Internship report: Kilian Heutte, European Commission

Internship report - Killian Heutte

Where did you do your internship and what was your role?

Last summer I did my internship in Brussels at the European Commission in the Directorate General for Competition, F4 Merger Unit, which is specialised in Post and Transport Services.

The European Commission is an EU institution with a power of investigation and intervention. The working languages are English, French and German. It is a big institution, counting more than 32,000 European civil servants. They are divided into departments called “Directorates-General” – DG – which are sub-divided into services – specialised in particular market sectors – which are also sub-divided into units – policy areas.

My work consisted in the treatment of companies’ merger cases. I had to draft legal documents, all following strict templates; some were internal to the European Commission, and some others were to be published to inform EU citizens and companies. I also helped to interpret outputs of market investigations that were specifically made for the cases I was working on.

 

How did your studies / courses at TSE help you during the internship?

The mathematical skills I gained at TSE enabled me to create a methodology to compute different market shares for many sub-segmentations of given markets.

 

How did you find your internship? What advice would you give to students to find a similar internship?

I heard from other TSE students that the European Commission was helping students by offering them the possibility to get an understanding of its work through some special programs. I was looking for hands-on experience in the competition sector to complement my theoretical knowledge. It was clear to me that I wanted to work for such an institution, so I applied. To students who would like to find a similar internship, I would suggest to send an e-mail as soon as possible to “comp-visitors-scheme@ec.europa.eu”. You should provide some details concerning your availability, your motivation, the service/unit you would be interested in working in, etc,  with a CV and a cover letter.

 

 

Internship report : Rose Mba Mebiame, German Development Institute

ROSE MBA MEBIAME Internship Report

Where did you do your internship and what was your role?

I was a research assistant at the German Development Institute in Bonn, Germany. It is a public structure specialised in development and environmental economics. The institute is mainly doing research, but also provides consultancy services for government and ministries. I worked on two projects during my internship: the first one was about a behavioral experiment conducted in partnership with the World Bank to increase tax compliance in Kosovo; the second one was a study in partnership with the UNCCD on the impact of land degradation on poverty. I was mainly doing data cleaning, data analysis and literature reviews. It was a three-months internship. My internship was part of my M1.

 

How did your studies/ courses at TSE help you during the internship?

The courses that has been the most useful for my internship were econometrics and program evaluation. Moreover, I think the long-term group project done in M1 – Applied Econometric – is a very good way to initiate us to research and data analysis. It made me realise, for example, the amount of time required to complete the research process, from finding relevant databases to building econometric models, which I underestimated. This helped me to better organise my work and to anticipate deadlines during my internship. Regarding my experience in the institute, thanks to the projects I was working on but also to the other interns from different academic backgrounds I meet, I would say TSE gives us very rigourous and complete empirical methodologies that have much value in the professional world. The skills we have when graduating are actually not that common and give us a real advantage on the job market.

 

How did you find your internship? What advice would you give to students who would like to find a similar internship?

I discovered the institute through the excel file from TSE Careers listing all the internships done by TSE students in the past couple of years – it takes time to go through all of it, but it is a tool you should not neglect! I spontaneously applied, and was later contacted by one of the researchers who was interested in my profile. I think my main asset was to be a TSE student. My advisor had already hired several interns from TSE, and was satisfied with their work. Looking at offers on the alumni website or at internships that former TSE students did is a good way to go, because the companies already know the school and are often happy to hire other interns from there. Mr Alary often insists for us to be good TSE ambassadors outside of the school; I realise now the accuracy of it, as it builds TSE network and give better and more various opportunities to future TSE generations.

Besides, I would advise students to begin to search for an internship as soon as possible. I had sent all my applications by mid-January, and had my internship by the end of the month. I am happy I did so, because the second semester of the M1 is really short, and we had a lot of work to do from February on, mostly because of the Applied Econometric project.

Finally – especially for French students, do not be afraid to extend your research outside of France. It can be a good opportunity to discover an enriching culture as well as a different way of conceptualising work. Furthermore, it was, in my case, definitely cheaper than doing an internship in Paris.

 

Gap year report, Gabriel Saive

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What did you do during your gap year?

My gap year was divided in two parts: the first semester for internships, and the second one to discover how a British university works -in my case, the University of Bristol.
I wanted to get a long internship (six months) for my M1. I worked at the “Fédération Française de l’Assurance” (FFA) in Paris from April to October. I was carrying out studies on agricultural risk and natural calamities. My ideal plan was to get another internship until December, but getting a two months paid internship in Paris is quite difficult.  Nevertheless, I got hired for two additional months (CDD) at the FFA, to work on other subjects such as transport and construction.
During my second semester abroad, I followed three courses:  Education Economics, Environmental Economics and Behavioural Economics. Those were really interesting subjects and some are not taught at TSE – here, Education Economics I gained satisfaction from learning many things. You have quite some time for yourself there, so it is possible to travel in the UK and in Europe in general during this semester.

