for almost a year to ensure that our combined experiences lead to a national mentoring programme, supported by the state. Mentoring is a real lever for social advancement and self-actualization, in which we firmly believe and which produces quantifiable results. The challenge today is that every young person who needs it should be accompanied by a professional from the public or private sector and should be able to move forward with confidence in building his or her career path. This would be a fantastic signal to work against the territorial and social fractures of the post-health crisis and a sign of hope for national cohesion.

Article originally published by Sciences Po's editorial team.

More information 

  • About Salomé Berlioux: With a Master's degree in Public affairs from Sciences Po, Salomé Berlioux has worked in a strategic communications consultancy and in ministerial cabinets, notably at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She is the founder and managing director of the association Chemins d'Avenirs. She is co-author of Les Invisibles de la République (with Erkki Maillard, éditions Robert Laffont, January 2019). She was commissioned by the Minister of National Education and Youth on the theme of "Guidance and equal opportunities in France's rural areas and small towns'' and submitted her report last March. Her new essay « Nos campagnes suspendues – La France périphérique face à la crise » was been published in October 2020 by L'Observatoire.
  • On the association Chemins d'Avenirs
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Online Career Fair

From 14 to 16 October 2020
  • Online Career FairOnline Career Fair

Every year, the Sciences Po Career Fair gathers recruiters, students and graduates, in a unique opportunity to meet and explore job and internship opportunities.

Because of the unprecedented sanitary context, the 2020 edition will be held on-line via the Seekube platform from 14 to 16 October.

The Career fair is a unique opportunity for students to:

  • Get information on a wide range of 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
  • Network
  • Practice job interviews.

Important : As the Fair will be held online, recruiters and students or graduates located outside of France will have the unique opportunity to take part in it.

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Good Economics for Harder Times

Follow up on Esther Duflo's inaugural lecture
  • Actualité Sciences Po © Bryce VickmarkActualité Sciences Po © Bryce Vickmark
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Meet Zina Akrout, laureate of the 2020 Max Lazard award

  • Actualité Sciences Po © Zina AkroutActualité Sciences Po © Zina Akrout

Zina Akrout is a graduate student in the Master’s of Public Policy at the School of Public Affairs and has been awarded the Max Lazard Prize to carry out her project “Berbers of Tunisia”. Interview on her journey so far, distinctive for her unbounded curiosity and in its strong international dimension.

You completed your undergraduate studies in the dual degree between Sciences Po and UCL. Can you tell us why you chose this programme and what was your experience?

Zina Akrout: I chose the dual degree between Sciences Po and UCL firstly for the curriculum, which requires students to major in a humanities discipline and a European language (French, German, Spanish or Italian depending on the student's background, abilities and choice), which are studied intensively throughout the four years of the degree at both universities. I was highly looking forward to this dual experience and learning from different perspectives. I was also able to tailor the degree based on my personal choices and interests. I chose to spend the first two years on Sciences Po’s Menton campus to be able to study MENA-related courses in addition to Italian (*as of 2020, Italian is no longer offered in Menton) with a specialisation in International Law... I also very much enjoyed going from Sciences Po’s multidisciplinary way of teaching to the more Anglo-Saxon approach at UCL. There, I took Public Policy courses and was able to take specific classes in disciplines such as Urban Politics and Political Geography and also language courses at the same level as Modern Languages students. Overall, the programme was a wonderful experience not only academically speaking but also on a personal level as both settings led me to meet people I can call friends for life and offered great extracurricular opportunities and support.

You took an exchange semester at Bocconi University during your Master's in Public Policy at Sciences Po. Due to the sanitary crisis, your experience abroad was quite different than expected. Can you tell us how the exchange was carried out? How did the experience nonetheless complement your Master's studies overall?

ZA: I chose to spend the final semester of my Master's at the School of Public Affairs on an academic exchange at the Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi in Milan, Italy. It was indeed an odd time to be in academic exchange and especially in the north of Italy, a region that was tremendously impacted by the sanitary crisis and made quite the headlines. The university closed at the end of February, just two weeks after the start of classes, and switched to online learning immediately. They were very good at adapting to the situation and managed to use online resources and digital tools to ensure the teaching could continue remotely, provided people had space, internet connectivity, and the mindset to do so! The exchange allowed me to take more management and sustainability-related classes to complement my curriculum and to see how Bocconi's "business-school" way of teaching differs from that of Sciences Po’s School of Public Affairs. I highly recommend to Master’s students in the future to consider an academic exchange during their gap year or for their last semester, as it is an enriching experience and an option that is not well known!

