M2 Choice


Current student: Carlos Vassallo

  • Which aspects of your chosen program were the most challenging?

Working in groups as it requires a lot of interpersonal skills, cooperation, and coordination, which can be hard when under tight deadlines and with multiple projects with different people.

  • Which was your favourite course(s) and why?

Favourite course was Mohamed Saleh’s Historical Perspectives on Development. The course was expertly organized, and because I am a history buff, I was very captivated by the material. Personally, Dr Saleh is a super nice person that was really nurturing as a teacher and always encouraged discussion and debate. He’s also amazing at explaining econometric concepts!

Current student: Catalina Salas

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  • Which aspects of your chosen program were the most challenging?

I would say this master is a lot about personal effort. Most of the courses do not have a final exam, but have projects, which demand a considerable amount of time. As a student is quite normal to leave everything for the end. I guess the challenge is to organize yourself in order to work constantly during the semester, advancing in your projects. Additionally, it is important to prepare the material of every course in advance, so you take the most possible advantage of each lecture.

  • Which was your favourite course(s) and why?

Even though all my courses were very interesting, I particularly enjoyed Historical Perspectives on Development.  This course covers many different topics, which not only make you understand development from diverse perspectives, but also the role history can play in economic studies. Moreover, is a quite vivid course with a lot of discussion, which at the end helps you to go deeply into each topic.


Current student: Stefan Pauly

  • Which aspects of your chosen program were the most challenging?

The most challenging part of my program so far has been to remember myself sometimes, why I am studying all of this. But then you take a little more applied course and realize that it can actually be pretty useful to explain real-world problems.

  • Which was your favorite course(s) and why?

My favourite course was microeconomics. It was nice to learn the foundations of stuff we use every day as economists, like utility functions. Then you kind of understand how economists came up with these concepts. In general, the content of our courses last semester was interesting, just a little bit too much sometimes.

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Current student: Anonymous

  • Which aspects of your chosen program were the most challenging?

In the first semester the material in our core subjects (micro, macro, econometrics) was very challenging and not particularly interesting. While you can get used to the latter, the sheer amount of theory you have to digest and its difficulty will overwhelm you till the day of the exam. In the lectures you mostly rewrite the never-ending sequences of definition-theorem-proof-proposition-proof from the blackboard. Often you don’t really know how to even approach the problem sets until the solutions are published. Your grades depend in 100% on final exams. You never feel like you study enough and probably you do not. This brings us to the greatest challenge of the second semester: having seen your exam results. You have to dust off your shoulders and find the strength to keep fighting.

  • Which was your favorite course(s) and why?

From the core, I liked micro because I like micro in general but I also felt like it was the most structured course. The lectures followed closely the textbook (and, which was not that obvious in other classes, there was a textbook we could refer to) and in the tutorials we solved problems from previous years’ exams. These two features of the course were quite reassuring, although in the end the exam was still very difficult.

** Additional comment

ETE is the equivalent of 1st year of a PhD – I came to TSE to do this program only because I would really like to do my PhD here. For anyone who is not convinced that this is their goal, probably the school has better options to offer.


Current student (FIT): Jules Bstoc

  • Which aspects of your chosen program were the most challenging?

The most challenging aspects of the program where the programming as well as the new financial terms and definitions.

At TSE programming limits itself on the R homework but as one of our teachers said “R c’est du bidouillage”. Thus it is important to get a better understanding of other programming software, as it will be essential in our future jobs.

The second challenge is the terminology. By coming into finance you are basically entering a new world where optimisation is oxygen and hedging is water. If those things interest you, then you have found your master!

  • Which was your favorite course(s) and why?

My favourite classes were those where I felt the most challenged that is excel VBA and asset pricing. Excel VBA is just an amazing tool, and you get as excited as when you discovered R for the first time, realizing all the new things you are able to do, and how your life will be easier from that point on.

