M2 Choice – Economics of Markets and Organizations (EMO)

Meet_the_board_ArthurCurrent student – Arthur Biamouret

Which aspects of your chosen program were the most challenging?

The M2 EMO is not technically or theoretically difficult, but I think that the hardest part for me was to do theory. After my gap year – two internships and a trip – I was expecting to do applied economics, but the M2 EMO is still quite theoretical. Obviously, we do not learn this for fun, we need it in our future jobs and it was very useful for interviews. But still, you need to be ready to go through some Cournot, Bertrand and Hotelling models for one more year. Fortunately, most of it was not difficult, and was interesting and well supported by very good applied papers.

Which was your favourite course(s) and why? 

My favorite course was Empirical Analysis of Firm Behavior. The teacher (Mathias Reynaert) is very good and the course is focused on applied methodologies. We had two homeworks to do, which allowed us to practice STATA and to apply the economic theory seen during the previous years. During this class, we discussed interesting topics using applied papers and real life examples. Moreover, the class was a good complement to another one which was more theoretical.

What do you plan to do next?

After the M2 EMO, I would like to work as a consultant in competition economics. I have always been interested in competition issues since we, as consumers, can feel the consequences of those decisions in our daily lives (telecommunication, retail, transports, etc). I have always wanted to be at the heart of those decisions which often strongly impact people’s environment. Moreover, competition issues are present in every sector, and working as a consultant will give me the opportunity to discover diverse topics and methodologies. For the next six months I am going to Brussels in order to do my internship with the firm Positive Competition.

M2EMO_AlumniAlumni – August Aubach Altès

What are you up to now?

I am an economic consultant at Analysis Group in Paris. The vast majority of our cases concern French and European competition matters. My primary job is to integrate industrial organisation theory and econometrics, along with current quantitative methods, to analyse the conduct and market dynamics at issue in antitrust litigation and merger investigations. At present, I am involved in an important case that involves competition in digital media markets.

I started as an intern in June 2019 and then received an offer as a full-time Analyst in December. One of the main reasons I decided to stay at Analysis Group is that the firm offers the right balance between academia and the real world. The work allows me to deepen my understanding of market structures and firms’ strategic choices, from both a theoretical and an empirical perspective. The work environment at Analysis Group promotes cooperation and knowledge sharing. I am currently working with and learning from experts in industrial organisation. I would like to pursue a Ph.D. in economics, with a specialisation in industrial organisation, and I believe that this experience will undoubtedly help me shape my future research.

What skills acquired from TSE do you find useful in your work?

TSE gave me a comparative advantage over other graduate students with similar profiles. Courses at TSE provide the skill set that is required for any job. As one might expect, hard skills such as economic reasoning, data analysis, computer programing and writing abilities are essential in all types of consulting work. However, the above-mentioned is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition to stand out, and it is the set of soft skills that I learned at TSE – such as time management, teamwork and flexibility – that are crucial. These skills have proven particularly useful, as most of the work is done in teams – that is, working regularly with people who have different backgrounds and work styles.

Regarding the EMO track, it has positioned me ideally for this role by giving me the opportunity to analyse in class many competition cases from a variety of standpoints. The opportunity to engage with these cases – such as horizontal mergers, exclusionary contracts and collusive behaviours in two-sided markets – allowed me to understand how economic agents should be understood depending on their incentives and on the configuration of the market. Therefore, one of the main takeaways from the EMO master that I have implemented at Analysis Group is that each case should be analysed from a rigorous and critical economic perspective, and as an independent and unique event.

M2 Choice – Economics and Competition Law (ECL)

M2ECL_CurrentstudentCurrent student- Luc Greiner

Which aspects of your chosen program were the most challenging?

The M2 Economics and Competition Law program is mostly about applying industrial organisation concepts to assess competition on current markets and industries. As it is more applied, it is not as challenging as, for example, the M1 Economics and Law, since most of the theoretical knowledge was acquired in M1 and during the previous years at TSE. What is challenging is the economics and law program as a whole, from the first year – L1 – on: Studying both economics and law can be difficult because the methods used and the required learning are very different between both fields.

Which was your favourite course(s) and why? 

My favourite course is « Topics and Cases in Competition Policy »  because it focuses on some of the European Union Commission’s landmark cases that shaped EU competition law. One of the purposes is to discuss the application of industrial organisation to real-world mergers and alleged anti-competitive behaviours, which is always very interesting. In this course, it is also great to welcome expert economic consultants to study hot topics in competition economics, and expert lawyers to review the intricacies of competition law. This year, we are even participating in a mock trial with respect to the Facebook-Instagram merger with a jury of professionals.

What do you plan to do next?

In a few months, I will be starting an internship in economic consulting in the field of competition economics. I look forward to continue applying industrial organisation to real-world cases. In my opinion, this is the most interesting part of economic science: figuring out what theories can explain the facts. And with digitisation, and the rise of platforms, economic consulting is the place to be to study the latest issues in economics!