You recently were awarded the Max Lazard prize for a project entitled "Berbers of Tunisia". Can you tell us about it?

ZA: This project is more of a personal one: as a Franco-Tunisian citizen, I am deeply interested in Berber heritage and identity. My goal is to carry out a field research trip to learn and explore Berber heritage and identity in Tunisia. The Berber community in Tunisia is very much in the minority and has expressed concerns over the lack of official recognition of its identity and culture. I would, therefore, like to conduct a sociological survey on the Berber identity and the feelings of Tunisian citizens of Berber descent to analyse how they apprehend their culture, their integration and their potential revendications. This research would be combined with a field study to map the different existing initiatives for the protection and promotion of Berber culture in Tunisia (mainly in South East Tunisia). This topic is dear to my heart, and I am very grateful to have been awarded the Max Lazard Prize to help me realise this project.

What form will the project take? When do you plan to carry it out?

ZA: The perception and study of the Berber identity in Tunisia are very different from that of other countries in the region and hardly addressed nowadays. I hope to be able to gather enough information and knowledge for this research that could be reusable for those concerned by the matter or interested in the subject. It is mostly a personal and not a professional project, but I intend to go as far as possible in the research and reflection and hopefully bring a modest contribution to giving a voice to people who remain little heard by their government and other groups. Any cultural heritage deserves to be analysed and somehow studied. 

The project will most likely culminate into an article and a video report - depending on if the people interrogated agree to be filmed. If individuals prefer to not speak on camera, I may decide to turn this project into a photo exhibition (virtual or physical) with descriptions. 

I hope to carry out this project this summer, government measures vis à vis the sanitary crisis in France and Tunisia permitting. It also depends on the availability of individuals I hope to interview. If it is not possible this summer, I plan to carry out the field research trip next winter!

What are your plans for the future after your graduation?

ZA: At the moment I am still completing my MPP in Digital, New Technology & Public Policy at Sciences Po, and am studying Food Geography at the Sorbonne. After finishing my Master's thesis for that curriculum, I hope to start a career in food policy, and more specifically in the food-tech sector.

Interview by the Sciences Po Editorial Team.

More about the Max Lazard Award

“This grant has been active at Sciences Po since 1956 and has adapted to contextual changes and university reforms by knowing how to cultivate its fund: the thirst for intelligence and the passion for discovery…” - Gérard Wormser

We owe this philanthropic fund to Max Lazard (18765-1953). Max Lazard left his job at his family’s bank to become a volunteer social worker and write a thesis on unemployment. He assisted Albert Thomas during the first world war and later became an activist for civic and political education in Europe. It is with this open mind and the desire to confront oneself with the world, combined with sincere intellectual and personal curiosity that the jury selects laureates for this prize, awarded annually since 1956.

The laureates of this prize receive financial support up to 3,000 euros depending on the cost of their project and are offered the possibility to publish an article or dossier in the “Sens Public” journal - subject to acceptance by its scientific committee.

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Discover the School of Public Affairs' Public Policy Incubator

  • Discover the School of Public Affairs' Public Policy IncubatorDiscover the School of Public Affairs' Public Policy Incubator

Offered to all students of the School of Public Affairs during their second semester, the Public Policy Incubator is one of the flagship educational programmes of the Policy Lab.

This course is designed to ensure that students have the ability to co-create concrete solutions to improve citizen’s lives, public administration and private companies. The aim is to provide stakeholders with innovative, user-friendly and practical recommendations. On this occasion, innovative methodologies and high technologies are explored to foster open democracy and collective intelligence. Students gain professional experience by working on a real-world problem, following a single methodology to help them develop prototypes with experiential learning, evidence-based, data-driven and ethical approaches.

