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Why spend your third year as an intern in the investment sector when you want to pursue a career in Public Affairs ?

Since his high-school years, Thomas Monarchi-Comte decided he would devote himself to the “res publica”, the public sector. Encouraged by his friends and family who confirm that his profile corresponds to his high-raking public official, Thomas entered the Sciences Po-Dijon campus. Although he knew he would continue his studies at the Sciences Po School of Public Affairs, he decided to shift away from his first interest of serving the country for the sake of a third year internship…


Why did you choose an internship in an investment consulting firm in Miami despite aiming for a career in the public service? 

Thomas Monarchi-Comte (T.M.-C.) - My strongest interest was to work for the country, and that is why I chose to enter the School of Public Affairs for my first year of Master’s.

Even though I was on a fixed road to fulfil my objective of becoming a high-ranking public official, coming out of a linear and reassuring « comfort zone » was a good thing. I wished to strengthen my knowledge as well as my experience. You could even say I was trying, perhaps unconsciously, to challenge my project of pursuing a career in public affairs. To stay eight months in an investing firm, in a capitalist country, where money seems to rule – that was an interesting challenge for someone who wanted to work for the State, where mercantile interest is supposed to be absent or secondary.
"I managed to be a multitasking intern, with a considerable workload in prospection and internal work preparation for the firm, as well as in negotiations with clients, or in representing the firm during events."

What was your interest in working for a real-estate investment firm ?

T.M-C -In a « crossroad » city such as Miami, at the intersection of northern and southern America, as well as of Europe, cultural openness and flexibility are qualities that recruiters appreciate. The benefit of working in a real-estate investment firm with its international clientele, was to diversify my experiences, use several languages on a day-to-day basis and to avoid restricting myself to internships in public institutions. It allowed me to take a step back, to evaluate my performance and to become aware of my work preferences, of qualities to develop, and skills to refine further. I enjoyed working as a team and talking with the investors. My managers also seemed to appreciate my presence and my skills. In contrast, I can still improve my knowledge about advanced technologies. However, that lack of knowledge did not stop me from being recruited as a consultant by a company director in Miami, owner of a small fleet of high-end cars (Tesla, BMW) to advise him on the promotion of his brand to the European public.

Without putting Sciences Po on a pedestal, I have to admit that the versatility and diversity of our education served me well. In short, the third-year internship for me was really an opportunity to come out a little of the Sciences Po framework, of the college rationale, to widen my experience and horizons.  

You should never hesitate to « leave the comfort zone », and go in a different direction than the road you have drawn out for yourself. Steve Jobs said one day, talking about how he had studied calligraphy in college, « all that you learn has a purpose sooner or later…» -the abundance of text fonts on Mac computers is a perfect illustration of that. 

To know more

The 3rd year internship and its formalities before departure

The visa formalities for an internship in the United States

Last modified 2016-07-25
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