For asset pricing it was a class I took in the second semester of my M1 at TSE, and this class is in continuation of that class. It is theoretical and practical and very challenging,  and thus impossible not to like!

Current student, Financial Markets and Risk Evaluation (FiRE): Aurelie Prefumo

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  • Which aspects of your chosen program were the most challenging?

The most challenging aspect was to discover and learn various new things; whether it is learning about financial products (derivatives and structured products), corporate finance theory, or even learning new programming languages (VBA and Python). However, this really motivated me as I am passionate about finance and I like challenges. Therefore, if you are considering the Financial Markets and Risk Evaluation Masters then I would definitely recommend taking the following electives: Market Finance and Corporate Finance taught by Marianne Andries and Milo Bianchi, respectively. These lectures really helped me.

One thing I particularly value in my masters is that we have lectures with researchers and professionals who have a wealth of experience and who are always keen to share their knowledge and experiences with us.

  • Which was your favourite course(s) and why?

My favourite courses so far has been Asset Management and Trading taught by Sebastien Pouget, and Asset pricing taught by Sophie Moinas. In Asset Management and Trading, we learned about the different investment strategies used by traders and funds. Moreover, we made computerised implementation of portfolio formation and had an asset management and trading simulation over several months. This simulation was the perfect opportunity to implement the strategies we learned about. In Asset Pricing, we learned about all sorts of derivatives and the different pricing models that are used.

Alum: Romain Salin – Financial Markets and Risk Evaluation (FiRE)

  • What are you up to now?

I am currently Senior Business Consultant in Ernst and Young Advisory at the Toulouse Office. My work consist in advising clients and help them to formalize their needs, especially concerning the Information System, Change Management and Process reviews in order to improve productivity and efficiency. I also realize every year IT (Information Technology) audit within the framework of statuary account audit every year for companies like Airbus, Pierre Fabre, etc.

  • Which skills, acquired from studying at the TSE, have you found useful?

The high level of requirements asked by TSE help in the professional world. Beyond the topics taught, all of them are taught by renowned professors, the very high pace of work and the complexity of the subjects dealt with allow students to adopt analytical reasoning and to analyse any type of complex problems. These qualities are really essential in all types of companies, especially consulting firms, for which the majority of missions consist to answer to complex customer issues in an increasingly intense competitive environment.


Current student: Juliette Troadec

  • Which aspects of your chosen program were the most challenging?

The most challenging thing about being in the Master 2 in Statistics & Econometrics is that you have to choose the topics you want to invest time in because you cannot study everything in the short time you are given. Honestly, you must learn to be confident while knowing you won’t succeed everywhere. This is a very applied master and we are given a lot of projects, everything won’t be perfect because of the lack of time. The good thing is that you learn a lot of useful and interesting techniques that you will use later in your job. The bad thing is that you can feel you lose control sometimes. The second challenging thing of this year is to find a good and motivating internship while managing to study and to handle multiple projects in a hurry. You must take time to seriously think about what you want to do next.

  •  Which was your favourite course(s) and why?

Entering this master, I was glad to give up with theoretical and abstract courses in order to use what I had learned in Master 1 through concrete applications, using raw and credible data. The project we carry out in the context of the Statistical Consulting course is really attractive because it gives us a taste of what our future job could look like. By concretely conducting a study for a company like Airbus, we are given the opportunity to manage huge amount of data and run a solid analysis that will be presented to the company’s representatives at the end of March. I feel like working for a company, setting goals and discussing possibilities is more interesting than just studying in order to obtain good marks at the exam, but this is my personal point of view!

Alum: Anna Maria Hupas

  • What are you up to now?

I am working as an Analyst in Trust & Safety team at Google. My work consists in improving the quality of the search results provided to the users through spam fighting. We take a data-driven approach to evaluate search quality on a full-time basis.  We are creating automated pipelines based on several signals we discovered to automatically detect and take action on similar sites going forward. Our algorithms are extremely good at detecting spam, and in most cases we automatically discover it and remove it from our search results. However, to protect the quality of our index, we’re also willing to take manual action to remove spam from our search results.