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Sciences Po has been a long and impactful journey

EAP student tells us about her master's thesis
  • Estela is a student in the Master in Public Policy © Sciences PoEstela is a student in the Master in Public Policy © Sciences Po

Estela is a Master’s student in Public Policy at the School of Public Affairs. During her last semester, she chose to write a Master’s Thesis on how gender affects the behaviour of Federal deputies in Brazil when initiating bills and spending the public budget for the parliamentary activities. She tells us about this thesis she recently defended.

YOU ARE GRADUATING THIS YEAR FROM THE SCIENCES PO SCHOOL OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS. CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE?

I arrived at Sciences Po in 2017 and during the past three years, I cannot tell how many times colleagues and teachers — sometimes younger than me — have asked me why I was still a student at the age of 29. Sometimes I would ask myself the same: would it not have been easier to continue working as a lawyer in Brazil, where I left "a promising career"? I suppose it would. But coming from a country where only 0.8% of a 210 million-population has a master’s degree, I must recognise how privileged I am to be able to complete a degree at this age.
Privileged, but also grateful, especially for having maturity to recognise that there is so much that I still need to learn, experience, practice, read, discuss… And the maturity to understand that I must apply such privileges to work towards a fairer world.

In this context, Sciences Po has been a long and impactful journey. During my Master’s, I could develop and gain academic and analytical tools to keep engaging in the endless efforts towards a better society. And at Sciences Po, through courses organised within the scope of PRESAGE - Sciences Po’s Gender Studies Programme, I had the opportunity to learn about gender studies, feminist scholars and I could understand gender issues through the academic perspective.

WHAT LED YOU TO WRITE A THESIS ON GENDER AND LEGISLATIVE BEHAVIOUR IN BRAZIL?

The world is now facing a pandemic and an unprecedented crisis that this is putting under stress and scrutiny every act and decision made by world leaders. Not all countries are acting and handling the crisis equally. News outlets all over the world have been announcing that, compared to the average, some countries are doing a disproportionately better job. Countries such as Germany, New Zealand and Finland are leading the way, and they have one thing in common: women leaders. But can we really believe that the better acts and results are due to the gender of these leaders? These reflections pose the general question of whether gender has an impact on how world leaders and policymakers behave and conduct their decision-making processes.

Being born in a country in which men historically represent more than 85% of the total seats of elected Parliament, my thesis project originated from my attempt to imagine what differences one could expect if, instead of 15%, women composed 100% of the seats. I searched for answers to questions about whether the gender balance in the legislature could result in more initiation of bills and policies towards women’s rights, and in a fairer use of public budget and expenditure. Ultimately, I wanted to empirically test the opinions, literature, and analysis on the relationship between gender and political behaviour.

WHAT DID YOU FIND IN YOUR RESEARCH?

After analysing large datasets on the bills initiated during five Legislatures in Brazil, and on the use of the quota for the exercise of the parliamentary activity (Cota para o Exercício da Atividade Parlamentar), I found results that reveal that gender does affect certain behaviours of the Federal deputies.
Regarding the themes of initiated bills, females prioritise social sciences and humanities, human rights and minorities, legislative procedures, health and education more than male deputies. By contrast, men prioritise bills in law and justice, international relations and trade, land protection, and agriculture, livestock, fishing and extraction more than female deputies.

Women also proportionally initiate and prioritise more bills on gender interests than men. When comparing the different bills on gender interests, females give highest priority on "domestic violence". Regarding the spending behaviours, the research revealed that women prioritise the spending in "courses, conferences and events" and "disclosure and advertisement of parliamentary activity" more than men. By contrast, men prioritise the spending in "boat rent" and "aircraft rent" more than women do. I conclude that these differences might be attributed to gender-role socialisation and sex-based selection during electoral process.

WHAT DO YOU PLAN TO DO NEXT?

On one hand, my research presented interesting findings on gendered behaviour and might contribute to closing certain research gaps in Brazil. On the other hand, the results raise several new questions and research reflections that I intend to continue addressing. For example, I intend to address what the outcomes of the factors that I have identified — different priorities in out-of-pocket expenses and in bills initiation — are. Simply put, I would like to assess whether these different behaviours are translated into more ability for women to undertake substantive representation. For example, I could assess whether the different behaviours lead to more policies towards women’s rights, or to more efficiency in the public budget allocation for policies. I could also study the relationship between women’s representation and women-friendly policy, in order to examine whether policies themselves influence women’s levels of representation. In this sense, a look at the electoral process and the sex-based selection could be particularly interesting in order to complement my research’s findings.
So, I hope I’ll keep answering why I am still a student at the age of 30+!

