ENSTA Bretagne : Ange, elève-ingénieur se prépare à travailler dans le secteur de la finance
© Tatiana Maramygina

Ange is on a gap year in finance

07 April 2020
Ange chose to take a break in his studies (a gap year between the 2nd and 3rd years of engineer training), to be able to follow more internships and confirm his choice of professional plan: to be an engineer in the finance sector. He tells us about his educational path , the reasons for his choices and his future plans.
Class of 2020
Student engineer in computer science

What was your educational history before you joined ENSTA Bretagne?

After my Baccalaureate in science, I did two years of preparatory classes in MPSI (Higher  Mathematics, Physics, and Engineering Sciences), then MP (Advanced Mathematics and Physics), in the Computer Science option at Joffre High School in Montpellier. Then, I joined ENSTA Bretagne through the Mines-Telecom competitive entry examinations in 2017 as a civilian student.

Why did you choose ENSTA Bretagne?

I wanted to join a school that would let me customize my own engineering path as I wished. When it came to stating your school choices during the competitive entrance examinations, the most important criteria for me were international opportunities and academic and industrial partnerships. Today, I can confirm that ENSTA Bretagne stands out due to the support the teaching and administrative staff give to its students whatever their projects, in particular when you wish to follow a different and more individual path. 

What field did you choose to specialize in for your second year and why?

At the end of the first year, I chose Information Science and Technology for its majors in computer science and mathematics, to continue my computer science path from preparatory classes.

Have you joined any associations?

Yes, as soon as I arrived at the school. First, I joined the ENACTUS association (social entrepreneurship), within which I took part in the creation of the environmental project ENSTA’Route. It aims to reduce the waste on highways and is financed by the Vinci Autoroutes Foundation.

Following that, I contributed to the development of the BEST Association (Board of European Students of Technology).  I also took on responsibilities in the national branch representing several French engineering schools.

Why a gap year, and what does that consist of?

It is an extra year between the second and third years of training. I am putting it to good use by accomplishing in company internships.

I did the first in a firm of consultants, where I worked as an innovation finance consultant for industrial companies in aeronautics and the finance sector. The second internship took place in the asset management company of a major bank. I am an intern in the Data Management cell and I help integrate databases in the companies investment fund managers’ information system.   

What are the advantages of this gap year?

I have acquired a lot of professional experience and gained perspective in relation to my academic path. In your preparatory classes, you have quite a vague idea of the contents of engineer training programs and even less when it comes to picturing yourself in the professional world. I decided to take an academic break to prepare my choices and to gain insight into the opportunities on offer to me as a future engineer. From now on, I have a clear view, I know which path to take for the rest of my studies and the start of my professional career.

You have also been affected by the confinement. Are you teleworking?

Yes, my internship is continuing via the Internet. The company has provided me with a computer. So, according to the tasks I have to accomplish, I work on several screens, either in my office or outside in a more relaxed way. I am in daily contact with my head and other members of my team via Skype or one of the company’s other means. Everything is running smoothly, procedures are very well defined. This means that I systematically make sure that I am following the guidelines they gave me, especially in terms of the security of the confidential data that I am handling. 

What are the other activities you are doing at this time ?

I am taking advantage of the confinement to sort things out, do some domestic tasks…and also do sport and improve my general knowledge !

What are you professional plans ?

My internships in the financial sector have inspired me to continue in this field. I would like to have an intellectually stimulating career, which enables me to discover new things. I am counting on a career in computational finance where I can also have customer contact. The experience in the consultants’ office was really positive.

Do you have any advice for students who are preparing the competitive entry exams ?

The preparatory classes are gruelling. Try to overcome your stress by thinking of the many fulfilling opportunities you will have at engineering school. You can customize your studies to suit you. Think of those exams as being for you, as your opportunity to go beyond, not as a comparison. Good luck to you all!