  • Which skills, acquired from studying at the TSE, have you found useful?

The knowledge of programming languages is extremely useful at Google however you can learn a lot once you are here. If I were to choose the most useful courses I took at TSE I would say: Multivariate Data Analysis (Google is a data-driven company), Data Mining and Data Bases. Finally, speaking foreign languages is more than necessary in every international company: everyday I speak at least 3 different languages. The last, but not least: the communication course is actually more helpful that you may think!

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Current student: Valeria Plata Franco

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  • Which aspects of your chosen program were the most challenging?

The EMO Master allows you to find a middle point between theoretical and applied approaches to different questions. That being said, a challenging aspect, in my opinion, is to be able to adapt to both approaches when you are confronted with an issue yourself. Offering a great variety of electives, the 2nd year of master gives you a great chance to carefully select the courses you want to take and, therefore, learn what you wish to learn. Although, I personally enjoy that flexibility for the opportunity of discovering new interests it provides, I also deem such responsibility as a (positive) challenge, as it makes you think about the professional field you would like to continue in.

Furthermore, since you can make your master what you want it to be, the academic challenges you face correspond, to a certain measure, to your passion and interests. That is why I wouldn’t say the most challenging aspect is how difficult the courses are, since you feel motivate to work hard.

To finalize, this year I have found myself doing quite a lot of presentations (in groups or by myself) which to me is quite a challenge, as well.

  • Which was your favourite course(s) and why?

I am going to sound very cliché but I have enjoyed and learned greatly from every course I have taken so far. If I had to choose, it would be according to my personal taste on the topic. I really liked learning about competition more in depth (even though it is hard to cover it all). I also enjoyed choosing a more specific topic for one of my courses, which was the Energy Markets and Networks class

Current student: Max Langer

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  • Which aspects of your chosen program were the most challenging?

Having completed the M1 program at TSE I feel like I was well prepared for EMO in terms of theoretical knowledge, empirical skills and management of the workload. However, not having any TDs any more was a novelty to me and required working in a more independent style than previously experienced at TSE.

  • Which was your favourite course(s) and why?

In the first semester I enjoyed “Competition and Market Strategies” in particular, and so far “Topics in Applied Industrial Organization” appeared to provide some compelling insights as well. On a general note I have to say that all of my classes have been very interesting.

“Competition and Market Strategies” appealed to me because it involved a series of IO theories that were presented in a simple fashion but were indeed based on esteemed academic papers. This combination allowed us to obtain a good overview of the literature while enabling us to deepen our knowledge according to our interests.


Current student: Jose Alvarez

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  • Which aspects of your chosen program were the most challenging?

The program is essentially econometrics 24/7, starting from the strong assumption that you already master the material from the M1 courses on Econometrics and Applied Econometrics. Although the focus is not theoretical, you’ll be presented with both the theory and the applications of the different econometric methods. The program is fast-paced and very demanding in terms of projects: you’ll have at least one empirical project per class. Overall: a lot of econometrics (with the usual math and statistics that comes with it), a lot of coding (mostly in R), and a lot of modelling. The program will also take you out of your comfort zone, as you’ll have courses outside of economics, such as Big Data or Large Dimension Models.

  • Which was (were) your favourite course(s) and why?

I really enjoyed Large Dimension Models. The class is very challenging since most of the material comes from statistics or electrical engineering, but it’s extremely rewarding if you’re interested in the whole Big Data trend. I also really enjoyed Nonparametric Methods and Programming in Python.

Current student: Nicola Benigni

  • Which aspects of your chosen program were the most challenging?

The Master 2 in Econometrics and Empirical Economics focuses on the most important and widely used methods to gain valuable information from data. At the end of the degree, given almost any type of data—may it be time series, panel data, multinomial data, large dimensional data, big data, biased data, survey data, financials data—students will possess the necessary methods to investigate the data and gain from them the most truthful information possible. Non-parametric methods are taught in the program.