Interview initially published on the PRESAGE Programme website.

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Open House day, Graduate Schools: 28 november 2020

  • Open House Day Graduate Schools 2020Open House Day Graduate Schools 2020

Have you ever thought about studying in France? Let’s meet and talk about your future Master’s Degree, all taught in English and/or French. You’ll meet our international students, who had just like you thought about Sciences Po a few years ago and are now studying in France’s leading university in the social sciences.

Discover what makes Sciences Po the best choice for your future by attending our Virtual Open House Day event on 28 November 2020.

This Open House Day event will be only digital to allow as many people as possible to participate despite possible health restrictions. No visitors will be welcomed on site.

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Benoît Morgat, graduate of 2019

From the Master in Public Policy to Unibail-Rodamco
  • Actualité Sciences PoActualité Sciences Po

Benoît Mortgat, a 2019 graduate of the Master in Public Policy, tells us about his career path.

Can you describe your academic and professional background?

After a French high school diploma and a three-year scientific prep course, I joined École Centrale Paris in 2013. After one and a half semesters on the Châtenay-Malabry campus, I did an exchange semester at the ESCP business school in Berlin. Then, a gap year led me to do an internship in Finance at Société Générale (Paris and then Hong Kong) as an assistant trader, followed by another 4-month internship in a start-up business in the field of tourism. My last year at École Centrale Paris was an opportunity to specialise in IT. I then joined Sciences Po in September 2017, as part of the first class of the Sécurité et défense policy stream of the Master in Public Policy. My second year as an apprentice enabled me to join the security department of a CAC40 company, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, where I am currently on a permanent contract!

What were the main stages in the construction of your professional project?

When I arrived at engineering school, like many students, I had little idea of what I wanted to do as a job, or even in what field I wanted to specialise. I was then lucky enough, during my studies at Centrale, to be able to "try out" a wide variety of fields: an exchange semester in business school, an internship in finance, an internship in a start-up business, and finally to specialise in IT in my final year of engineering school! Progressively during my Centrale curriculum, my interest in security and defense issues grew and matured. In June 2017, I took part in the "grandes écoles" cycle of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de Défense Nationale) which confirmed my appetence for this field. I then joined Sciences Po in the Sécurité et défense policy stream where I learned a lot about this field in a broad way.

Today, I have the ambition of a great career in this field, combining my technical skills as a Centralien engineer and my career at Sciences Po!

How did the recruitment process at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield go?

When I joined Sciences Po, I had in mind to complete my second year of my master in apprenticeship (alternating 3 days in the company and 2 days at Sciences Po). So I went to a Student-Business Forum in November 2017 with the idea of starting to find out about companies and public organizations that were recruiting on a work-study program. At the time, I was more attracted to the large defense industries, but meeting a friend on the Unibail-Rodamco stand (the takeover of Westfield only took place in June 2018) allowed me to get to know this company better and to learn that a secure work-study position was being created! HR then gave me the contact details of the Safety Director for France, with whom I had an interview. Then a few more exchanges with Human Resources enabled me to access to this safety work-study position.

So the recruitment process was quite unusual, but it shows that you should not put barriers in the way when looking for a job and widen the fields of research as much as possible, because our place is not always where you think it should be!

What are the main characteristics of your job today?

After my apprenticeship, I was recruited on a permanent contract at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield where I currently hold the position of European Security Analyst. I am fortunate to be able to actively participate in the development of a security department in a CAC40 company. Indeed, the awareness of the need to focus on security issues in shopping centres is quite recent and many processes remain to be defined and implemented. My role is to support the teams in European shopping centres (around fifty centres) in order to better manage their security issues. The subjects I deal with on a daily basis are very varied: preparation and follow-up of an audit on the security of the centres, management of security data to enable management and decision-making, crisis alert systems, communication, sharing feedback on incidents, drafting of policy documents, and more!

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield is a large company in terms of market capitalization but is relatively small in terms of number of employees (only 3700 employees worldwide!). It makes it possible to be very agile and quick in making decisions, to be able to take initiatives and to be quickly in contact with the top management, which is really appreciated on a daily basis!