Alumni – Frédéric Axisia M2ECL_Alumni (2)

What are you up to now?

I’ve been working for nine months at TERA Consultants, a consulting firm in Paris gathering both economists and engineers. TERA is specialised in telecommunications and deals with competition and regulation cases. As a result, the job can offer a large variety of missions. Since I arrived, I have been involved in several litigations before the French Competition Authority, a lot of trials before different commercial courts for unfair competition practices, but also in the design of a margin squeeze model for a European regulator. Most cases I work on are related to the telecom field, but not all. It is quite challenging at first to understand all the mechanisms involved in that field but also quite rewarding to develop an expertise in such an evolving domain of the economy.

Cases apart, as the firm only has around 15 employees, we obviously all know each other and go sometimes for an afterwork drink. You also won’t be home sick in Paris, as half – if not more – of TSE graduates live there! I only miss being an active member of a student association…

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

It might disappoint some people, but I would say that the most important right now is my writing skill. You of course need an economic understanding of the cases you work on. But as I have to write economics reports intended for courts on a daily basis, being able – thanks to my law cursus – to organise my arguments and present them in a proper way is essential. Essential, but not sufficient. When working on competition cases, I did some econometric analysis – using STATA – and used economic literature to back up my points. And when working on the margin squeeze case, I had to understand a quite complex Excel model. As for the rest, economic reasoning learned through different classes would be what most consulting firms look for.

Finally, as a former member of the association Say It Aloud, I cannot emphasise enough the importance of public speaking. That way, you can look like you know, even when you don’t.

Alumni report: Joanna Morais, AVISIA

Alumni Joanna Morais

What is your position today?

I am currently working as a data scientist consultant at Avisia in Bordeaux. Avisia is a French consulting company created in 2007. Originally based in Paris, it now has agencies in Nantes, Lyon, and more recently in Bordeaux. I carry out projects ranging from a few weeks to several months, during which I accompany clients on various subjects to explain or predict phenomena, using statistical methods and data science.

I have several missions, including, for example, predicting elevator failures, the departure of customers to competitors or whether a borrower will default, determining the customers most likely to be interested in an offer, explaining the market shares of car brands according to their media investments, and creating customer segmentation according to their uses and preferences.

In parallel with the missions at the client’s site, I am involved in a number of transversal projects in my company. Those projects consist in, inter alia, participating in an image recognition project through deep learning, implementing a communication and knowledge sharing tool, organising an internal data science hackathon, and recruitment.

I also give a Marketing Econometrics course to  Master students in Statistics and Econometrics, which is a very applied course. It is an activity I particularly appreciate; it is a pleasure for me to be able to give students an idea of what concretely awaits them in the professional world,  especially for data scientist positions.

 

What was your path from your Master’s graduation to this current post, and what are the key elements which helped making your choice?

I met the company Avisia at the Business Networking Day during my first year of Master in Economics and Statistics at TSE. The following summer I did a three-month internship there; it confirmed my interest in using quantitative methods based on real data to understand customer behaviors.

I graduated in 2014 and met another company, BVA, a French market research and consulting institute. With three other students, I carried out a project with BVA for six months: the objective was to analyse the impact of media investments on the market shares of car brands.

I then completed my final internship at INBOX, another consulting firm I met at the BND. BVA came back to me afterwards to offer me the opportunity to continue the student project I had been involved in as part of a CIFRE thesis – the French denomination for a thesis financed by a company.

This thesis was a wonderful three-year experience. I was able to evolve within the company while having a research activity and very strong ties with the academic world, and in particular with TSE, since my thesis directors were Christine Thomas-Agnan and Michel Simioni. Something I also loved were the conference trips abroad – in Prague, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Chicago, Siena, … I met some very nice people, and improved my English! Moreover I won a prize for the best oral presentation at an international conference, and the Paul Sabatier prize for the best thesis in mathematics. This shows that corporate research has nothing to be ashamed of  compared to purely academic research!

I then stayed one year at BVA as a data scientist consultant. I was in charge of developing and leading an internal community of about 20 statisticians – methodological sheets, trainings, events – and the external development of the Data Intelligence offer. I also supervised a TSE student on a project to predict customer satisfaction.

Moving from a doctoral student status to being an employee is not such an easy step: I quickly wanted a new challenge. I left for Quantmetry – after being co-opted by a TSE alumni – a leading Parisian data science consulting firm, where I was able to improve my technical skills by working closely with data engineers on industrialised projects.

Some personal plans led me to leave Quantmetry and to move to Bordeaux, which coincided with Avisia’s desire to open an agency there.

 

According to your professional experience, what are the most useful skills you obtained during your degree?

Economics has given me a way of thinking about problems and understanding them. The very applied Master 2 courses with many projects – in groups or individually – the oral presentations, programming on R or Python, and professional speakers are great assets for professional integration. They prepare relatively well for the reality of the labour market. The existence of an alternative track for the M2 Statistics and Econometrics is, in my opinion, also very good.

The TSE network has been very useful to me at all stages of my professional career, whether for internships, for my thesis, or to find a job. I am now very proud to be able to maintain this link with the new generations through the course I give to M2 students.

 

What advice would you like to give to TSE students, or to the school?

My advice for students would be to really get involved in the projects they have to carry out – especially group projects – because this is by far what will best involve them in real life, and it will be an asset for job interviews.

My advice for TSE would be to maintain or even to further increase school-business relations, whether through the BND,  professional speakers, or research collaborations with companies.

 

groupe-avisia-logo

Gap year report, Philippe Schmitt

Gap year report - Philippe S

 What did you do during your gap year ?

During my gap year I studied in Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, from September 2018 to June 2019. I took courses in economics and ecology, econometrics, Korean economy and Korean.

What did you personally learn from this experience ?

I chose this university – which does not have any partnership with TSE – because I have been attracted by Korean culture for several years. I needed to get out of my comfort zone, and I loved that sensation. The mentality, the food, the customs, the architecture: everything was different, yet so pleasant. I struggled to make some Korean friends, as most of them do not feel comfortable with English. You really have to get involved in clubs or associations to meet the locals. Still, people are very friendly and respectful, so it was not hard to get used to the place. Learning a new language and living alone was a way to challenge myself, and in the end I won the day. Most of the time I felt comfortable in class thanks to my background in economics that I got from studying at TSE. Moreover courses like econometrics at Yonsei University helped me to begin serenely my M2 EEE, as we had lessons on time-series.

Did you do your gap year after your L3 or between your M1 and your M2 ? Why ?

I did my gap year after my M1. I arrived at TSE in L3, and initially planned to do a gap year straight after my bachelor. Unfortunately, it did not go as I planned, and I decided to get enrolled into the M1 at TSE and get some time to decide what I really wanted to do if I were to do a gap year. In the end I decided to apply on my own for this university in April and was accepted in June. I had the summer to fulfill all the administrative requirements and to prepare for my trip.

Would you have recommendations / advice to give to TSE students ?

I would definitely recommend to do a gap year if this is a dear project to you. It changed my way of thinking, my way of working, and it made me think more about the system I am living in. Being part of a minority was also a good experience, as there are very few foreigners in South Korea. I realised it was important to make a good impression, as I was one of the few strangers that most Korean would meet. South Korea was new to me and living there was a great experience. Cost of living was surprisingly cheaper than what I expected, and the administrative procedures – applying to the university, getting a VISA, … – was quite easy in the end. However, South Korea is not the most vegetarian-friendly country I have been to. But if it is not an issue for you, South Korea might be the right place for you!

Internship report: Arthur Biamouret, RATP

Internship report Arthur BWhere did you do your internship and what was your role?

I did a six months internship at the Réseau Autonome des Transports Parisiens – RATP – headquarter in Paris to validate my M1. My mission was to try to design an econometric model to estimate the buses demand in Ile-de-France. I did everything, from cleaning the database to building the econometric model, testing hypothesis, and write a report about my findings. I was part of a team of engineers, and was thus the only person with an economic background. Hence, I was quite autonomous.

How did your studies/courses help you during your internship?

R courses helped me a lot, as it was the software I was working on during my internship, along with Excel and QGIS, a cartography software. Courses in econometrics were of course also very useful. However, I hardly knew how to clean databases, and this is something I regret not having learnt more deeply at TSE. School projects like the Applied Econometrics project taught me how to efficiently communicate and attribute tasks in a group, and it helped me a lot during my internship. My team gave me responsibilities, trusted me, and was always here to help me if needed; this is something I really appreciated. On the other hand, my internship changed my way of reading and learning my lessons. I try now to distinguish between theoretical parts – like mathematical proofs – and practical parts, and focus more on the latter, as they are the most important parts to remember at the end of the day.

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

I found this internship through the Alumni website. I was then contacted by the team I ended up working with for a call interview. I have to say I found my internship pretty late, and would like to give some advice to students – especially to M1 students – who are searching for an internship. I sent a lot of applications from October, but realised later that I did not adopt the most optimal strategy. I appreciated the Professional Development course, but I think it only gives you bases that you really have to develop to have an original and personal application. It was my first internship, and at first I did not focus enough on concrete skills I had, that are school projects, technical courses like the Empirical Industrial Organization course, software and personal projects. I started by applying for the positions I wanted the most, and I regret having done so. If it is your first internship, I advise you to apply first to positions that are not in your top list to get some practice. I admit I was disappointed by the Business Networking Day in the sense that I was pretty sure to get my internship there, but I later realised this is an event that is mostly useful to M2 students, or to students that already have some experience. However, I still recommend you to go and practise your elevator speech, as it will give you some training for real interviews. Finally, I would recommend sending quite a lot of applications, as the response rate might not be high for your first internship. However, sending them in January instead of October – while still keeping an eye open for potential offers during the autumn period – might be better. Finding your first internship might be hard, but once you get it, it becomes way easier to find other internships. I then worked at Veltys consulting in Paris during my gap year, and found this position quite easily.