The degree has both a theoretical and an applied component: almost every course provides first some theoretical insight on the methods and eventually requires students to apply the techniques on some real life data in a small-evaluated project.

The Master is very stimulating and it feels right to learn something useful at the frontier of modern research. The most challenging aspect of the degree is to keep up with the day-to-day review of the lectures and the day-to-day empirical application of the methods, since there many courses taking place at the same time. However, it is recommended to follow up the courses every day and this can certainly be achieved with some appropriate time management.

  • Which was your favourite course(s) and why?

When a dataset is made of a number of columns, i.e. variables, which are larger than the number of rows, i.e. observations, the usual regression techniques fail to work. This type of data is called large dimensional and the EEE course Large Dimensional Model is about to deal with this type of data. Large Dimensional Model was my favourite course overall, in part because of the relevance of the topic, in part because of the intense research activity that is still happening in the field. One concrete example where large dimensional techniques can be useful is the investigation of the genes related to cancer. Humans have more than thirty thousand genes, some of which could help to explain a specific form of cancer. However, DNA analysis is still very costly and only a sample of a limited number of patients is usually available for research. Therefore, the number of genes, the explanatory variables, is of some order grater that the number of patients, the observations. How to find out which genes have a significant effect on the development of cancer? This and many other questions can be answered taking Large Dimensional Model within the Master 2 in Econometrics and Empirical Economics.


Current student : Alice Hebrard

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  • Which aspects of your chosen program were the most challenging?

The most challenging part of the program is to pursue two Master’s degrees simultaneously. Both demand work and organisation but we are used to it from the undergraduate level. We take most of the economics courses with the EMO master and law courses with the ‘M2 Parcours Juriste d’Entreprise’. Our weeks are a bit busy, but the Master 2 is giving us a real picture of what our capacity is and what our future jobs may be like.

  • Which was your favourite course(s) and why?

The M2 offers many interesting classes. Econometrics of Competition requires a lot of work but gave us great practice. Market Energy and Topics in Law – antitrust law – introduced us to new fields. But the most passionate course was Topics and Cases in Competition with professor Lefouilly. The quality of the class, the cases studied, and the visiting professors as Jim Venits and Jorge Padilla make this course both essential and inspiring.

Alum: Jean-Gabriel Despeyroux

  • What are you up to?

Since my graduation from TSE in 2013, I’ve been working within a consultancy based in Paris (MAPP) specialised in microeconomic analysis applied to competition issues.

  • Which skills, acquired from studying at TSE, have you found useful?

As one might expect, “hard” skills – explicitly taught at TSE – such as economic reasoning, abstraction and formalisation abilities, writing and oral ease or computer programing are must-have skills in consultancies.

Nevertheless, “soft” skills – also taught at TSE – are also useful and necessary, such as time management, communication or teamwork.

Last but not least, numerous “soft” skills might also be acquired while studying at TSE, depending upon each and every student’s habit. For example, an active participation during lectures or student associations can offer challenges and a very rich environment fostering interaction with other students and teachers, allowing the development of soft skills such as the ability to simplify complex issues, build arguments, persuade and so on.


Current student: María Teresa Aguilar Rojas

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  • Which aspects of your chosen program were the most challenging?

In terms of coursework, the system is quite different to the M1, since most of the courses require you to do projects, instead of exams. Time management, and teamwork skills become crucial in order to get the work done.

  • Which was your favourite course(s) and why?

I particularly enjoy “Natural Resource Economics”. Since it is macro-oriented, it is probably the most theoretical course of the master, but nothing to be afraid of. It explores many different growth and sustainability models.

“Econometrics of Program Evaluation” is also fascinating and very useful. It provides you with the main tools to address empirical questions. A must-take for the ones who want to learn more of econometric methods, and perfect for the empirical enthusiasts!


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