What advice would you give to a Master’s student or recent graduate looking for a first professional experience?

My first piece of advice would be to talk to young (or not so young) professionals from a variety of fields and professions! Whether you know perfectly well what profession you would like to work in or are completely lost, you should not hesitate to meet people from your personal or educational network (the Sciences Po’s alumni network is very handy for that!) and ask them specific questions about their daily lives. Next, it seems essential to me to apply for several job offers and to identify for each of them all the characteristics that are linked to them! Indeed, a job is not just a job but also an organization, values, a place, colleagues, schedules, a salary, etc... You have to learn to always weigh all this on the scale!

Sciences Po students are very valuable on the job market because they have strong analytical skills and can quickly understand the multiple issues at stake in a given situation. That is very precious for a company in a world that changes quickly and always needs to adapt!

Don't put barriers in your way!

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Portrait of Nathan Cazeneuve

Student of the Master in Public Policy, Administration publique policy stream
  • Actualité Sciences PoActualité Sciences Po

Nathan Cazeneuve, student of the Master in Public Policy, Administration publique policy stream at the School of Public Affairs (EAP), tells us about his journey before and during his studies at Sciences Po.

Why did you decide to join the Administration Publique policy stream of the Master in Public Policy?

I was lucky enough to be able to follow three years of literary preparatory classes and to study philosophy at École Normale Supérieure before joining EAP at Sciences Po. My choice to apply there was motivated by a keen interest in public policy issues and the desire to approach them from a technical perspective, which I thought would be a useful and a necessary complement to the approach I had had through history and philosophy.   

What is your professional project? How does EAP help you achieve it?

At the end of the Master in Public Policy, I intend to prepare a thesis in political philosophy on the links between the social state and the theories of justice. The Master in Public Policy at Sciences Po has clearly contributed to clarifying my desire to engage in research and has enabled me to acquire knowledge in law and economics that has greatly enriched my approach to public policy issues and that I am sure will serve me well in the future.

What was your most memorable course in M1/M2?

The course that most marked me during my Master's studies was « Questions sociales » ("Social Issues") which detailed, by mixing elements of labour law, economics and administrative science, the organisation of all the social policies implemented in France, from employment policies to social security. The precise, technical and operational approach to these questions in this course enables us to take the measure of both the stakes and the concrete evolutions that social policies are facing today.

This course constitutes, together with those in Public Law, Economics and Public Finance, the foundation of the teaching of the Master in Public Policy and, in my opinion, its most enriching part, both from an intellectual and professional point of view. 

Why did you choose to take a gap year? 

I chose to take a gap year in order to prepare for the agrégation in Philosophy, having had the opportunity to do a particularly enriching internship in the Political Chancellery of the French Embassy in China.

Any advice for those who would like to join EAP?

If I were to give a piece of advice to those who would like to join the School of Public Affairs, it would be to concentrate during their studies on the fundamentals of law and economics and to take advantage of the freedom and diversity of courses offered by Sciences Po to deepen their knowledge of these subjects, but also to try to put them into perspective - both with other disciplines and with their professional experiences or the state of public debate - by never ceasing to question themselves and to open up their horizons.

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Laurent Rieder de Saint-Joseph, Flagship Store Manager at Bulgari

Master in Public Policy, in apprenticeship, promotion 2014
  • Actualité Sciences PoActualité Sciences Po

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 an 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!

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Testimony from a MPA graduate

Laura Macias, MPA class of 2019
  • Laura Macias, MPA graduateLaura Macias, MPA graduate

Can you describe your academic and professional background before the Master of Public Affairs (MPA)? 

I studied Communications at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, Colombia, and I am a fellow in Public Leadership from Universidad de los Andes. Before the MPA, I worked for 4 years for the UNICEF Colombian office in fundraising and private sector partnerships, where I implemented different types of projects and campaigns along with companies to advocate and guarantee children’s rights. Before, I worked in communications and project management at a B corporation and an international NGO which focused on poverty alleviation. In 2016, I had the opportunity to live in Kenya and work for a community-based organization in women’s empowerment.

You graduated in June 2019. What is your current professional situation? What are its main features?    

