Jad Gaouad, Class of 2021

Jad Gaouad, Class of 2021

From The Master in Public Policy, Energy, Environment and Sustainability stream to an apprenticeship at the Corps of Engineers of Bridges, Water and Forests.
  • Jad Gaouad  © Sciences PoJad Gaouad © Sciences Po

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR ACADEMIC AND PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND? 

After my baccalaureate (obtained in 2012), I entered a scientific preparatory class at Lycee Lakanal in Sceaux. I then joined the National Civil Aviation School in Toulouse, graduating in September 2017. In early 2018, I started a one-year VIE (French International Work Experience Volunteer scheme) in Hamburg with Airbus. During the autumn of 2018, I decided to try my luck at getting into Sciences Po.

In September 2019, I entered Sciences Po, and I will graduate this summer. In parallel to my studies this year, I undertook the competitive state exams to become an engineer in the Corps of Bridge, Water and Forestry. I was successful and will be joining the Corps as of September 1st, 2021.  

WHAT WERE THE MAIN STAGES IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF YOUR PROFESSIONAL PATH? 

When I was younger, I wanted to become an airline pilot. I failed the exam twice (in 2013 and in 2018). I then switched to aeronautical engineering. However, over the years, the question of the environmental impact of air travel has arisen. Hence my return to school, which can be summed up in a rather conventional formula: I did not leave ENAC to stop being an engineer, but I did join Sciences Po to become a better engineer. During the health crisis, I discovered a real attachment to public service (I am a volunteer at the French Red Cross and a reservist in the National Guard). My apprenticeship at RTE confirmed my professional path: to become a senior civil servant in a large ministry in order to put my skills to the service of ecological transition and to the common good.  

WHAT WAS THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS AT RTE AND WHAT ARE THE MAIN CHARACTERISTICS OF YOUR POSITION AS AN APPRENTICE? 

The recruitment process at RTE was standard: an interview with my current superiors. I answered a lot of questions about my professional and academic background. The interview lasted over an hour and a half. A recruitment agency then contacted me to have me take a series of tests (this was a formality however as RTE had already made its decision).

I was recruited to the Environmental Consultation Department. My mission is to ensure the operational management of Local Initiative Undergrounding (MESIL) of high-voltage overhead lines. The MESIL policy is governed by Article L. 321-8 of the Energy Code and the order issued by the CRE on 31 March 2013 setting the criteria and participation scale mentioned in the aforementioned article. Thus, for the purposes of local economic development or environmental protection, a local authority may request RTE to bury an overhead line.

My tasks are as follows:

  • Carrying out the national monitoring of project appraisal in the various RTE regions, through contractual agreements with local authorities;
  • Studying the admissibility of applications, in relation to the regulations in force and the analysis of budgetary, administrative, environmental and societal constraints determining the feasibility of the project;
  • Supporting the action of RTE's regional teams in response to requests from local authorities by producing internal and external communication media and identifying good practices in the management of local initiative undergrounding projects;
  • Leading the network of regional correspondents through information and sharing meetings;
  • Recording the minutes of the committees and other meetings of interest, carrying out the budgetary feedback from the regions and writing the activity report for the past year.   

WHAT CONTRIBUTIONS DID YOUR STUDY AT THE SCHOOL OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS MAKE TO THE POSITION YOU HOLD?  

It gave me the tools for understanding the essentials of the energy sector and the major issues associated with ecological transition and, therefore, energy transition. I have prepared a small mind-map (PDF, 87 KB) that probably better answers this question.  

DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE TO GIVE A STUDENT WHO WISHES TO PURSUE A MASTER 2 APPRENTICESHIP?

Believe in yourself! Stay humble, but do your best to make sure that the teams you work with see you as a full-time employee (quite simply because you are one). An apprenticeship is a real professional and personal opportunity: embrace it! Build your network, ask questions, speak up when things don't suit you and smile! Remember that you always know a lot more than you think you do: you have acquired a number of skills that can be transferred to any apprenticeship. 

On a more practical note: start writing your dissertation early (in February!). Finally: take care of yourself. Separate your professional, academic and personal (the most important) lives. 

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