What was your academic history before ENSTA Bretagne?
I prepared for the competitive entrance examinations in the Classe Préparatoire aux Grandes Écoles preparatory classes in the Prytanée National Militaire military high school at La Flèche. I did three years of PCSI (higher Physics, Chemistry, Engineering Sciences), then PC (advanced Physics and Chemistry). In the beginning, I wanted to go to officers’ school, then I changed my career path in the third year of the preparatory classes and chose to aim for an engineering school.
Why did you choose ENSTA Bretagne ?
I have always been interested in and fascinated by the military world and the Defense sector in general. This graduate school, mixing civilian and military profiles suited me down to the ground on paper. Its top class academic standards and level of partnerships and the reasonable size of the school convinced me. And I was not disappointed! I found the state of mind I was looking for and real support when choosing internships and my specialization. Finally, a real plus point: its double degrees with management schools such as Audencia Business School and the IAE in Brest.
What did you choose to specialize in and why?
I chose two special subjects : Vehicle Architecture and Engineering and Business Sciences as I found mechanics and transport attractive. In addition, I wanted to add a human and managerial angle to my training as a mechanical engineer, which is necessary for managing technical projects.
Why did you choose to do a double degree with a management school?
The double degree with Audencia Business School is complementary to my training at ENSTA Bretagne. It enables me to combine technical training, managerial, commercial and engineer training with company strategy. That opens the doors to managerial roles within companies that are involved in engineering. For me, this multi-disciplinary angle seems essential today.
This school was one of the first schools to open its doors to student engineers and so has a real double degree culture. In short, it enables you to gain access to technical careers involving management, communication and finance. Today, a dual set of skills is a real advantage on the job market. 21% of engineers have a managerial role where they manage teams.
Finally, Audencia Business School proposes courses taught in English (900 minimum score in the TOEIC), a real professional plus point, which convinced me to do my third year in Nantes.
What did you have to do to take this course?
In my first year, for more information, I turned towards the Cellule AcOR (student counseling service) which is there to advise students. Ms Gautier and Ms Guidal gave me a lot of help and, above all, enabled me to settle on my choice of academic path. So I did all the administration with the help of the administrative cell of ENSTA Bretagne.
After that, and after sending in my academic file, there was an interview organized in Nantes, at the business school. During the interview with the heads and professors, I had to speak about my career plan and my reasons for wanting to join the school. Then, there was a quick dissertation (20 mins to prepare, then a 10 min presentation) on one out of two given subjects. Then, you receive your results a few weeks later…and then it was already the start of the school year in September.
How does this double degree work?
I did my first two years of study at ENSTA Bretagne (Semesters 1 to 4). Then, I joined Audencia Business School at the beginning of my third year for 18 months. For the first term, you learn the basics in finance, marketing, communication and management. Then comes the second semester, where you specialize in a major. I chose the Business Development major. After that, there is summer school, which is approximately 2 months in a partner university abroad. Unfortunately, this period was canceled due to the current coronavirus crisis. Finally, the end of year internship which starts at the n+1 point in the year after entering Audencia Business School finishes this period.
Where are you living in Nantes? Was it easy to get organized?
I was lucky enough to live in accommodation near the school. Organization was quite easy as the school is well-served by public transport. As for its location in relation to Nantes, it is about the same as ENSTA Bretagne in relation to the city of Brest. There is also a university restaurant nearby for lunch. From an administrative point of view, everything went well, the very good relations between ENSTA Bretagne and Audencia Business School counting for a lot.
What has this brought you and what will you remember ?
This double diploma has brought me a lot of in-depth knowledge on themes linked to communication, management, finance and marketing. Understanding company issues and the piloting of complex projects will now form an integral part of my career project. In addition to that, as well as the practical aspects, this training has above all brought me more self-confidence and assurance to be able to work in careers where relations are very important.
Do you have an end of studies internship to do ?
Yes, of course. To validate my studies, I have to do a 6 month internship. This will be carried out as a business engineer in the NGen company in Lyon. It is a young company which specializes in technical project management concerning transport, industry, energy and the sciences. My training at ENSTA Bretagne will thus enable me to tackle the very technical themes linked to engineering which please me, whilst combining those with the project management and leadership dimension that I learned during my time at Audencia.
What are your professional plans for the future ?
In the short term, of course, have a good time on my next 6 months of internship. The objective for me will be to develop my own experience of this career and to put into practice the different training courses I have received. I would like to settle down and evolve within a company. The defense, transport and nuclear sectors have always attracted me, so why not set my sights on one of those companies directly and specifically linked to the sector.
Do you have any advice for students preparing the competitive entrance examinations?
You have been preparing for a whole year for this moment so be confident, stay positive and, above all, as one of my former squadron leaders at Prytanée used to say before each test “endure and sustain”. And then, as a 5/2 myself, I would like to reassure those on the verge of their second attempt at the competitive entrance examinations. You are even more prepared, and you already have experience at the exams. Good luck to you!