One month before graduation, I started working as a public policy consultant at the OECD Observatory of Public Sector Innovation, where I mostly researched innovation trends, the link between diversity and innovation, and gender biases in artificial intelligence. I also coordinated relations with Latin American governments. Today, I work for BSR - Business for Social Responsibility - a global consulting firm in Paris dedicated to sustainability. I am part of the women’s empowerment team, where I focus on a project that seeks to improve the conditions of working women in global supply chains.

What were the contributions of your training to the function that you hold today?   

Given the fact that the MPA offered by the School of Public Affairs has a global and flexible curriculum, I was able to focus my research on gender-related topics in the different subjects offered, such as macro/microeconomics, politics, and public policy. My graduation project was centered on identifying gender biases in tax systems worldwide, working very closely with the Tax and Administration Directorate from the OECD. Both the academic and practical experience I have aquired during the MPA have helped me specialize in gender policies and, coupled with my existing professional experience in project management and knowledge of the private sector, they make a perfect mix and fit for the role I hold today at BSR.

Why would you recommend the MPA to other young professionals?   

If I had to choose one reason, it would be without hesitation the people you study with. The program was enriching in every class and every project because the students in the MPA are experienced professionals with different cultural, professional and academic backgrounds. I felt out of my comfort zone every minute, but challenged to think beyond my own beliefs and values. I truly believe that interacting with people who are experienced and passionate about today's most challenging social and political topics is the best training and curriculum a master program in public affairs can offer, and I definitely found that at Sciences Po.  

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Marie Gervier, Communication and Event Manager for the United Nations

Master in Public Policy, policy stream Cultural Policy and Management, promotion 2018
  • Marie GervierMarie Gervier

Marie Gervier graduated from the Master in Public Policy at the School of Public Affairs, Cultural Policy and Management policy stream. She is currently working as as a Communication and Event Manager for the United Nations Office in Geneva. Testimony.

Can you describe your academic and professional background?

I come from a small village in Normandy. My high school was not in the top ones and I joined Sciences Po through the “Conventions Éducation Prioritaire” (CEP). Before I got into Sciences Po, I did not even think that it could be for me, but my French teacher told me about the CEP, a different kind of exam, based on press reviews, for students from high schools like mine. 

I passed the exam and joined the Sciences Po Poitiers campus, where the core curriculum is the same as in Paris, with a regional specialization on Latin America, Spain and Portugal. I chose this campus because it offered classes in Spanish and Portuguese. As I already spoke French and English, it was a good opportunity to speak four languages by the end of my bachelor’s degree. 

After two years in Poitiers, it was time for the third year abroad, which is mandatory at Sciences Po. At the time we could either go on exchange, work on a personal project or do an internship. Since one of the reasons I chose to go to Sciences Po was the opportunity to work abroad for one year, when it was time to decide I naturally chose the internship. 

At the time I already knew that I wanted to work in communications and event management in the cultural, political or diplomatic sectors. I found a very interesting position as personal assistant to Faouzi Skali, communication counselor of the King of Morocco. I was in charge of his agenda, his communications and Public Relations, and also organized many events for his agency.

I would say that the most educational event I organized for him was a Franco-Moroccan symposium on the “construction of radicalism”. It was a very small project at the beginning, but when we obtained the support of the French President and the patronage of the King it shifted to a totally different level. Two speakers on Daesh’s blacklist confirmed their participation and I had to work closely with the secret services of France and Morocco. I was only 20 years old and I will remember it forever. It was an amazing opportunity to contribute to the political, cultural and diplomatic aspects of an event and it confirmed that it was what I wanted to do. My experience in Morocco was very enriching and launched my career as I was entrusted with high-level missions and started to build my network. 

It was in Morocco that I met my current boss, Francesco Pisano, UN Director in charge of the Cultural Diplomacy in Geneva. He was a speaker during one of our events. He came to me and we started to chat. It is only after a few minutes that I realized that his questions sounded like an interview. At the end he told me that UN Geneva organizes dozens of cultural diplomacy events per year in partnership with Member States (concerts, exhibitions etc.). I joined his team as an intern and got promoted to consultant when I was only 23 years old. Sometimes, while rushing through the Palais des Nations to welcome an artist, to set up panels or to meet a diplomat I smile foolishly and I ask myself: is that real?

What were the main stages of building your career plan?   

I had one goal – working in communications and event management in the cultural, political and diplomatic sectors, but I never had a career plan to achieve it. I genuinely believe that we need to be aware of the different opportunities that come our way and that there is no unique plan to achieve a goal. At least this is what has worked for me so far. I never told myself that I had to work for a King’s counselor, the French Parliament or the UN to be successful, and I believe that this is precisely what has brought me to where I am today. I did not plan it, I seized the opportunities. 

What advice would you give to a student who would engage, as you did, in the UN?  

First of all, you have to be aware that having a strong academic background is good but not enough. Working for the UN is highly competitive. There are a lot of candidates for internships and only a few of them stay and get a job afterwards. So my first advice would be: be humble and share with us what makes you interesting apart from your diplomas. It does not have to be professional experiences, even if that helps. For an internship in event support, I would be interested by someone sharing with me how he/she contributed to the organization of a wedding, a surprise party or any kind of event. If you volunteered, if you lived far away from home, share with us what you learnt from it. It is also something we value in an international organization like the UN. 

Secondly, if you want to work for the UN, you need to ask yourself: to do what? I meet a lot of students who tell me that working for the UN is their dream, but when I ask them what they would like to do they tell me “anything”. It is definitely the wrong answer. The UN is so diverse, we have nurses, librarians, experts in chemical weapons and so many other profiles. Find your field of expertise and state a specific interest. This is what will make you competitive. 

My last advice applies to any student having a first work experience: be proactive. Many supervisors are busy and don’t always take enough time to think about personalized tasks that could be given to their interns. Show them that you can do the general things they assign you and once it’s done volunteer to do something else. It is a good opportunity to show your skills, your motivation and your ideas. If you seat in the back, there are few chances that they will keep you afterwards. 

What are the main features of your job today?    

My job is to organize cultural diplomacy events for the Permanent Missions based in Geneva. These events can be exhibitions, film screenings, concerts or even fashion shows. It is very diverse. All our events occur at UN Geneva in partnership with the Member States. It involves maintaining personalized relationships with Ambassadors, diplomats and UN staff members and working on all aspects of cultural diplomacy events: from politics, diplomacy and protocol to marketing and communications, through administrative, financial and technical tasks. 

What were the contributions of your training to the function that you hold today?

Sciences Po is an international school. You have students from everywhere in the world. Being immersed in such a multicultural environment during my studies was very enriching and helpful for my job at the UN. Sciences Po also provides skills to analyze and understand humanity’s contemporary challenges and find innovative solutions in the pursuit of the common good, just like UN staff members do. 

The classes of the policy stream on “Cultural Policy & Management” of the Master in Public Policy are very helpful for people who would like to work in the cultural sector. The School of Public Affairs gave me the opportunity to study creative industries, property law, cultural and art economics but also fundraising and marketing in the cultural sector. These courses were also very enriching because the School of Public Affairs’ teachers are experts in their field. Jean-Paul Cluzel, former Director of the Opéra de Paris, Aurélie Filippetti, former French Minister of Culture, and so many other professionals of the cultural milieu teach at Sciences Po. Being surrounded by such talented professionals had been very inspiring to build my own career.

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Katharina Poirier, Associate at PwC

Master in European Affairs, policy stream Energy, promotion 2019
  • Katharina Poirier © Olivier KervernKatharina Poirier © Olivier Kervern

What paths do our graduates take after the School of Public Affairs? Discover Katharina Poirier's testimony. She was a student of the Master of European affairs, Energy policy stream. 

Can you describe your academic and professional background?    

I first studied my Bachelor in Communication and Management in Hanover, Germany and then my Master in European Affairs at the School of Public Affairs of SciencesPo in Paris, which I completed in 2019.  During my studies I specialized in energy, resources and sustainability and had the opportunity to do internships at the UN in Canada and the IEA (OECD) in Paris.

Since 2019 I have been working for PwC in the Energy & Utilities department. I started in Düsseldorf, Germany, and was part of the team of energy audits of renewable energy subsidies. I am currently working as a consultant in the French Portfolio & Programme Management team, working with my colleagues on a successful European energy transition.

