Clara Langlois-Gey, class of 2019
Clara Langlois-Gey, class of 2019
- Clara Langlois-Gey © CLG
CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR ACADEMIC AND PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND?
I spent two beautiful years on the university campus of Poitiers as part of the Bachelor's degree, discovering the history, culture and political meanderings of Spain, Portugal and Latin America while learning about subjects that I had never studied before: economics, law, and sociology. . Then, I flew to Santiago de Chile for my 3A, where I had the chance to study at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile (PUC), before starting my master's degree in Paris at the School of Public Affairs, focusing on public policy in the health sector. I decided to take a gap year between my M1 and my M2, to discover the world of health, especially hospitals, which until then had only been approached through lectures, electives and conferences at EAP. First, I did an internship at GovHe, a consulting firm that specialises in the world of health, and a second one at the Patient Pathway Department of the Paris Saint Joseph Hospital Group. At the end of this year of internships, I decided to do my M2 as a work-study student, combining my desire to continue my studies and not to leave the professional world. I did my apprenticeship at GovHe, and I stayed there after graduation.
WHAT WERE THE MAIN STAGES IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF YOUR PROFESSIONAL PROJECT?
Looking back, my career plan evolved a lot during my studies at Sciences Po. Initially, I entered Sciences Po to become a journalist, but I quickly discovered two new subjects during my first year that attracted me a lot: law and economics. So I thought: why not pursue economic law?
Then the real turning point concerning my professional project was my third year: at the PUC, like at Sciences Po, we had the possibility of choosing our courses from a catalogue of varied subjects: health law, diplomacy, consumer sociology, political science, etc. I realised how stimulating this eclectic aspect was. So I looked for a Master's degree that would allow me to keep this diversity of subjects, while specialising in a particular field at the same time. In this respect, the Master in Public Policy at EAP seemed like the perfect fit for me – I could pursue economics and public policy while acquiring more specialised knowledge in the world of health at the same time, which was a world that fascinated me and that I knew a little bit about thanks to my time at PUC.
The two years of courses at EAP as well as the internships I pursued in my gap year reinforced my conviction that I was passionate about the health sector, especially the world of health institutions. For a long time I hesitated to take the EHESP competitive examination to become a hospital director. While consulting for health care institutions has offered me a great opportunity to get involved in this sector, I am keeping this opportunity open for the future.
WHAT WAS THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS LIKE AT GOVHE AND WHAT ARE THE MAIN FEATURES OF YOUR JOB TODAY?
I heard about GovHe through the “10 healthcare challenges” elective course at EAP, taught by Antoine Georges-Picot, the founder of GovHe. He used to bring in experts on each topic of the course, one of which was Pierre Dagen, a manager at GovHe, who illustrated the session on hospital performance through missions carried out within the firm. I was captivated by the type of work the firm was doing, both operational and strategic, with a potentially strong impact on the day-to-day life of the health system. When an internship offer appeared on Sciences Po’s career website, I applied immediately.
The recruitment process, which was shorter than in other firms, was based on a single interview with a manager, followed by a case study to test my reasoning, an exercise that can be disconcerting the first time. The discussions were friendly. Three days later, I received a positive response to my application, and I accepted with no hesitation!
I really enjoyed this internship, where the managers allowed me to progress by giving me responsibilities that I wouldn't have imagined as an intern. I discovered a cohesive team with similar values, and a company in full expansion. When I heard that Sciences Po offered work-study programmes, I discussed the subject with my manager and, with his support, I told Antoine that I wanted to continue working with them, which he accepted.
At the end of my apprenticeship, the team had grown and moved to much larger offices. I had experienced different assignments within the firm, and yet it seemed to me that I still had a lot to learn. Despite Antoine's encouragement to take the ENA exam, staying with GovHe on a permanent contract was a no-brainer.
Today, as an experienced consultant, I work mainly with public health establishments (public, ESPIC or private for-profit), but also with Regional Health Agencies, the Ministry of Health, etc. The missions are varied, ranging from the elaboration of medical projects, to the reorganisation of the functioning of services, the conducting territorial diagnoses, or the conception and management of experimentation projects.
I take part in the production of analyses and information requested by clients, while being in the field to meet the different actors. I am now starting to supervise younger consultants during missions. I have more and more autonomy in the management of assignments, in terms of work methodologies, adapting the schedule, and relations with the clients.
Finally, within the firm, I contribute, like every other Govhe consultant, to the firm's development. I manage both the shared weekly training sessions, and the ongoing training sessions for new recruits and for those moving up the ranks.
WHAT CONTRIBUTION DID YOUR TRAINING AT THE SCHOOL OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS MAKE TO THE POSITION YOU HOLD TODAY?
First of all, it was thanks to Sciences Po that I got to know the firm where I work today, which is already a lot!
The courses I took during the master's degree gave me a global vision of the world of health, in its various components and institutions, long before I put it into practice. They kept my curiosity for this sector alive. Understanding the main concepts (health financing, PLFSS, etc.), the connections between the main players (Director General of an ARS, President of the Medical Commission of an establishment, etc.) is a real asset in order not to feel too lost at the beginning of one's professional life. For example, just knowing the many acronyms used in the health sector is a strength when you arrive in the field!
In addition to our understanding of the health sector, the EAP trained us in oral expression, writing reports and arguments, and the work-based training proved to be very professionalising, with courses in accounting and management, for instance.
WOULD YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR A STUDENT WHO WANTS TO PURSUE A CAREER IN THE HEALTH SECTOR TODAY?
First of all, be convinced that studying medicine is not the prerequisite for contributing to the improvement of the health system. Therefore, one should not prevent oneself from participating in this sector. Thanks to the learning, knowledge, working methods, and by taking the time to listen to the different actors, it is quite possible to acquire a legitimacy to make things evolve, and to bring one's help to a world in perpetual change.
Finally, the one’s investment will also be based on a fundamental quality for working in the sector: a permanent curiosity. Health is an exciting, extremely varied and sometimes highly complex world. You have to be interested in very different subjects, from hospital finances to the functioning of an operating unit, of a medical biology department or bed management, from research to innovative therapies, from care professionals to patients' rights. The world of healthcare is dynamic and intellectually stimulating, and requires a personal involvement in order to keep up to date with the various reforms, experimental projects and needs that emerge from the different players.