What have you learnt from those experiences?

First thing I have learnt is that we have a lot of usefull skills that we can use in a working environment, especially when it comes to statistical software. As for University , I must say that I  prefer our academic model, with more hours of studies and an emphasis on  empirical methods , rather than how it works in Bristol -few teaching hours, load of hours to read papers.

Did you do your gap year after your bachelor or between your M1 and M2? Why so?

 I first wanted to do a gap year after my bachelor, but TSE being quite new to me and demandingso I didn’t manage to prepare all the documents on time. I did my gap year between the M1 and the M2, mainly because the M1 was quite intense; having a break to think about what M2 I wanted to do was really important to me. I also wanted to have a look at what kind of jobs I would be able to do after graduating; even if we have group projects at TSE, it was hard for me to imagine how one could apply these skills in a real workenvironment.

Do you have recommendations / advice for TSE students about the “gap year experience”?

I would recommend a 100 % doing a gap year between the two years of master, and not after your bachelor in economics.  First, because you will get better internships if you are enrolled in a Master’s program; second because the first year of master is a really tough one, and it can be harsh for some people to face it after a one year break. In any case, a gap yearis a great opportunity and not a wasted year, so go for it!

Gap year report, Gaudéric Thiétart

GapYear.GaudericTHIETART

 

What did you do during your gap year?

I decided to have both an international and a professional experience during my gap year. First, between September and January, I studied as an exchange student at the Carlos III University in Madrid. Then, I started a six months internship in a public policy consulting company in Montpellier.

What have you learnt from those experiences?

The main challenge for me was to live in a foreign country, and I realised I was able to do so: finding an accommodation, understanding and being understood by people, adapting myself to a new scholar system, etc. By improving my levels in both English and Spanish, I also realised I was now able to communicate with people from all around the world!

I also acquired more professional skills – technical and relational ones – during my internship, which will be very helpful for my future experiences.

Did you do your gap year after your bachelor or between your M1 and M2? Why so?

I did my gap year between my M1 and my M2. I made this choice because a lot of people at TSE told me that the M1 was the most difficult year. I preferred to pass all my M1 exams before leaving TSE for a year. I thought that the transition between the gap year and the M1 would have been harder than the one between the gap year and the M2.

Do you have recommendations / advice for TSE students about the “gap year experience”?

If you want to, just do it! Whether you decide to study in another university, to travel the world or to work as an intern, you will grow from this experience. You will know more about yourself and it will help you to make personal and professional choices in the future. We have the chance that TSE is encouraging to do a gap year; don’t miss this opportunity!

If I had just one more thing to say about my personal experience, it would be to give yourself some time if you want to have two distinct experiences as I did. I only had five days off between the end of my Erasmus exchange and the beginning of my internship. The transition was hard at first, so I would advise you to have a break in between.

Gap year report, Margaux Sinceux

GapYearReport - SINCEUX Margaux

What did you do during your gap year?

First, in order to pass my M1, I did an internship from May to October in Toulouse at Orange. I chose to continue it during my gap year, for six months in total instead of the four months required for the M1, to have a real experience. Then, I went to Reading – United-Kingdom – as an Erasmus student during the second semester, from January to June.

What have you learnt from those experiences?

My internship at Orange helped me getting further professional experience. Indeed, before that, I only did short-term internships of two months. It also helped me to find which M2 I wanted to apply for.

Concerning my semester in Reading, it was quite different from TSE because I had fewer modules – three modules, 30 ECTS – and therefore more free time to enjoy my experience there (discovering England and Scotland, being more familiar with the city and the campus, etc.). I did an Erasmus to improve my English to apply for the M2, but also to travel alone in a foreign country, to meet other foreign students and to discover how life is elsewhere.

Did you do your gap year after your bachelor or between your M1 and M2? Why so?

I did my gap year after my M1 because after being accepted in TSE, I wanted to see how it was to be in that school and how it was working. Moreover, the M1 was supposed to be the hardest year at TSE; therefore, I preferred to have a break after this year. I did not regret my choice because, thanks to my M1, I was already familiar with courses taught in English: it was helpful for my time in Reading. Furthermore, as I said, I wanted to do a longer internship.

Do you have recommendations / advice for TSE students about the “gap year experience”?

I recommend every student to do a gap year because it is a great opportunity, and TSE let us organise it as we want. For those who want to do an internship and an exchange in a university, I think the best way is to do first the internship and then the Erasmus, because usually the end of the second semester abroad is at most at the end of June: it gives you some time to have summer holidays and to travel from your host country to neighbouring countries if you wish to.