What were the main stages of building your career plan?   

First, a coherent story. All my experiences, positive and negative, have helped me to orientate myself professionally and help me to make decisions. I have always been passionate about the environment, energy and the European Community. For example, during my bachelor's degree, I started with an internship in the field of biodiversity and then found that the topic of energy transition is a very good link, which I have continued to pursue.

Secondly, many opportunities. In Germany, I did not start with a job, which I had previously imagined. Nevertheless, the professional experience was very enriching and allowed me to move internally to the French team of PwC and now to do exactly what I had wanted to do. It is important to keep your eyes open and to consider different possibilities with regard to your career. 

What advice would you give to a student who would engage, as you did, in a consulting?    

Especially at the beginning of a career, consulting is a very good opportunity to gain insight into a wide variety of companies and to build a professional network. I recommend everyone to make full use of this network, to organize many business lunches and to learn from the knowledge of others. Every day is exciting, and companies like PwC offer numerous initiatives, working groups and internal business development where you can pursue your passions and specialise your career plan. 

What are the main features of your job today?    

Varied, instructive and often unpredictable. Therefore it is important in this job to be curious and flexible. 

What were the contributions of your training to the function that you hold today?    

During my studies at SciencesPo I learned to approach questions and problems in a structured and methodical way. This helps me in my everyday life and is highly appreciated. In addition, the study contents were a very good comprehensive basis for starting in the field of Energy & Utilities. You learn further specialist knowledge during the projects and thanks to your team.  Furthermore, teamwork is not only important during the group work at Sciences Po, but also during the job in companies like PwC. So my involvement in the Association of the School of Public Affairs, for example, was a great preparation for the job and for working with other colleagues. I can highly recommend this experience. 

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Alice Etienne, Environmental Project Manager at ADP Group

Master in Public Policy, policy stream Energy, promotion 2015
  • Alice Etienne © JP Gaborit (ADP)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. 

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International Organisations Career Fair

Great success for the first edition
  • International Organisations Career Fair © Alexandros MichailidisInternational 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

 

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EAP student wins Erignac Award

Naelle Verniest won over the jury with her project
  • Actualité Sciences PoActualité 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. 

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EAP students' work published in the famous scientific journal The Lancet

  • Actualité Sciences Po © Natali_ MisActualité 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 SudanAuthors: Kristina Sokourenko, Michel Wakim, Michelle Bassil

Alzheimer’s Disease and neurodegenerative diseases in FranceAuthors: Kenza Bakhta, Eléonore Cecillon, Emma Lacombe, Marie Lamy, Aziliz Leboucher, Jeanne Philippe

HIV in South AfricaAuthors: Suzuka Satoh, Elisa Boyer

Ending diabetes in Mexico. Authors: Mathieu Levaillant, Gaëlle Lièvre, Gabriella Baert

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Portrait of a student enrolled in the Master in Public Policy

  • Actualité Sciences PoActualité 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).

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European Forum of Internships in Brussels

February 28, 2020
  • Actualité Sciences Po © ArtjazzActualité 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

Information and compulsory registration

Master in European Affairs

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Top Schools launch European & Transnational Governance Network

  • Actualité Sciences Po © ETGNActualité 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.

Learn more about the ETGN certification and 2020 training courses!   

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Thinking of applying to the School of Public Affairs?

Watch the replay
  • All you need to know about the School of Public AffairsAll 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.

Watch the replay.

You were unable to attend our past Open House Day?

Watch the replay of the School of Public Affairs:

Find out more

More information about the 2019 Q&A sessions.

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International admissions are now open

  • Sciences Po, Paris Campus ©Martin ArgyrogloSciences Po, Paris Campus ©Martin Argyroglo

International admissions for the 2020 intake are now open!

Should you need further information on the admission criteria and procedure, please do not hesitate to visit our admissions website.

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Students from the School of Public Affairs present their work at the Social Outcomes Conference in Oxford

  • Estela Souto and André QuadraEstela 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.

Biography

  • 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).
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Charlotte Norlund Matthiessen, Parliamentary Assistant at the European Parliament in Brussel

Master in European Affairs, promotion 2012
  • Portrait of Charlotte ©Sciences PoPortrait 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

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