The apprenticeship option at the School of Public Affairs
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The possibility of doing an apprenticeship has been offered at the School of Public Affairs since 2016. Approximately fifty students were first attracted by this option when the program was launched; this year, more than 130 students (about 20% of M2 students) chose to complete the second year of their master’s program that way.
Who has access to the apprenticeship option at the School of Public Affairs?
The opportunity to complete the second year of the master's program with an apprenticeship is open to all the School of Public Affairs students under the age of 30 and with a sufficient proficiency in French (B2 level at least), whichever their master’s degree and policy stream is.
Why complete the second year of a master's degree with an apprenticeship?
The apprenticeship offers several advantages: on the one hand, it allows students to acquire solid professional experience and to apply without any delay their theoretical knowledge as well as the professional skills they developed during their studies, while benefiting from the support of a "maître d'apprentissage" (mentor within the host structure) and a "tuteur d'apprentissage" (who creates a link between Sciences Po and the host structure). On the other hand, it enables concrete financial benefit: tuition fees are paid by the host structure and the student receives a salary. Lastly, once they have graduated, trainees enter the job market very quickly.
The School of Public Affairs students are recruited as trainees in both private and public organizations. They are currently working at Canal +, Ariane Groupe, Microsoft, Chanel, the Fondation Hermès, Edf or Engie... but also at the French Senate, the Paris City Administration, the Ministry of Health and Solidarity, the Ministry of Culture or the Musée d'Orsay. The apprenticeship is therefore intended for both students who wish to join the private sector once they have graduated and for those who plan to prepare for the administrative competitive examinations; the experience acquired enables them to have a deep understanding of how the administration system works, its strengths as well as its constraints, which students can put to good use during the competitive examinations.
How is the M2 apprenticeship year structured?
The student spends 3 days in the workplace (Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday) followed by 2 days of classes at Sciences Po (Thursday-Friday), with a total of 35 hours per week, for a full year. The student does not benefit from university breaks, during which he/she is in his/her hosting structure, but the trainee status gives him/her 2.5 days of paid vacations per month (or even more, depending on the collective agreement) and 5 revision days per year.
What courses does the apprentice take every week?
Apprenticeship students benefit from a curriculum which is adapted to their particular program and schedule. In addition to the courses related to their policy stream, they have a reinforced offer of practical courses: they attend computer and management tools workshops during the fall semester; in the spring semester, they attend management workshops that allow them to take a step back from this long professional experience and to equip them for their future responsibilities. They are also required to write a thesis which they defend at the end of the academic year.
How do I find an apprenticeship contract?
The student is in charge of his/her apprenticeship search, but has many resources at his/her disposal. Offers are regularly posted on the School of Public Affairs’"Infos Carrières" newsletter, on the Sciences Po Careers website and on dedicated platforms. The job offer does not necessarily have to be related to the student's policy stream, as long as the missions are in line with his or her professional project.
Read the testimony of students who have chosen the apprenticeship option: