The Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) has proven to be a force to reckoned with when it comes to pioneering research in many economics fields, such as industrial organisation, finance, econometrics, environmental or behavioural economics, regulation and competition law.
It is the eighth best economics department worldwide, according to the RePEc ranking — with greater impact still in its contributions to solve real-world problems related to financial or energy crises, climate change and development among others.
Every year, through TSE research-oriented courses, students are introduced to transformative ideas and innovative techniques. They are immersed in current debates and have a better understanding of major societal challenges. This gives them a wide range of high-level career opportunities mostly in managerial positions in sectors such as banking, insurance, consultancy, international institutions, and market regulators, where they work as economists, consultants, analysts, data scientists, research managers and more. Thanks to the growing TSE alumni network, graduates find guidance and many job opportunities in France and worldwide.
Long after leaving TSE, many graduates often return. Good memories draw them to participate in events like Business Talks or the Business Networking Day to help current students — as do a need to contribute to the school that wrote their success stories.
Chloé Desruet found out she was interested in economics in an unconventional way: by pursuing a course in literature and social sciences.
She was captivated by the history of economic theory. When her teachers told her about TSE, a young school where the then-new Nobel Prize winner taught, she didn’t hesitate to apply. “I thought their programme was very serious, with a master’s degree that allowed the theory to be applied to real life,” she says.
Within the master’s programme in Econometrics and Empirical Economics, her favourite class was “Econometrics.” “Even though it was a demanding subject, we learned a lot, including how to code econometric formulas and interpret the results,” she says. “I also enjoyed the ‘Applied Project,’ which is a comprehensive course, giving a lot of autonomy to the students.”
Today, she works as a Senior Competition Economics Analyst, dealing with cases involving mergers, commercial disputes, damage assessment, cartels, abuse of dominance and others.
“My daily tasks vary depending on the case. I can do a lot of code and econometrics if the data is available or approach a case more conceptually with economic arguments. Since we do consultancy, an important part is also dedicated to writing reports or preparing meetings with clients,” she says.
Desruet credits the strong reputation of the school for her initial internship and current position. “The school is well known among economists and the subjects were very much in line with the skills they were looking for in new recruits,” she says.
Stefania Pozzi was in the middle of an internship at the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome when she realised she wanted to use statistics to solve real-world problems, specific to development economics.
At that point, she held an undergraduate degree in Statistics and Information Management. After taking a sabbatical year to volunteer in Nepal, she decided to pursue a Master in Public Policy and Development at TSE.
“I was really attracted by the prospect of applying economics and statistics to developing countries. Furthermore, I thought it was fascinating to do so while also gaining understanding in the evaluation of public policies, affecting people on a large scale,” she says.
“The programme really seemed the perfect combination of what I was looking for. In addition, I was really excited by the idea of studying at a well-renowned university that hosts a lot of international students,” she says.
Upon graduation, Pozzi was hired as an Overseas Development Institute (ODI) Fellow at the General Directorate of Statistics of East Timor. Later, she joined the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) in East Timor where she got plenty of fieldwork experience.
“I am currently a manager at global nonprofit IDinsight in Rabat, Morocco,” she says. “I am currently working on projects with the government of Morocco and on a project related to women in fishing in Senegal, in collaboration with Greenpeace Africa.”
Pozzi says studying at TSE equipped her with vital skills needed for her career and nurtured a culture of following one’s own initiative, curiosity, passion, and challenging the status quo.
As the war unfolded in Ukraine and the energy crisis became a global concern, Nikolaos Papoulias felt the world was heading into an unprecedented level of uncertainty.
Risk management rose as a crucial skill to have.
“I am enrolled in the Master in Economics of Global Risks. I remember that this programme had sparked my interest from the very beginning because of its interdisciplinary approach to global risks and its macroeconomic focus,” says Papoulias.
“TSE’s approach to learning highly relies upon empirical projects when it is feasible. For instance, as part of the Machine Learning course, we were faced with the task of replicating the results of a paper-employing machine learning method.”
What he enjoyed most was his course in “Cost Benefit Analysis.” It was experiential, allowing Papoulias to conduct his own analysis on a topic of his choice and get a taste of policymaking. He found his courses on “Long-term Asset Pricing” and “Macroeconomics of Risks” just as enlightening.
Career service’s support helped Papoulias transform what he learned into professional success. As he reports: “Professional development courses and career success workshops prepared us well for our entry into the job market in a professional manner, both to make contact with employers and to convince them of our motivation and the strength of our profile.”
“As of April 2023, I will start working as a trainee in the DG General Market Operations of the European Central Bank. After concluding this traineeship, I am planning on continuing my career in policy-making, preferably at a European institution,” he says.
Julie Meslin is pursuing the Master in Economics of Global Risks, drawn by its diverse modules in biodiversity and finance, to name just two. “I was very attracted by this programme, especially after my internship at ING Bank, where I worked on a model of prepayment risk for the Model Development team,” she says.
Where she previously found courses like “Macroeconomics” tough, that’s no longer the case for her at TSE. “Faculty members Patrick Feve and Fabrice Collard were able to make this very theoretical subject interesting,” she says.
“The course focuses on the risk and dynamic aspect of the macro models, and how to identify and represent macro shocks. Even though the class was complex and full of new concepts, they added a lot of examples and some case studies to make it more understandable.
When her current internship with digital payments company Worldline ends in September 2023, Meslin plans to pursue a permanent post there or look for another job abroad related to risk management and prevention.
“If I don’t continue there, I want to take this opportunity to go abroad, learn another culture, deepen my knowledge and improve skills in any area or business where risk management is needed,” she says.
At TSE, Master in Environmental Economics and Policy student Gabriel Saive was fascinated by the interactions and behaviours of each consumer and firm. It was his Environmental Behavioural Economics classes that exposed him to this – which he relished.
“It is even more rewarding when people do not act as the standard economic theory would expect!” he says. “Understanding how irrational we can be, using concrete case studies and learning how to integrate those behaviours into economic modelling was a very stimulating thing to me – so much so that I was lucky enough to work on this topic when I started working at the International Energy Agency in Paris, on a more policy side.”
Saive is a Junior Environment and Energy Policy Analyst at the prestigious organisation. He works on a wide variety of topics, from mitigation policies to energy resilience and carbon pricing.
When asked whether TSE played a role in landing him this enviable gig, Saive says, “Surely [my degree] helped! It helped in the first place to get the internship there, as my in-depth courses on carbon pricing were key to pass the test and to work in my current unit. Having an economic and quantitative profile was also an advantage for my first mission, to better frame and analyse worldwide recovery plans and their impacts on the energy sector.”
He’s just as proud of his membership of the TSE Alumni Network. “This association was created quite recently compared to other alumni network,” he says. “It is therefore our goal to expand it and to develop products that highlight the careers paths of our alumni not just to current TSE students but also to a broader range of people and companies, through talks and more in Toulouse, Paris and Brussels.”
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